Robert Kuttner in the Huffington Post:
I know it looks just terrible for us right now. Our caucus is badly split, we are getting killed in the polls, we have had to drop the demand to defund Obamacare, all the corporate leadership is mad at us for playing roulette with the debt, and there are even some likely primary challenges from mainstream business Republicans to our Tea Party incumbents.
But fear not. We may lose a battle, but we will win this war. Why? Barack Obama will save us. He always does.
In the end game, we will agree to reopen with government with a continuing resolution and we will allow an extension of the debt for several months. But in return, President Obama will finally put on the table a version of the Grand Bargain for deeper cuts in social spending.
That means cuts in Social Security and Medicare and in other domestic programs. Obama has already put the so-called chain-weighted CPI, a disguised cut in Social Security, in his own budget. So that is the starting point for our negotiations. And of course we will steadfastly refuse to raise taxes.
On domestic discretionary spending, the current spending budget that Obama has acceptedis already below the level of the Paul Ryan budget!
With these negotiations, the next budget will be even lower.
For now, we are getting something of a black eye in the press, but our long-term strategy is working.