E.J. Dionne notes the obvious:
The economy needs another jolt, but Congress is in gridlock. Democrats, or most of them, realize that their political futures and the well-being of millions of households hang on whether unemployment can be brought down. Yet Republicans have the capacity to block even the smallest steps forward…
For the moment, Republicans have no interest in moving the nation’s debate toward investments in job creation because they gain twice over from keeping Washington mired in discussions on the deficit. It’s a brute fact that Republicans benefit if the economy stays sluggish.
I don’t know why anyone would be surprised by this. Gridlock is second nature to the GOP. It accomplishes two goals: first, it prevents the Democrats from passing anything that could possibly bring down the deficit or create jobs and thereby hands them campaign fuel, and second, it proves what they believe to be gospel about government: it doesn’t work very well, especially when you do everything you can to sabotage it.