UPDATE: It's official, the Supercommittee has failed. Congress, it seems, no matter how it's sliced up, is and continues to be wholly ineffective at doing any fucking thing at all. More here.
Today, Republican members of the Supercommitte are demanding that President Obama stop his nine-day diplomacy trip around the Pacific and return to Washington to come save the group's failing discussions before the Nov. 23 deadline.
Lawmakers and congressional aides familiar with the deliberations say the talks have reached a hard impasse, with Republicans locked in an internal struggle over whether to agree to higher tax hikes to cut a deal.
It's hard to see us getting a deal unless he comes in at the last minute," Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said of Obama, who is on a nine-day trip to the Pacific and not scheduled to return to Washington until Sunday.
"We're in the two-minute drill and closing in on a 'Hail Mary' and the quarterback is on the sidelines.
Riiiiight. President Obama is the "quarterback" of the independent Congressional group that he isn't a part of. . .
The Republicans aren't completely to blame for the lack of progress in the discussions. The Hill reports a "surprising lack of urgency" by the group as a whole. Washington state's own Sen. Patty Murray chairs the group on the Dem side and she's had little to no progress to report on her end either.
This result, of course, is completely unsurprising.
The 12-member Supercommittee is, by design, a microcosm of Congress as a whole--six Republicans, six Democrats. And Republicans and Democrats' record on agreeing about anything is so laughably bad that anyone who thought this Congressional circle jerk would amount to something other than a stalemate has likely been sniffing glue.
Paul Krugman at The New York Times is arguing today that the inevitable failure of the Supercommittee is a good thing because whatever deal the group would have come up with would be so bad that it'd be better if they'd done nothing.
Part of me agrees with Krugman. But a bigger part would have liked to see a bipartisan group of elected officials do something, anything, together, and not simply devolve into the predictable pattern of partisan name calling and wussified cop outs.
Then again, I have been sniffing a lot of glue lately.