From Mitch McConnell, the NY Times expects "four more years of sputtering rage." Or at least two more years, since the minority leader--with the effective power of a majority leader under the Senate's insane rules--is, in 2014, seeking six more years of sniveling subversion. This means re-cementing his cred with Kentucky's tea party fanatics of orthodox madness.
Over at the nation's less exclusive asylum, the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner is dangling from a spidery thread which itself dangles just above a mutinous mob of strife-loving morons. Poor Mr. Boehner has been reduced to such mammoth vacuities as reaffirming the House's commitment to repealing ObamaCare, just after affirming that it's the law of the land.
Meanwhile, back at the Times, Paul Krugman is ratcheting up the rhetoric:
The bottom line is that raising the age of eligibility for either Social Security benefits or Medicare would be destructive, making Americans’ lives worse without contributing in any significant way to deficit reduction....
This should be a red line in any budget negotiations, and we can only hope that Mr. Obama doesn’t betray his supporters by crossing it.
Betray--Krugman's strong and, I'm sure, long-pondered word. Yet it faithfully foreshadows the inescapable reality of Obama's political position, which at the moment is both immensely powerful and awfully precarious. He holds all the fiscal cards in the form of a cliff, but any substantive concessions on entitlement reform would likely dispirit and destabilize the vast electoral coalition he just pieced together for potential reuse in 2014--a coalition that extends far, far beyond the always-disappointed progressive community.
And with whom is President Obama required to negotiate? See first two paragraphs.
I do not envy the man.