10/03/2013 12:04 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Flailing and Failing

Isn't there some scientific principle where the stability of one object leads to greater instability in another object?

The more President Obama and Harry Reid assert their simple strategy -- we won't negotiate under these conditions; pass a clean budget patch and debt ceiling bill and then we'll talk -- the wilder the House Republicans are getting.

I just read this Politico piece suggesting that now a bunch of the Republican leaders want to revert to a "grand bargain" -- a big budget deal wherein Republicans get entitlement cuts and Democrats and the WH get new tax revenues.

Say what?

They (the Repulicans) couldn't close a grand bargain for years, but now they can somehow pull it off in a few days? With revenues? Having nothing to do with Obamacare?

And what are they saying here -- that they'd accept clean budget patch and debt ceiling bills on the condition that there's then a grand bargain? Maybe they'd like a supercommittee??

Or are they saying that only after a grand bargain will they accept clean bills? Because if that's where they are, it's deeply inconsistent with WH/Reid position.

See for yourself, but that Politico piece reads like Mandarin Chinese to me. The ad hockery among the Republicans right now is, if not remarkable, then alarming. They're flailing about.

Tea Partier Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) sums their position up nicely, I think: "We're not going to be disrespected, We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."

Word to that.

This post originally appeared at Jared Bernstein's On The Economy blog.

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