President Obama has always wanted a grand bargain to cut Social Security benefits. As long as he is in office it is a real concern, but every day it seems less and less likely Republicans would ever agree to work with him.
According to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) a Republican leader can’t even stand being in the same room as Obama. From Durbin’s facebook page:
Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn’t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a “negotiation” meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: “I cannot even stand to look at you.”
What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?
This doesn’t sound like the environment that is conducive to reaching a broad and complicated deal.
In addition Congressional leaders have proven they are unwilling to break with the Tea Party even on really stupid strategies that are clearly hurting the party. Republican leaders have little room to negotiate even if they wanted to.
I’m growing more confident that Republicans opposition to anything related to Obama will indirectly protect Social Security for the rest of his term.
Update: Jay Carney claims this specific “I cannot even stand to look at you” statement didn’t happen.