So now the super committee has not resolved the latest conundrum of government. How can a divided Congress learn to work together? So, what's next?
Smoke screens are rising from Capitol Hill, but it appears from here that the committee was joined by some with intent to make it fail.
Now, although all of the inside details have yet to emerge, each side apparently went into the meetings with certain goals and definite ideas of an endpoint. It appears that these thoughts never did converge. Some Republicans are starting to blame President Obama for not getting involved in the process, but it appears he was wise to keep his distance, especially after the debacle that came after negotiating with Speaker Boehner last summer. The public, in a recent Gallup Poll blamed both sides, and indicated that they should have compromised more. Will this turn the elections next year into a mood of "throw them all out" equally condemning both parties, or will the Democrats win the very public spin game? Was this standoff the only way highly partisan members could have concluded this process? Shouldn't they have tried harder for the sake of the American people?
Doyle McManus, writing in the Los Angeles Times, indicated that since there was no drop dead -- fall off the cliff -- kind of showdown regarding the sequester, then the committee really was not operating with a sense of urgency. To me it seems to be a shame that Congress can only function if facing a doomsday scenario. It is almost as if every issue comes up against a sports metaphor -- you know the scenarios: "bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, two outs, go ahead run at the plate" ... while we hold our collective breath to see if the batter hits one out of the park or strikes out. Every issue cannot and should not be the last game of the last inning in the World Series. Some games and most laws are much more pedestrian, but in this polarized quite partisan Congressional world, the reality of the mundane has not yet penetrated the collective consciousness.
wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post about the lack of give-and-take in the discussions. His remarks were of course countered by all six of the Republican members, who had few constructive ideas to offer and in an article signed off by all of their members, repeated the fallacy that their offer to "reduce taxes" was a real improvement. No where did they provide the real revenues that the President and most Democrats had insisted upon. Neither side could agree to continue the payroll tax roll backs that were enacted at the lame duck session last year. (Was it only a year ago? Am I the only person who feels that this last tumultuous Congressional year has felt more like a decade moving slowly by?) The joint press release was terse and lacked process illumination, but what else could we expect?
What do you think should have been accomplished by the Super Committee? What compromises should have been made?