Friday, March 1, 2013

The common sense caucus

Following up on what I wrote about this morning, I think the most important news of the last few days has been the possible development of a "common sense caucus" in the House. Here's what President Obama said about it at his press conference today.
I do know that there are Republicans in Congress who privately, at least, say that they would rather close tax loopholes than let these cuts go through. I know that there are Democrats who’d rather do smart entitlement reform than let these cuts go through. So there is a caucus of common sense up on Capitol Hill. It’s just -- it’s a silent group right now, and we want to make sure that their voices start getting heard.

In the coming days and in the coming weeks I’m going to keep on reaching out to them, both individually and as groups of senators or members of the House, and say to them, let’s fix this -- not just for a month or two, but for years to come. 
And here's Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA):
“I suspect you may see more issues appear like this,” moderate Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) told TPM in an interview Thursday afternoon. “It’s quite possible on matters of governance, where there are not the Republican votes, that there will be bipartisan coalitions formed to pass important legislation. … If John Boehner doesn’t have enough Republican votes, we’ll need Democratic votes. It’s very basic. There’s no way around it.”...

Dent, who represents a swing district in eastern Pennsylvania, is arguably among a minority of House Republicans who have more to gain than lose politically by forging consensus with Democrats. But the balance of power appears to be tipping more in his favor.
This is the kind of thing the partisans and purists on both sides will ignore until they start howling about capitulation. But what I want to say is...halle-fucking-lujah!!!!!

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