Tag: politics

House Republicans are in a Big Bind

As the debt ceiling debate enters its final stages, House Republicans face increasing political isolation in their opposition to sweeping budget reforms that President Obama has pushed for and polls show most Americans now prefer.

Republican resistance to compromise has turned a significant bloc of voters against them, according to several new polls, and has frustrated members of their own leadership as well as establishment GOP figures.

The fear among leading Republicans is that the party may lose an opportunity to lock in budget cuts that go beyond anything Democrats had previously been willing to consider. Five-term Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said he had never seen any spending reductions attached to a debt ceiling vote.

“It’s inconceivable,” Cole said. “Some of the members who haven’t been here don’t appreciate how much John Boehner has gotten for them.”

If the House Republicans screw this up and we don’t get something passed, they are going to be the rallying point and reason for which Obama gets another term in office.

PR at it’s Finests

WHEN IN DOUBT, RENAME IT – One humble thought that occurred to M.M. is to write some kind of emergency legislation that doesn’t touch the phrase “debt limit.” Call it the “Protect American Jobs Act of 2011,” and include language expressing great disdain over Washington spending but acknowledging the need to shift the borrowing limit to “prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs that would occur if American debt is downgraded and interest rates that every small business owner has to pay go sharply higher.” Throw in something in about moms, baseball and apple pie and everyone can go have a good summer and not fear that a crummy economy is about to become a dead one.

I don’t think anyone would fall for this, but it’s a nice idea.

NYT’s Take on the McConnell Plan via POLITICO Morning Money

KISS OF DEATH? NYT LIKES McCONNELL PLAN – NYT lead editorial: “The plan is no less cynical than the original threat, but if the House goes along, it may allow Washington, the credit markets and the American people to breathe a little easier. Mr. McConnell’s plan would allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion in three increments through the end of 2012. Congress could vote to disapprove each increment, but the president could veto its resolutions of disapproval, and the debt ceiling would then rise. … The proposal is clearly meant to shift all the blame for raising the debt ceiling onto the president, and away from Republicans. http://nyti.ms/r0WLOQ  

“Congress hears outcry from business lobby on debt ceiling and deficit” via The Washington Post

A sprawling coalition of Wall Street and Main Street business leaders sent an unmistakable message to lawmakers Tuesday: Enough squabbling. Get the debt ceiling raised.

The Republican freshman might have been voted in by “the people,” but they’re funding came from Wall St. Who really gave you a mandate?

“Snatching press releases from the jaws of policy concessions” via Wonkbook

Well, that was unexpected. After months of negotiations, after the White House offered Republicans a deal that would raise the Medicare eligibility age and cut Social Security by hundreds of billions of dollars and forswear any future leverage on the tax issue, McConnell countered with a deal in which the two sides wouldn’t so much reach an agreement as they would agree that if they don’t reach an agreement, Republicans will let Obama raise the debt ceiling and Obama will let Republicans criticize him for it.

McConnell is an evil, evil genius. He realizes the kids in the House aren’t going to let a deal happen and understands the importance of raising the debt ceiling.

While I don’t like the man at all, this is an extremely well played political move. My hat is off to you, Mr. McConnell

“Cantor conspicuous confusion over compromise” via Political Animal

Cantor added that his party’s concession is “the fact that we are voting — the fact that we are even discussing voting for a debt ceiling increase.”

And with this, the House Majority Leader has slipped into true madness.

First, characterizing a willingness to raise the debt ceiling as some kind of enormous sacrifice is insane. We’re talking about paying a bill for money we’ve already spent. Cantor wants the political world to understand that his party sees this as an “existential” problem? Maybe he can start by explaining why Republicans had no qualms about voting to raise the debt ceiling seven out of the eight years Bush was in office.

Maybe it only became “an existential problem” after a Democrat got elected?

I said this yesterday.

POLITICO Playbook

BEHIND THE CURTAIN – Email from a top Democratic aide, re last night’s White House meeting: “First off, a number of folks in the room were struck by the fact that Cantor did virtually all of the talking for House Republicans, while Boehner basically just sat there. Second, Reid expressed frustration that every time we try to do something big on the deficit, Republicans walk away from the table. He cited the fiscal commission (when the 7 Republican cosponsors voted against the commission’s findings), Coburn walking away from the Gang of 6, Cantor walking away from the Biden talks, and now Boehner walking away from the big deal in the latest round. Differences over substance aside, his point was about process – we’re never going to get anything big done for the country if Republicans keep walking away from the table every time talks get serious.”

The Republicans need to get serious and grow up. The Democrats need to prepare for the default with a full on PR assault. I don’t understand how the Republicans, acting like such children, can control these talks and public opinion on the matter. I know we live in a country of idiots, but come on people.

The Republicans will not act on anything serious until they make Obama look inept (they’ve done a pretty good job so far) and they take the White House in 2012. That’s all this is about. They want America to default so they can blame Obama and win the White House.

Honestly, if I saw Eric Cantor walking down the street I’d have a really hard time not punching him in the face. And as much as he can’t admit it, Boehner would want to shake my hand and thank me for doing so.