The Nation's Ari Berman joined Politico's Ben Smith for a Bloggingheads conversation about the increasing possibility of a government shutdown. Berman says that "For the longest time I felt like there was never going to be a government shutdown. This was all just posturing by both sides to try to get the best deal." But, in the last few days, Berman is no longer sure this is the case.
Both sides have now agreed to cuts of $33 billion, with Democrats taking a "scalpel approach" to cuts while the GOP is working to win much more "sweeping" cuts. But, in a late night meeting on Wednesday, Obama, Reid and Boehner failed to come to an agreement on how to avert a shutdown. Plus, as Berman explains, the Tea Party will not budge or come to an agreement—they want a shutdown.
These political games, according to Berman, are bad for both Democrats and Republicans. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama has allowed the conversation to be about whose cuts are better instead of resetting the debate to call attention to the need to create jobs and get the economy moving again. Obama hasn't taken charge of the conversation surrounding budget cuts, and a lot of the "nuance" of his position on cuts is being lost on most Americans.