Dear GOP: You don’t even have a speaker. How can you demand entitlement cuts?

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives to speak to the media about healthcare on Capitol Hill in Washington October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Before we talk budget negotiations, let’s remember that Republicans are in total disarray and don’t even have a House Speaker with whom to negotiate. Let’s also remember that the GOP still owns the Congress—even if they are exhibiting an epic failure in leadership—and failure to approve a budget by Dec. 11 that keeps the government funded will lie at their doorstep, full stop. So what do Republicans do? Kick off the budget discussions with demands for cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Burgess Everett reports:

Republicans are demanding changes to entitlement programs, a request that’s already been rejected by Democrats. Democrats want boosts in domestic spending without painful cuts, a nonstarter for the GOP. Meanwhile, there’s no House speaker scheduled to serve past October. […]
Congressional Republicans are trying to project confidence, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose “no shutdown, no debt default” vows are paramount to

party’s hopes of maintaining Senate control in 2016. But the Senate GOP has a major uphill battle: McConnell lacks a stable negotiating partner in the House and conservative forces in both chambers already are agitated about making sacrifices in any bipartisan compromise. But Democrats have flatly refused to entertain changes to Social Security or Medicare — a key demand for many congressional Republicans. […]

Yep, a total nonstarter. And if that’s where the “negotiations” begin and there’s no course correction on the side of the GOP—which has its proverbial back against the wall—then that’s where the negotiations should end.
Republicans are more than a few french fries short of a leadership Happy Meal right now and they have no business starting off with a demand that’s tantamount to blowing up the negotiations before they begin.

Hey GOP, go find a House speaker and get back to us.

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