Ezra Klein drops a righteous reality bomb on all those insanely rational voices in the middle who've deplored President Obama's refusal to adopt Simpson-Bowles:
[O]n Wednesday, [Sen. Kent] Conrad tried to do what so many in Washington said was necessary: Move to Simpson-Bowles. Make this debate bipartisan. Instead, Simpson-Bowles got trashed by Republicans and jammed into a protected, partisan process by Democrats. And the GOP provided more evidence that they want to undercut the Budget Control Act, which means we're headed to a showdown over appropriations, and soon.
The irony of Obama's so-called cravenness, as it is commonly characterized by centrists, is that in this instance the liberal ideologues have been pragmatically right all along: one simply cannot negotiate with Ribbentrop Republicans. You try, you die. And this, Obama has learned, while the centrists have not; the latter instead adhere to idealistic fantasies.