Charles Krauthammer was absolutely correct about that, and he went back to the Clinton/Gingrich budget showdown in 1995 to help make his point. Krauthammer’s segment starts at approx. 1:40.
“People have to remember that with divided government, Gingrich attempted to govern when the Republicans had two houses of congress, in the absence of the Presidency, and were defeated. And now the idea is that the Republicans are going to govern and impose all these cuts holding only the House? It’s impossible. And if they lose the public relations battle here, it will be like 1996, all over again…and they’ll lose the Presidency…If they want real change they’re going to have to elect a Republican, and that is what McConnell has in the back of his mind…”
Brit Hume’s plan to get a debt ceiling agreement with massive cuts and a Balanced Budget Amendment sounds good, but Mitch McConnell’s statement on the Senate floor, today is landing like a lead balloon in the right-wing blogosphere:
Michelle Malkin is hitting her head against the wall: Another mortifying McConnell head-banging-against-the-wall moment
Here’s Rich Lowry: “It’s beginning to get out on the Hill. It’s complicated, but here is the gist as I understand it: Congress authorizes in legislation the president to submit a request for an increase in the debt limit in three tranches over the next year or so, with corresponding proposals for spending cuts; when the president submits his request, Congress immediately considers a resolution of disapproval; if the resolution passes, the president can veto it and–assuming his veto is subsequently upheld–he gets the increase in the debt limit. Got it? More later…”
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich even took to Twitter to voice his disapproval, saying, “McConnell’s plan is an irresponsible surrender to big government, big deficits and continued overspending. I oppose it.”
Here’s what’s got conservatives so up in arms: We Will Not Pretend That a Bad Deal Is a Good One:
It wasn’t a bad speech, and given the predicament Republicans are in, (which Krauthammer crystallized, above), you can have some sympathy for his way of thinking.
There are more quotes at Rubin’s article; it was a good speech. He sums up by noting that Obama insists on one of these three options:
1) Raising taxes
2) Smoke and mirrors to conceal the fact he’s not cutting spending, and endeavors to persuade the Republican Party to join him in this deception
…and that Republicans will not agree to any of these. From that, he concludes that real change is impossible while Obama is President.
Now, regarding his actual “backstop” plan.
Guy Benson explains. It’s about politics. Or at least Republicans refusing to go along with one of Obama’s “three options.”
See also: Jen Rubin: EXCLUSIVE: McConnell to Obama: Eat your own darn peas
McConnell is not known for his fiery rhetoric. But plainly, the White House shenanigans have aggravated, if not angered, him. He does a service to his own side and to the national debate by refusing to fuzz up the issues: “We will not pretend that a bad deal is a good one.” He laid out the options: “If you think that the federal government isn’t big enough, then the only responsible thing to do is to support higher taxes. For those who are honest about that, I appreciate their candor. But for those of us who don’t think the federal government should be in charge of banks, the auto industry, the housing business, the student loan business, health care and regulating everything else under the sun, we’re not about to further enable that model of government by shaking down the American people for more money at a time when they can least afford it.”
McConnell’s plan is the ultimate backstop. If Obama doesn’t get off his tax hikes, McConnell has a plan ready for a vote. Democrats could try to filibuster it, but default would then result. It is time to change the rules of the game, McConnell has decided. Let’s see what happens.
Ace thinks it’s a crap deal, and if this is true, he probably right: Liberals Ezra Klein, Joe Klein Are Lovin’ McConnell’s Proposal
The old, fat Klein makes the point that no one cares about the debt ceiling hike. At least, not the broad voting population.
I mentioned in a comment that McConnell had a similar scheme back in December 2009 as we were voting on ObamaCare. We could have forced the Democrats to remain in session through the holidays; instead, McConnell agreed to let them recess and come back, in exchange for a supposedly prominent vote on the 2010 debt ceiling hike.
Yeah, that wasn’t as prominent as planned, was it? No one reported on it and it resulted in zero political benefit.
Here’s the sort of shameless demagoguery Republicans are having to deal with:
Doug Powers notes:
He could have said something like “If a deal isn’t made there will of course be a problem paying for Social Security in the long term, but in the short term I have many options as far as shuffling dollars around to fund high priorities, so I can say with confidence that Americans who depend on Social Security will still get their checks for the foreseeable future while we sort this out.” But Obama didn’t say that.
