I can't even bring myself to look at the details of the debt ceiling "compromise". It infuriates me that we had to give into a bunch of immature thugs who decided holding the country's economy hostage was the best way to secure draconian cuts to government while the working class continues to struggle.
And it could have been avoided if we simply were willing to realize that one major political party is not comprised of members fit to govern. As Paul Krugman points out, the reason the President didn't get a debt ceiling extension in December was because he was convinced Republicans would act responsibly. Hind-sight may be 20-20, but it is rapidly becoming apparent that that's always the wrong answer.
The debt ceiling scandal (and frankly, that's what this is -- a scandal) has revealed a Republican Party split into three branches:
(1) Those who knew that refusing to raise the debt ceiling would be a catastrophe but were too spineless to stand up to the rest of their party. Exemplified by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH).
(2) Those who knew that refusing to raise the debt ceiling would be a catastrophe and who relished the idea of exploiting that fact for their own political gain. Exemplified by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA).
(3) Those who really didn't grasp that voluntarily defaulting on our debt would be the economic equivalent of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Exemplified by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
The cowardly, the avaricious, and the delusional. Ladies and gentlemen, your modern GOP.
Boehner is bragging at the massive success Republicans reaped for these tactics -- and he's right. When one party cares about the economic future of the country, and one party made it abundantly clear they're willing to shoot the hostage if it comes to that, what can you do? How do you stop yourself from getting rolled again?
The only thing I can think of is for Obama to start throwing elbows. The Senate can't do squat with McConnell's auto-filibuster policy, so it has to come from the White House. And I don't mean Oval Office speeches with a slightly raised voice. I mean the force of the executive branch. Recess appointments, new agency regulations designed to piss of the right, and take the leash off the DOJ on politically sensitive topics like corruption and the VRA. The minute this deal is signed -- because, horrible as I'm sure it is (any deal that isn't "a clean increase" is horrible to me), it has to be signed -- it's time to send a message back. You pull a knife on the American economy, we pull a gun on Republican priorities.
No more mister nice President.