Mitch McConnel’s “Deal”
He seems to think he’s being oh-so-clever with his proposal to “give” the White House the power to raise the debt ceiling without getting the approval of Congress first. The Administration would have the power to raise the debt ceiling and Congress could only defeat the move with a 2/3rds vote in both houses. Really? On the surface it sounds like a slick way around the current impasse – go back to the way things were before 1974 and the battle will be moot.
But wait, McConnell seems to be doing what Republicans love to do, evade all responsibility for their part in our present financial fix, and still have the ability to blame the President afterwards for not coming to an agreement with them. If I can see it, it’s got to be a pretty transparent move, yet I’ve seen nothing so far that makes the same point.
David Brooks, in his really great July 5th column at the New York Times, ends with this:
If the debt ceiling talks fail, independent voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.
And they will be right.
If McConnell has his way, responsible Republicans will be unable to take control, and the talks will fail. The one thing that McConnell and other Republicans can’t get past is their determination to make Obama fail, no matter what the cost to themselves and the country. They have forgotten, or refuse to see, the fact that their “base” constitutes barely 1/3 of the country, and that what they call listening to the American People, is just an excuse for their extremist views. They have forgotten that their Constitutional duty is to the country as a whole and not to some fanatic faction. (Of course, I have to admit that according to Rasmussen, declared Democrats are also just over 1/3.) In any case, the rest of us seem to be pretty much in the middle between the 2 extremes, and that 1/3 contains the people both parties should be speaking to and for, since they are the swing voters who matter the most. That’s where the President seems to be.
Here’s this from Politico:
Online, a cadre of establishment-type conservatives largely aligned with Wall Street (and the Wall Street Journal) are backing McConnell’s move as “fiendishly clever,” while grass-roots Tea Party types pronounced themselves horrified and called for the Senate leader to be burned in effigy.
So far, the President and the White House seem to be avoiding the trap. I think Obama may be a better poker player than that. I think Reid and Pelosi need to have their heads examined if they continue to support this non deal. And if the Republicans really do split, Obama may have the chance to divide and conquer. In any case, it will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.