On this week's Fox News Sunday, the Washington Examiner's Chris Stirewalt apparently thinks negotiating entails one side getting everything they want and then stomping off before giving even one iota of the concessions they agreed to when talks started. In my world, that's called bargaining in bad faith, or hostage taking, not negotiating.
BREAM: Chris, you had sort of a visceral reaction when Bill said they won't reach a deal.
STIREWALT: Well, look, the problem for the president in all of this is that he can have a deal anytime he wants. He's driving the bus and he can stop at any moment.
He feels tremendous pressure from markets, tremendous pressure from the largest question that looms over his reelection, which is the condition of the economy. He needs a deal quickly.
Now, he can stop today. They already have a deal in principle for $1.4 trillion, $1.5 trillion in cuts, with the cap extension to match. That takes them maybe not to the 2012 election, but very close. It's a year's worth of borrowing, probably.
And he can stop this buggy any time he wants and they can have a deal. But he's afraid to do that because of two things.
One, he wants to make sure that they get it past the election so that he doesn't have to go through this next summer. And the other problem is, as Nina pointed out, he took a lot of blowback for extending the Bush tax rates. That was a big deal. Supporters did not like it, Democratic members of Congress felt that he sold them out.
So he feels political pressure to push this to the end. But every day longer he goes, the less the markets like it and the more damage to the economy it does. It's a real sweet spot.