Has Barack Obama Ever Bought a Used Car? Negotiation 1 Edition
I now strongly suspect that Barack Obama has never bought a used car.
The White House staffers talking to Ezra Klein and company about the "austerity bomb" deal. They are all talking about how close Obama's position is to what Boehner is willing to accept. They are not talking about how close Obama's position is to what Cantor and the right wing of the House Republican caucus are willing to accept.
But Boehner is not the principal here--not unless Boehner has declared himself willing to be reelected Speaker with Pelosi's votes if the Republian right bolts, and Pelosi has signed off on such a plan. If Obama makes a deal with Boehner, the next stage is for Boehner to say that while the deal is fine with him, he cannot control his members, and that Obama needs to make additional concessions in order to bring Cantor and the right wing of the House Republican caucus on board.
But now that White House staffers are blathering about how they are close to a deal with Boehner--while Cantor and the Republican right have not given Boehner their proxy--Obama's leverage is slipping away. The smart thing for him to do is to say that he is not the principal either: that Pelosi has been so loyal to him and his policies even at the expense of the jobs of many in her caucus that he needs her approval before he can commit, and her approval will not come until after Cantor and company have shown their hand.