Someone needs to remind Dick Durbin that the House Republicans already lost any credibility they might have had as soon as they started throwing red meat to their base by voting on these amendments in the first place. They campaigned on job creation and all they've done is pander to the right and do their best to destroy jobs and trash the economy. And instead of fighting back we get the Democrats saying they're going to meet them half way, which means Republicans get everything they want on these budget cuts.
I don't know about anyone else, but watching the back and forth on these budget cuts is giving me a headache. I'm tired of listening to all of them pretend like balancing the budget off of the backs of the poor and the working class when we've got the greatest income disparity since the Gilded Age is somehow "reasonable."
And as Steve Benen pointed out today, rather than negotiations moving along, it looks like they're moving backwards. Wonderful.
UPDATE: And right on cue, it's getting uglier yet -- House Republicans Preparing for Government Shutdown.
Transcript below the fold.
GREGORY: We'll get to Libya in just a moment, but I do want to talk about the big budget battle. We could have a government shutdown this week if the two sides don't come together. Is that where this is headed?
DURBIN: I hope not. You know, this is the warm-up, David. As important as it is to finish the appropriation for the next six months of this year, we have a much, much bigger battle ahead of us in the next few weeks. We don't want to see the government shutdown. Speaker Boehner's in a very delicate and tough political position. I understand that, even though I'm in the other party. I can see the problems that he's facing. But we have to put this behind us. We have agreed on a number as to the cut. Now we have to agree on the component parts of it and move forward. At the end of the day, the American people don't care who has bragging rights at the end of this. They want to make certain we are responsible and work together, both political parties, to meet a real national challenge.
GREGORY: All right. Well, but people understand that. But go behind the curtain here. What has to give? For instance, Democrats are pretty upset with the so-called riders in the spending cut legislation that would deny funding, say, for health care or would block the EPA from putting in certain environmental regulations, deny funding to Planned Parenthood, for an example. Would you be willing to vote for a compromise that included those, those bans on, on certain kind of spending?
DURBIN: David, I think the House Republicans lose all credibility when they decide that this fight isn't over the deficit, it isn't over the amount of spending cuts, but rather it's to debate and relitigate political issues that have been in Washington for decades. For goodness sakes, let's get our job done. Let's fund the government. There's plenty of opportunity in the House and Senate to debate every other issue. That's what we're there for. But let's not tie up our government and close it down, to the embarrassment of both political parties, by insisting on these riders that are totally political.
GREGORY: Well, I understand your position. But could you vote for a compromise that included those riders?
DURBIN: I can tell you, there are some that are totally unacceptable.The idea that we are going to close down the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to keep our air clean and our water pure, I mean, that sort of thing is irresponsible. To close down Planned Parenthood funding--it is not for abortion, it's for family planning--that's a step way beyond what the mandate of the last election called for.
GREGORY: So no vote from Senator Durbin, no yes vote, if those are still in there.
DURBIN: Absolutely not.