I negotiate for a living. Contracts and pricing. That’s where I live. Sometimes you have great leverage but many times you don’t. And when you can’t walk away and your leverage is compromised, you try to get the best deal you can. Sure, it’s easy for the idealist to say, “I would have never accepted that deal. I would have gotten more.” But let me tell you, when the database is crashing and it’s preventing manufacturing from getting the widgets out and your single sourced with a vendor, you start agreeing to a whole slew of terms and conditions you would have never dreamed of previously. Because the CEO doesn’t much care if you get net 60 payment terms when he can’t ship his widgets and his revenue is tanking.
And so it is with the debt negotiations. Republicans have the House. Democrats have the Senate, the Presidency, and the media. So, no, conservative idealists everywhere, we aren’t going to get it all, not this round. So, let’s focus on getting the best deal we can. And then let’s focus on defeating President Obama and taking the Senate. Then, *then*, we will have all the leverage and that’s when we’ve got them right where we want them. That’s when you go for the big one. If you push for purity, you may end up dividing and weakening your party, losing the public and compromising your position in November. It’s time to play the long game and time to dump the purity.