Which is it - or perhaps is it neither?
Is negotiating with the GOP like negotiating with Terrorists or Communists or Worse if there could be such a thing?
The Middle Class Tax Cuts are set to expire, yet the GOP is blocking an extension of a tax cut extension which will affect100% of all voters - in a bad economy. There is no compromise. According to the GOP, taxes must be permanently cut for Millionaires or no one else shall receive any. Those are the conditions. The Middle Class, in a sense, is a hostage, a bargaining chip, held for ransom.
Here is how one frustrated but sympathetic Lamestream Media Figure Puts it:
"[M]y problem with the Republican Party right now, including Paul, is that if you offered them 80-20, they say no. If you offered them 90-10, they'd say no. If you offered them 99-1 they'd say no. And that's because we've substituted governance for brokerism, for rigidity that Ronald Regan didn't have."
This is an interesting question. Are they like the Terrorists or perhaps the Communists? It has been discussed in length on the Blogosphere Here, Here, and Here. And it has also been dicussed Here with regards to Chairman Paul Ryan’s rejection (referred to above) of the Deficit Commission Report:
Ryan [A Wisconsin Republican], like many conservatives, prefers to reside in an alternate universe in which the Affordable Care Act is not a budget saver but a massive drain on the federal budget (like, say, the prescription drug entitlement he supported.) The Bowles-Simpson commission examined the issue and sensibly concluded that building up the cost-saving devices in the PPACA would save money, and tearing them down would cost money. Ryan can't accept that. You can negotiate with somebody who has different preferences than you do. But negotiating with somebody who inhabits a different reality is very difficult.
This is an astute observation but incomplete answer.
Ryan, a so-called deficit hawk, refuses to take a hawkish stance on reducing the deficit. Sure he’d have to compromise some, but why not if you could get a 75-25 split or better on deficit reduction? You are a deficit hawk after all – take it, it’d be rational, right? Yes in a reality based world, you’d have to take that offer. But we are not talking about the World as it is, but rather what it could be transformed into being.
The best answer, in my opinion lies with Andrew Sullivan’s observation of the obstructionist utopianism that infects so much of the GOP these days. Yes, this is closer to the point. Ryan and many Republicans are Right Wing Utopians or Wingnutopians to be more precise.
Utopians, like Ryan, seek to create an economic and cultural paradise based upon Free Market Fundamentalism, big business, bullets, bibles and banjos. This Utopia, which is to be the next stage of history, can only exist after the Wingnuttariat (Real Americans) obtains Class Cultural Consciousness and then casts off the Chains of Moderation (modern welfare state) creating a Perfected Society built on the natural laws of the Free Market and the aforementioned big business, bullets, bibles and banjos.
For Ryan, the decision to negotiate with a doomed regime, a regime about to be swept aside by revolutionary forces (as he may see it), is a practical question. If he believes that conditions are near for a counter-revolution, he has very little incentive to negotiate. In this instance a 75-25 split in his favor is counterproductive when the alternative is to wait for the revolutionary forces of the Free and Almighty Market to sweep away the current order making way for the Creation of Wingnutopia on Earth. When this occurs Ryan will receive 100% of his preferred objectives – so why not wait a little while longer. Q.E.D. Ryan’s conduct really is quite logical, when you look at it from his perspective.
Some may observer that Soviet Leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin faced a similar dilemma in 1919 during the Paris Peace Conference held after World War One. Faced with overtures from the Peace Conference, Lenin had to decide whether to negotiate with the doomed capitalist powers (as he saw them to be) concerning the post war world - to get what he could or play one capitalist off another, etc or to remain on the side lines and wait for the revolutionary forces of communism to sweep capitalism into the dust bin of history. If conditions for revolution were right, why negotiate. If conditions had yet to materialize, negotiation was a more attractive option. Eventually Lenin determined that the conditions for revolution were just not quite right yet (as was commonly the case in such debates from yesteryear) and he acted accordingly.
What many do not realize, is that this is the situation that Chairman Ryan and many Republicans see themselves in today. And many appear, Ryan included, to have made the decision that the Revolution of the Wingnuttariat is near. With this being the case, there is no need to negotiate on matters affecting the Free Market such as Taxation and Government Spending. The Revolutionary forces of the Market will settle those questions in due time – so why not wait a little longer.