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Biden: Then Shut It Down

Sounds like Joe Biden pulled a Jed Bartlett last night:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Friday morning that Biden doesn’t get upset very often, but that he did after hours of negotiations with Republicans at the White House.

“Vice President Biden, who sat very silent through this whole meeting, finally said — and Joe doesn’t get upset very often and he usually doesn’t speak for short segments — but last night he said: ‘Well fine, let the American people decide this issue,’ ” Reid told reporters.

People want to game out who wins and who loses in a shutdown event. But you can’t bargain with crazy. And so the best move is to throw it to the public and give them the tools they need to figure it out. Biden basically signaled that. Let them figure out if it’s worth shutting down the government because lady parts make you feel icky.

Now, I’m not sure Biden reflects the will of the White House on this – they look far more interested in reaching an agreement at all costs – but he has at least the ear of the President.

UPDATE: By the way, this doesn’t contrast with the take that Democrats will agree to more painful cuts to “save” Planned Parenthood, something they can sell to their base. It seems like that offer has already been made, in fact. But there’s still no agreement. So I think both sides are pretty entrenched here.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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