Democrats fall prey to this over and over. You cannot bargain with Republicans in good faith. Negotiations are always about blackmail — using the budget or some other generally supported proposition to extort deals on pet issues.

Today, it appears the continued operation of the federal government depends on whether the Democrats will allow House zealots (abetted by the Koch boys) to demand end of Planned Parenthood funding and neutering of the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s not about the money any more.


Democrats said Mr. Boehner insisted that any deal also include some of so-called policy riders, which they argued injected conservative ideology into what should be a numbers battle.

“This is no longer about the budget deficit,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “It’s about bumper stickers.”

Negotiating with terrorists only brings more blackmail.

More here on abortion extortion and the Republicans’ raising of the bar on spending cuts after Democrats agreed to more than $30 billion.


UPDATE: Says Sen. Harry Reid: “We’re not bending on women’s health.” Republicans must accept the budget cut size to which they previously agreed or they will force the government shutdown. Either no more pap smears, health exams and birth control pills for women or the Republicans will shut down everything from Social Security offices to the VA.

UPDATE II: Democrats keep giving up more money, Boehner and Co. keep insisting it’s stop the pap smears and b.c. pills or nothing.