The President, meanwhile, is already running away from a deal. He told the nation last Thursday that his top priority would be to address the nation’s long-term budget, but his activist organization blasted emails this Wednesday claiming that immigration reform, not budget reform, was “at the top of the agenda.” Obama had made similar promises on immigration earlier last week in an interview with Univision’s Los Angeles affiliate.
During the contentious fiscal impasse, Ryan took a great deal of abuse from conservatives–including from this website–for leading Republican efforts to find a solution. But Wasson quotes an unnamed Democratic source claiming: “There is still an open question if he can close a deal.” Tell that to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the left-wing Oregonian who proposed bipartisan reforms to Medicare with Ryan less than two years ago.
It is clear what the game is here. Republicans have a bargaining advantage on the budget that they did not have during the shutdown or last year’s fiscal cliff, because failure to act means that further sequester cuts will kick in. To remove that advantage, it is necessary to portray Ryan–a consummate dealmaker–as intransigent. The effort is so laughably partisan that Wesson should re-file his Paul Ryan hit at The Hill‘s opinion blog.