Of course not. This is the Chicago way. During the government shutdown budget talks in April, it was the Troops’ pay that Obama couldn’t guarantee.
Presidential leadership is about making difficult choices and assigning rational priorities. Because Mr. Obama is virtually incapable of making difficult choices, he is content to “lead from behind,” as he does with the budget. The debt ceiling–which is in place to keep irresponsible politicians whose only skill is wasting other people’s money from literally spending America into oblivion–need not be raised. The alternative is to get spending immediately under control, but this is not a possibility for Mr. Obama. If the kitty is a bit short, his only solution is to rob pensioners? What brilliant, inspired leadership. No doubt our Treasure Secretary, Mr. Geithner, came up with that one. May I suggest a few additional alternatives?
Mr. Obama could–and should–have said:
(1) I can’t guarantee that the EPA will be able to continue regulating American business out of existence while destroying jobs.
(2) I can’t guarantee that the Department of Education will be able to continue wasting huge amounts of money while over-regulating school districts everywhere.
(3) I can’t guarantee that the ATF will be able to continue allowing weapons to flow into the hands of domestic and foreign criminals.
(4) I can’t guarantee that all of my unelected, unaccountable czars will be able to continue to subvert American democracy.
He ain’t finished – read all 15 of his ideas. Not that Bam would take them up. It’s fun to dream, anyway. The point is – there are any number of programs and bureaucracies that could be cut and no one would miss them (in fact the country would be better off without them). This is why Obama is such a cheap Chicago thug for trying to scare granny with his vicious SS threat..
Stay strong now, Mr. Speaker – no crying, now…
photo via Daylife.
More Krauthammer as he notes with an air of disdain: President Obama’s deficit cutting is a farce:
He wants Republicans to call Obama’s bluff on a debt ceiling 3 month extension deal, because Obama will get the blame when he refuses to sign it.
Republicans have to play this very, very smart. How hard can it be to outsmart a community organizer?
Found a cool new website with a relevant post:
Monty Pelerin’s World: President Quixote’s Legacy: Confused, Ill-Educated and Not Too Bright
How dangerous this delusional man might be is moot. What seems no longer at issue is Obama’s “superior intelligence.” Obama’s belief system is dominated by the dismissed exploitation theories of Karl Marx and the 60′s style radicals he grew up around. The Reverend Wright, preached to him for twenty years about exploitation in terms of Black Liberation Theology. An unrepentant terrorist, Bill Ayers was a close friend and arguably author of one of Obama’s autobiographies. His personally selected “Czars” are the sorriest collection of Presidential advisors ever, at least in terms of reflecting American values and beliefs.
Many went on the same intellectual voyage that Obama did. Most of us outgrew this nonsense, usually by our mid-twenties. Obama never did. He is still a child, intellectually undeveloped and locked into the ideas from the 60′s — both the 1960s and the Marxist 1860s. In that sense he is an intellectual dwarf, frozen in the equivalent of a state of intellectual puberty. His “knowledge” is based on nothing but the discredited ideologies of Socialism.
The claim that Obama is the smartest man to ever hold presidential office is absurd and a reflection on the state of our media who insist on propping up this man-child. Obama’s obsession with keeping his college records and personal past secret is prima facie evidence that the claim is untrue. His knowledge base and dismal performance on the world stage is even more damning.
Instead of having a superior intellect, we likely have the most ignorant, ideological, brainwashed dupe this country has ever elected to high office. The man’s intellectual development never progressed beyond the stage of all-night freshman bull sessions where all the world’s problems were solved (with help from adequate amounts of beer of course).
This intellectual pygmy must be removed from office by whatever possible peaceful means. Impeachment is in order, but will not happen. Thus the 2012 election is critical.
The Democrat Party knows what happened in 2010. They also know that they have an albatross at the top of their ticket. It is likely they will turn on this poseur before the election. If so, this act will be their most significant public service in years.
Read the full article at the site. It’s all that good.
Linked by Michelle Malkin in Buzzworthy, thanks!