Larry Summers at the Financial Times on the issues bigger than the budget. "There is a chance future historians will see today’s crisis as the turning point when American democracy was to shown to be dysfunctional," writes the former Treasury Secretary. The political standoff over the debt limit is only "tangentially relevant" to the actual problems that the country faces, Summers writes. For example, Congress is debating whether to "change congressional staff healthcare packages and cut a medical device tax that represents only about 0.015 percent of gross domestic product." Instead of budget deals, Republicans and Democrats should come together to focus on "growth strategies." Examples include: "We need more public infrastructure investment but we also need to reduce regulatory barriers that hold back private infrastructure. We need more investment in education but also increases in accountability for those who provide it." Matt Yglesias, the economics writer at Slate, tweets "Truth bomb from @LHSummers." Jim Tankersley, the economic correspondent at The Washington Post, remarks, "Larry Summers is back on the mic. And (intentionally or not) trolling the liberals who torpedoed him." Summers removed his name from consideration for Fed chair after many Democrats spoke out against him.
Peter Beinart at The Daily Beast on the Republicans' shutdown victory. The press insists that Republicans are close to surrender in the shutdown and debt limit debates. But "if this is Republican surrender," Beinart argues, "I hope I never see Republican victory." He continues, "In early September, a 'clean' CR — including sequester cuts — that funded the government into 2014 was considered a Republican victory by both the Republican House Majority Leader and Washington’s most prominent Democratic think tank. Now, just over a month later, the media is describing the exact same deal as Republican 'surrender.'" You can thank Sen. Ted Cruz for that. Beinart argues that the media is not considering the difference between politics and policy. Though Republicans are suffering in the polls, right wing ideology is succeeding. Further, Republicans' bad polling might clear the way for "moderate" Chris Christie in 2016, but that's only because "he has Democratic allies in his home state and because his rhetoric is not as harsh on cultural issues." Beinart concludes, "for the next three years, the press will likely describe Christie as 'moderate' for the same reason it now describes a 'clean' CR as Republican surrender: Because the GOP keeps moving the ideological goalposts and the press keeps playing along." MSNBC host Alex Wagner recommends the post.
Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic explains why Democrats won't give in. "Allowing Republicans to succeed, [Democrats] say, would be even worse than shuttering the government or allowing a default — even though the former has been plenty bad and the latter would be even worse," explains Cohn. And "so far, nothing Republicans have suggested" would be a deal Democrats would make without the threat of default or shutdown. Cohn concludes, "Democratic aides I interviewed over the weekend kept stressing one thing: Democrats won’t make a swap that doesn’t make sense on its own terms." Greg Sargent, a politics writer at the Washington Post, tweets, "Here's @citizencohn with good case for how Ds are using this crisis to restore sane governing norms."
Greg Sargent at The Washington Post on what the Democrats should demand. "If Republicans refuse to budge off their insistence on lower spending levels, Dems should call their bluff by demanding a permanent disabling of the debt limit as an extortion tool as part of any short-term compromise," Sargent argues. Republicans probably won't agree to this, but that "will be a clarifying moment: It will confirm Republicans are fully intent to use the threat of default as leverage to get what they want in later showdowns." Sargent concludes, "It’s heartening to see Dems going on offense in this fight and pressing for higher spending levels. But a permanent disabling of arguably the most potent tool in the GOP extortion arsenal ... should be a goal, too." Joe Weisenthal, the executive editor of Business Insider, tweets, "Good advice to Democrats from @theplumlineGS."
Brian Beutler at Salon on why the debt limit fight is bringing out neo-Confederates. The loudest rallying cries on the right are now from people waving Confederate flags. Beutler explains, "After everything Republicans put themselves and the country through, these are the final points of contention. No Obamacare delay. No Medicare cuts. No real hostages. It would be amusing if it weren’t so dangerous." So "Conservatives see Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz and imagine a national groundswell is forming," and re-imagine "the drama as a Battle of Gettysburg for the 21st century." Former Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley recommended the post.