The glimmerings of an eventual agreement are beginning, slowly, to emerge. Democrats want relief from the straitjacket idiocy of sequester cuts. Republicans want entitlement reforms including some that the president has already ponied up.
The riddle is how to get to the point where some such deal can be struck. The administration insists on handling the issues seriatim — first fund government and raise the ceiling, then we can talk. Congressional Democrats, seeing improved electoral prospects in 2014, are similarly disinclined to budge.
The wisdom of Solomon was that he could grasp the motivations of each mother and bluff accordingly. But the fundamental difference between biblical times and now is that Solomon was dealing with rational actors. Obama’s got Ted Cruz. Babies beware.
Ruth Marcus is an editorial writer for The Washington Post.