With respect to Senator Reid, he is not correct when he says, “The only thing holding up the agreement is ideology.” Ideology would have had the Republicans insisting on more budget cuts or would have had them demanding anti-abortion riders. But not both. And certainly not one after the next, just as agreements appear to be on the table. The pattern is clearly one of drawing lines in the sand arbitrarily, just to prevent a deal.
The Republicans – or perhaps certain Republicans who hold sway right now – must clearly believe that they can make a government shut down work for them politically. Otherwise, we’d have had a deal by now. Either they’re fools or they’re gamblers. Or their geniuses, I suppose that’s still possible. They are not negotiators.