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Throughout this painful 'negotiation' period, President Obama has boxed Cantor and Boehner into a corner. They only have two choices at this point: Hold a clean debt ceiling vote or let the Bush tax cuts go for anyone earning more than 250,000, or offer an equivalent package.
Do you think Republicans would ever let go of tax cuts? Of course not, because then they have nothing in front of them for 2012 strategy. They desperately need to do nothing about the budget or tax revenues so they can accuse the Democrats of doing nothing.
As long as Obama holds his ground, the Republicans paralyzed by their own internal warfare will be left with two choices. They can either compromise which would both anger their base and help reelect this president, or they can hold their ground and watch their political fortunes go down the drain.
Meanwhile, the Tea Party is gunning for John Boehner, hoping to replace him with Eric Cantor, former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett calls the tea party faction in Congress ignorant fools, and everyone seems to have forgotten that Cantor is Wall Street's boy, so it's only a question of when he will start whipping the debt ceiling vote, not a question of "If".
Meanwhile, as Lawrence points out, the hostage was freed this weekend.