President Obama effectively caved into Republican demands Tuesday when he said he’d be open to short term increase in the debt ceiling and a brief extension of funding for the federal government.

Obama, who spoke today during a hastily called White House news conference, even tied the length of the extensions to negotiations demanded by Republicans.

“If they can’t do it for a long time, do it for the period of time in which these negotiations are taking place,” he said.

How long?

Well, Obama Tuesday was elaborating on a cave-in trial balloon floated Monday by National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, who suggested during an event hosted by Politico that an extension could be as short as two or three weeks.

What am I missing here? If the deadlines are extended by another three weeks, that puts Republicans exactly where they were three weeks before the shutdown began October 1, except this time the White House is talking, which is what Obama has said he would never do under threat of a either a shutdown or eclipse of the debt limit.

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