If you’ve been reading these pages, you know that I’ve been generally supportive of what the president has been trying to do about the fact that the Republicans are threatening to blow the global economy up on purpose. They obviously have the power to do that if they want to, and they’re unruly enough to pull it off even if their leaders don’t want them to. So, the president has the responsibility to prevent it from happening and he’s succeeded, at last, in getting an agreement that will save the global economy from sudden, epic, collapse.
Obviously, it would be a shame if the deal collapsed now. But, having said that, I would have no objection to the progressives in the House withholding their support and forcing Speaker Boehner to sweeten the deal. Now is the time to do that. They can’t be unreasonable and they have to be realistic about what can pass the Senate. But they ought to be able to take the gun away from the Republicans and hold it to Boehner’s head for a little while. What to ask for? Perhaps an extension of the payroll tax holiday. I think that’s gettable. An extension of unemployment insurance might he unattainable, but they should at least ask for it.
This deal is okay considering the circumstances, but it’s going to make it harder to get people back to work. Fighting for a little stimulus is definitely in order because Boehner can’t even come close to passing this bill without substantial Democratic support.