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Via Joan McCarter at DailyKos, Atrios has an interesting thought:

if @clairecmc and gang feel “duped” perhaps they should take all spending cuts off the table. #justathought #learntobargain

McCarter adds:

If we’re gonna shut down, then take those cuts off the table and start from scratch.

Damn straight. If we have to go through a government shutdown, we shouldn’t have to reward the GOP for their boneheadedness in the process – particularly since the cuts they have  finagled so far have the potential to do lots of harm without affecting the deficit even slightly. Nobody should have to suffer because a few idiots confuse symbolic gestures with the hard work of government – hear that, Jim Lembke?.

But then, we get back to McCaskill who is singled out by Atrios – and who so far deserves credit for her response to the GOP granstanding. However, it’s hard to forget how in the past she hasn’t been able to stop bawling “me too” at the top of her lungs whenever the GOP pulls out its deficit smoke and mirrors. Which brings us to what Duane Graham of the Erstwhile Conservative has to say about the Democrats’ negotiating skills in general:

I heard Steny Hoyer, the Democrats’ Number Two in the House, say

I think we’re very close. I think we’ve come 70 percent of the way in terms of dollars. That’s a long way to go in trying to reach compromise.

You think?  Giving the other side 70% is not compromise, it’s surrender. The Democrats have given 70% and what have Republicans given in return?  Hoyer:

… you can’t negotiate on the basis that one side gives 100% and the other side gives zero.

Oh, yes you can, Steny.  That’s what Democrats have been doing. The Republicans are counting on it to continue.  Democrats have given them no reason to think otherwise.

Do you think maybe that the willingness of Democratic pols like McCaskill to go along with Republican deficit bamboozlement might have something to do with this situation?