“The kind way to understand this is ‘shameless, craven, unprincipled partisan hackery.’ ”

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That’s Rachel Maddow last night on the Republicans renouncing their own ideas, including taking away subsidies for oil companies in order to help fix the national debt and get a deal on raising the debt ceiling. She continued:
The worst possible thing you could think about what congressional Republicans are doing right now in this game of chicken they are playing on the debt ceiling, the worst possible thing you can think about them with what they are doing, with the threats they are making to cause another global catastrophe, if not another deep recession, the worst you could say about this is that they believe what they say when they talk about policy – because if they believe what they say about policy … then they know that what they are doing will guarantee bad economic outcomes, huge risk to the entire American economy and maybe even the global one.
Ezra Klein praises Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for playing politics smartly and largely in full view:
The president sold himself as the great post-partisan hope, the leader who could bring comity and peacefulness to a town riven by partisanship and rancor. When McConnell refuses to come to bipartisan agreements with Obama, he damages Obama’s brand. More than anyone else, McConnell has been responsible for his failure, and key in demonstrating how little any one leader can do to change the tone in Washington.
By withholding something the president so badly wants – a bipartisan agreement in which “bipartisan” indicates compromise – Republicans drag any agreement to the right. Exhibit A, Ezra writes, is health reform. Democrats won that one, but with a far more conservative outcome.

Mitch McConnell

"The kind way to understand this is 'shameless, craven, unprincipled partisan hackery.' "

Updated