Like a high-stakes poker game with other peoples’ money, Democrats and Republicans continue to posture, ponder and pontificate in their game of debt-limit chicken as the deadline for raising the nation’s credit ceiling looms less than a month away.
Publicly, neither side appears willing to budge. They fight the battle in the media through sound bites and carefully-staged press conferences.
Says often quoted political analyst Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia: “This is the natural gamesmanship you end up with in a highly-polarized political system in which neither side trusts each other or is willing to seriously compromise.”
But Sabato — like other longtime watchers of the political circus in Washington, thinks a deal will be cut.
“The dangers are just too great if they don’t,” he tells Jane Sassen of Yahoo News.
The secret to a deal, insiders say, lies with President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner. While both play their hardline parts in competing press conferences, staff members work long hours to try and reach a compromise that will stave off financial disaster and a government shutdown if a deal is not cut by Aug. 2.
Former President Bill Clinton is proposing a “min-deal,” which he says could move the August deadline until later in the year and allow more time for a long-term compromise.
“I hope they will make a mini-deal,” Clinton says. “There are some spending cuts they agree on… and Obama can take those and get an extension of the debt ceiling for six or eight months.”