Looking at American politics from a 100,000-foot level, conservatives have won. Programmatic liberalism is essentially dead for a good long time, and small bore stuff is probably the best we can hope for over the next 10-20 years — though social liberalism will continue to make steady advances. I reserve judgment on whose fault that is.
David Dayen responds:
It’s certainly dead in a situation where tax rates are permanently at 2001 levels. To me, that’s the choice. If the debt ceiling rise was included in this deal, ensuring that one bargaining chip for spending cuts came off the table, I’d have a much easier time agreeing to this, mindful of the near-term need for stimulus. As it isn’t, I have problems with mortgaging the future for a short-term gain I find ephemeral.