{{show_title_date || "Matthews: How can Obama, Boehner strike a deal in a place like Washington?, 2/26/13, 7:00 PM ET"}}

How can Obama, Boehner strike a deal in a place like Washington?

Updated

Let me finish tonight with my growing concern that things are not working out in Washington.

Washington, I’ve said many times, has no factories or even smokestacks. The only output of this city is effective government. For that to occur, there must be deals: deals within parties, deals across the aisle, deals between the president and the Congress. Without deals, there can be no action because only if this Democratic president and this Republican House of Representatives can reach an accommodation, we are stuck right where we are: not passing budgets, not dealing with the debt, not ending these endless manufactured crises now coming at us with such disgusting regularity.

Where’s the deal that will save us from this?

The president has said, in effect, no deal on Medicare/Medicaid reform until the Republicans pony up some revenue-enhancing tax reform. The Republicans, under Speaker Boehner, say no tax reform until there is entitlement reform.

Both sides know their bases. Both sides know they can go on with these squared-off positions as long as their political bases support them.

This could be a long time, because Boehner’s biggest worry isn’t the president; it’s the Tea Party members of his own caucus who might just bring him down if he agrees to raise revenues. The president’s biggest worry isn’t Boehner alone; it’s the Democrats who will assault him if he cuts a deal with Boehner that doesn’t raise revenues.

The only question—to which I don’t know the answer—is how in the world can Boehner and the president cut a deal when they are so restricted as to what they can accept?

How can Obama, Boehner strike a deal in a place like Washington?

Updated