by Jim Nintzel
ABC News reports that Sen. Jon Kyl has followed Congressman Eric Cantor out of the debt talks with Democrats:
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., will also drop out of the debt talks, a source within his office confirms today. The Arizona Republican’s office will issue a formal statement shortly.
After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) dropped out of the talks this morning, Senator Kyl was the lone Republican in the group left. And with his withdrawal late this morning, the group does not have a Republican negotiator left in the room.
The group was set to meet for the 11th time this afternoon with Vice President Biden, their third meeting of the week.
The group started as six — but is now down to four members from Congress. The remaining members are: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Assistant House Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
UPDATE 12:00 p.m. - A Senior Democratic aide says, “Cantor and Kyl just threw Boehner and McConnell under the bus. This move is an admission that there will be a need for revenues and Cantor and Kyl don't want to be the ones to make that deal.”
There will be plenty of analysis of this in the hours and days to come, but it boils down to this: Republicans have become so calcified in their anti-tax position that they're unwilling to accept that the future of this country depends not only on cuts in spending, but some kind of increase in taxes. That's simple economic reality, but the GOP is in deep denial mode and appears ready to allow economic collapse rather than acknowledge it.