Have you noticed something interesting about the debt ceiling negotiations: the Democratic response is all about being “deeply disappointed” and rejecting GOP plans, while the Republicans are putting forward ideas on which Congress might actually vote?

It takes you a minute to notice this, since the media is focusing only on GOP intransigence. Here is something else interesting about the negotiations: Miss Chatterbox, otherwise known as POTUS, seems to have been cut from the talks. I don’t know what this means for the negotiations (good, I imagine), but I am hoping it means the president won’t emerge from behind some screen and talk at us some more.  

But I have a question: Why aren’t the Democrats contributing anything more than kibitzing? Sure, they failed to produce a budget, but don’t they have some-um like bills-that they could offer? What are they doing with their time right now? The president has touted his own willingness to compromise but it is reported that the former law professor has yet to put anything on paper.

Whatever you think of the GOP, they at least are punching the time clock. They have come up with ideas (mostly dismissed in the media). But, alas, they have only been able to “disappoint” Senator Reid:

“I have said repeatedly, including last night and again today, that I will not support any agreement that fails to raise the debt ceiling though the end of 2012,” he said. “Anything less than that will fail to provide the certainty that the markets – and the world – are looking for, risking an immediate downgrade of America’s credit rating. This would force a tax increase on all Americans, and drain their savings funds and retirement plans as well.”

Let’s see: Yeah, the markets want certainty through 2012. I also don’t want my savings drained, though the government has already done a lot of that in the fat years when I had good book royalties. But that 2012 date? Interesting, isn’t it? What happens then?

The GOP has been described as intransigent. Tireless might be better a better word. They seem to have this quaint notion that they should put up pieces of legislation regarding the debt ceiling. Their latest plan has a fatal flaw in the eyes of Democrats: it would require a second vote in Congress before the 2012 election. Nobody wants another high wire act anytime soon-Congress has frankly exhausted me over the last few years-but Democrats in particular don’t want the public to get another eyeful of how this disgraceful town operates before November 2012.  

Here is how the plan that disappointed Harry Reid would work, according to Business Insider: it would raise the debt ceiling in two stages. The second hike would come only after cuts called for in the first stage were made. Uh-oh!  Reid’s role in this crisis seems to be mostly sitting around, waiting for the GOP to hand him another plan to evoke his disappointment. Nice work, if you can get it. Reid appears not to have advanced a single idea to move this process (should we count our blessings or be angry?).

Reid said the decision on whether a deal is reached before the Asian financial markets open rests in Republican hands.

“I hope that Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell will reconsider their intransigence,” he said. “Their unwillingness to compromise is pushing us to the brink of a default on the full faith and credit of the United States. We have run out of time for politics. Now is the time for cooperation.”