In order to categorize two sides in a negotiation as “far apart”, as the NBC political team does this morning, there really ought to be specific positions laid out by both sides that allow for some sort of rational measurement.
The current status of the OMG FISCAL CLIFF “negotiations” is that the President has made an offer and the Republicans are so shocked – SHOCKED – that it’s the plan he ran on in the fall when they accused him of not having a plan that they have been unable to compose themselves to respond.
Also, too: what Michael Grunwald says:
It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan. It’s even more amazing to see them pass along Republican outrage that Obama isn’t cutting Medicare enough, in the same matter-of-fact tone they used during the campaign to pass along Republican outrage that Obama was cutting Medicare.
Apparently, in GOP-land, negotiating involves stamping your feet until daddy buys you the candy bar you want, not, you know, responding to someone else’s offer. Or, as Joe Klein says:
Republicans are, reportedly, outraged by President Obama’s opening bid in the fiscal cliff talks. Republicans always seem to be outraged. It’s getting boring. They need to step up and make a counter-offer.
That’s how people negotiate.
Republicans are people, too – right?