13 July 2011

Republicans implode on debt-ceiling fight?

A startling development indeed. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has proposed a plan essentially giving Obama power to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally, subject to engaging in some non-binding kabuki with Congress. John Boehner, arguably the most powerful Republican in the country, and Grover Norquist are on board, signifying approval by the establishment right. It looks like a total cave-in.

Most likely the Republicans have known all along that refusing to raise the debt ceiling wasn't a real option -- and if they didn't, Wall Street certainly did, and has been telling them so in blunt terms for some time. Once it became clear that Obama would not yield to their demand for a deficit deal preserving the ruinous tax cuts that got us into this mess in the first place, they had no choice but to back down.

The plan would put the onus of raising the debt ceiling on Obama, while the Congressional kabuki part would let the Republicans posture and make speeches without any risk of actually interfering with saving the economy. It would also keep the deficit issue in the headlines for months. But it's hard to see how this will hurt Obama much. Poll after poll shows that most voters -- even Republican voters -- don't want the benefit cuts that Republican leaders have proposed. By overwhelming margins, they'd rather see the deficit reduced by raising taxes. "Let Obama do what the voters want, and hope they don't like it" doesn't seem like a very effective strategy, but at this point it may be the best the Republicans can hope for.

Meanwhile, the red-meat right is throwing a fit, and I can hardly wait to see how teabaggerdom in general will seethe with fury as the news spreads. McConnell and Boehner have, for whatever reason, finally done something that's actually good for America, and they'll never be forgiven for it. Pass the popcorn.

More reactions here.

In other good news, Janice Hahn wins the CA-36 special election by a solid margin, and Wisconsin Democrats beat the Republican "fake Dem" strategy, setting the stage for a clean recall election on August 9.


Anonymous Sherry Peyton said...

I get so angry with Obama because it always looks like he's giving away the store. And then in the end, he appears to be the only one holding cards. I think he and his politicos figured this out a long while ago, and just let the GOPers and their Teanuts slip the noose around their necks and step off the chair.

13 July, 2011 08:55  
Blogger Four Dinners said...

But even better news! Oldham Athletic Football Club are not bankrupt after all!


Well? It is me!...;-)

Cheers old bean


13 July, 2011 13:53  
Anonymous nonnie9999 said...

i don't know if i'd call bronzo the clown the most powerful rethug in the country. that title might go to eric cantor. bronzo appears to be scared shitless of cantor and his adopted teabagger army. bronzo doesn't get to do anything he wants, because he never has the votes.

13 July, 2011 17:52  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

SP: That's supported by this.

4D: If they aren't bankrupt, they should expect the EU to come after them for cash for a bail-out of those who are.

Nonnie: Well, he's in the most institutionally powerful post currently held by a Republican. In the sense that whoever can convince everyone he's crazy enough to shoot the hostage has the most power, that seems to shift pretty often these days.

14 July, 2011 05:02  
Blogger Nance said...

"...non-binding kabuki with Congress." You have a way with concepts that is unmatched!

With Sherry Peyton, I struggle to believe it many times, but it's just possible that Obama is a better poker player than he might appear. Lawdy, I do hope so!

Have come to rely on your take, buddy!

14 July, 2011 05:35  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nance: I hope so too.....

14 July, 2011 13:10  
Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

I sometimes don't know... it seems like within the public consciousness, a crisis averted becomes the equivalent of a crisis "hoaxed". If the independents don't believe we were teetering on the brink (as the Tea Party doesn't believe now), saving us from a debt crisis will gain no traction for Obama.

I wished and wished and wished that Obama would have said JUST ONCE publicly that during the Bush Administration, the debt ceiling was raised 9 or 10 times. So why is it a big deal NOW? But no, Mr. Diplomat Obama chats nicey nicey with the press so people don't get pissed off at his good friends, the Republicans.

Ok so this is a rant... well, somebody has to!!

15 July, 2011 09:46  

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