I’m not sure anyone could consciously create a headline that more perfectly captures the current GOP’s fundamental unseriousness about governing than this one from the Hill:
Senate GOP feels jilted after being wined and dined by Obama on deficit talks
As Jed Lewison points out in a good post, it’s stunning that Republican Senators actually feel no sense of embarrassment about making this self-refuting claim. Their complaint, per the Hill, is this:
Senate Republicans who shared laughs with President Obama over dinner at the Jefferson Hotel in March are grumbling there has since been little follow-through from him on deficit talks. […]
Some Republicans think the president has become distracted from the deficit by intensified public controversies over the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups and the Justice Department’s investigation of The Associated Press.
Of course, Republicans themselves are the ones that are working feverishly, often in the face of clear and unequivocal evidence to the contrary, to tie Obama to these “public controversies.” What’s more, the GOP leadership has said that no budget compromise is possible if it involves any concession on revenues, which is to effectively say that no compromise is possible unless Democrats make 100 percent of the concessions. And not only that, but as Steve Benen notes, Obama has already offered Republicans the entitlement cuts they claim they want as part of a larger deal, only to have Republicans suddenly decide they no longer want those cuts, after all.
Yet for Republicans, the problem continues to be that Obama isn’t sufficiently wooing them adequately. As the Hill puts it, paraphrasing one senator who remained anonymous but whose sentiments echoed many others: “The lawmaker said Obama needs to sit down regularly with about five or six GOP senators to begin making substantial progress toward a deficit-reduction deal.”
Yeah, that’ll work.
Even as Senate Republicans call for Obama to woo them harder, their leader, Mitch McConnell, is absurdly claiming that Obama’s plan to nominate people to fill vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals amounts to an effort to “stack the court.”
This sort of thing helps explain why Republicans such as Olympia Snowe and Bob Dole are calling on their party to make an effort to show that they can actually govern. Indeed, over the weekend, Dole openly acknowledged that current GOP filibustering is mostly indefensible.
Look, this stuff from the Hill reads exactly like a sendup of what Washington Republicans are up to that you might read in The Onion. Yet it’s really what Republican Senators are saying. And reporters regularly treat this sort of thing seriously, when the appropriate response to it is to burst out laughing. As long as that happens, this farce will only continue.
Update: Link to the Hill article fixed.