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Give Them an Inch…

And they’ll take another hundred billion in defense spending cuts, please. In a classic example of why the congressional Republicans’ willingness to slash the defense budget is such a harmful political strategy, liberals are now flaunting it as a sign the Democrats need to be more ambitious in their defense cut proposals:

Liberal sources say the [Republican] freshman defections shows the White House is shooting too low on defense in the debt-ceiling talks.

“I don’t think that $300 billion in spending cuts is either much of a cut or much of a concession,” said Rebecca Thiess, a policy analyst with the Economic Policy Institute.” …

Obama, perhaps feeling the heat from liberals, in his Wednesday press conference hinted that cuts beyond the $400 billion he has previously outlined could be coming for the Pentagon.

Some congressional GOPs may not be concerned about taking the Obama position on defense reductions, but clearly the president has a political incentive to place himself to the left of these conservative lawmakers on the issue. The more cuts GOP members are willing to concede, the louder liberal activists will become in advocating for additional reductions — giving Democrats exactly the cover they need to double-down on their demands. This is negotiating tactics 101, and Republicans are playing right into the hands of American declinists.


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