The Washington Nationals are ten games out of first place in their division, but if you'd like to see hardball played beautifully in Washington, D.C. this summer, skip the ballpark and go to Capitol Hill.
With President Obama at the plate, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor just threw a gorgeous brushback, dropping out of the debt ceiling negotiations with Vice President Biden.
Mr. Cantor, in an interview after a negotiating session he described as bitterly contentious, said he would not be attending Thursday's scheduled meeting of the bipartisan deficit-reduction leadership group because he believed it was time for the negotiations to move to a higher level...
[H]e said there could be no agreement on an overall package without breaking the impasse between Republicans' refusal to accept any tax increase, and Democrats insistence that some tax increases be part of the deal.
"We have to get over this impasse on taxes," he said....
House Democrats have been expressing increasing anxiety that the budget deal would be comprised only of spending cuts....[A]t the same time, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has been sounding an increasingly strident message of opposition to any form of tax increase in the budget deal.
House Majority Leader Cantor, Speaker Boehner, Senate Minority Leader McConnell--we've been worried here at Ricochet ever since the November election that they'd prove weak, failing to take advantage of the victory. But just look at them. Whereas the President originally seems to have believed he could force the Republicans to enact a "clean" increase in the debt ceiling--that is, to increase the ceiling without any spending cuts--the administration itself, in the person of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is now talking about spending concessions in the trillions. And now that they've got the administration moving their way, are our boys cutting a deal?
Nope. Not yet. Not until the Democrats stop insisting on tax hikes.
Hardball. When the good guys are playing it well, there's nothing in politics more fun to watch.