If you were judging the state of fiscal cliff negotiations purely by the interviews on the Sunday morning shows, you'd likely come to the conclusion that the two sides are in genuine stalemate.
Case in point: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says there won't be a deal without a tax hike: "There’s no path to an agreement that does not involve Republicans acknowledging that rates have to go up on the wealthiest Americans," he told David Gregory on "Meet the Press." Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), meanwhile, had this to say on Fox News: "I would say we're nowhere, period."
Still, the ways of Washington suggest such talk may just be posturing. This morning Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne offers his take on what's actually going on.
President Obama’s victory blew up the framework created by the 2010 elections, which forced him to play defense. Now, he finally has room to move. That’s the only way to understand the ongoing budget talks....A normal negotiation looks strange only because the past two years have been so utterly abnormal, driven by tea party extremism and an irrational hostility to Obama, a fundamentally moderate man who has already shown a willingness to offer more than his share of concessions. Boehner knows this, which is why everyone (especially Wall Street) should calm down.
So, were Geithner and Boehner's appearances this Sunday an act of theater, or is this cliffhanger for real? Our panel will look at the economic and political issues at stake day, 29 days to go, at noon ET on NOW.
Michael Steele, Fmr. RNC Chairman/msnbc Political Analyst (@steele_michael)
Leigh Gallagher, Asst. Managing Editor, Fortune (@leighgallagher)
Franklin Foer, The New Republic (@franklinfoer)
Eric Bates, Executive Editor, Rolling Stone
Andrew W.K., Singer, Songwriter & Entertainer (@andrewwk)
Luke Russert, NBC News (@lukerussert)