The GOP Finds a Briar Patch (Guest Voice)
The GOP Finds a Briar Patch
by The Magicial Sky Father
Mitch McConnell may be politically craven and devoid of any pretense of a spine of the ideological variety but he should not be solely blamed for his latest attempt to resolve the debt ceiling debate. You see he is stuck between a rock and a hard place within his own party’s coalition. The rock in this scenario is the Tea Party that refuses to send one more red cent to the US government. The hard place would be Wall Street, the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.
According to the Washington Post they took the step of sending a letter to all parties involved in the current standoff. They said many things but they can basically be broken down to this “raise the debt ceiling and stop playing around.” When these groups speak the Democratic party gets annoyed but the GOP perks up and listens. This is why Mitch took one quick glance at the score on the board and the clock and decided to punt. It was the only option to both still use the issue against the President while still holding together the GOP coalition.
Problem is that the fracture has already begun. The Tea Party almost immediately began calling for his head in the blogosphere all while the business friendly side of the GOP began extolling the plans virtues. See, they would get to raise the debt limit which they know for a fact has to happen while avoiding having to actually vote for it and break a litany of campaign promises. In essence, they would be not voting for it prior to not voting against it.
In short, Mitch thinks GOP voters are so dumb that they will view giving Obama full control of raising the national debt as acceptable even though they voted the GOP into power to ensure that not another red cent was added to it. In his view, this will give the GOP the most solid footing to blame all fiscal woes solely on Barack Obama.
When making a deal it is often wise to question who also thinks it is a good idea. If you are buying a used car and you make an offer that the salesman jumps on too fast you know for a fact that you have just sold yourself down the river. Right on time Nancy Pelosi has come out in favor of Mitch’s idea.
Now if this would result in a giant anchor around Obama’s neck why would Pelosi do such a thing? Now, sure, he has been annoying the left for a bit while he has been rambling toward a deal, but she is still a Democrat and he is still who the Democrats have their hopes pinned on in 2012. Maybe, just maybe, Nancy knows something Mitch and a few of his friends are blind to.
Let us take a look at the possible consequences from such a deal. First off, this shifts the playing field 100% into Obama’s court. This adds muscles to an already powerful office. My main issue with the idea though is that any positive effect the GOP may find from making it is purely reliant upon the caricature they have made of Obama being more true than who he has consistently been.
What if Obama calls Mitch’s bluff?
He has already offered entitlement reform and budget cuts. He has also offered reforming the tax code to get rid of tax breaks and actually simplify the system.
In other words, the Democratic President, Barack Obama, has offered more to the GOP base than Reagan and two Bush’s combined. His only crime in the process is that he wants more revenue from the fix as opposed to a revenue neutral approach which considering a decade of tax breaks has nothing to show for it in relation to job creation as promised sounds rather rational and tilted in the GOPs favor since he has offered a 3 to 1 cuts to revenue increase breakdown. Before you cry “but the GOP has the House” you may want to think back to how the Democrats got the public option…oh hold it they did not did they.
This is a laundry list of wishes that have been under conservatives’ pillows for at minimum a couple of decades. So what happens if he actually has them drawn up and sent to the House as those nonbinding hypothetical cuts? What if he sends cuts to all of the military programs that support GOP members districts yet the military does not want or need? What if he sends them Bowles-Simpson and then hits the interview circuit while they try their best to explain why they are turning down what Reagan nor either Bush ever came close to offering?
See, the GOP is already in trouble. The president has made huge and historic concessions and the GOP flipped him off for his effort. From now until the next election any time a conservative talks of budget cutting, tax reform and entitlement reform liberals can openly mock them and ask when they will be voting for Obama because the GOP is all that stands in the way of such a deal.
I had noted in the past how this parallels the deals that Nixon tried to make with Kennedy that the GOP used as a hammer to beat liberals with for a few decades for turning down. Let me put this plainly, what Obama is offering is a deal many times better than what Kennedy was offered. This is not one issue or even a stream of single issues but nearly an entire conservative wish list. The main problem with it is by winning they will lose and I do hear their cries on the topic.
You see though all of this will be done it will be done to save big government not end it. Obama is offering the GOP a win on most major battles if they will merely sign a document surrendering to him and big government. Hard right Republicans and ideologues get this distinction but independents and leaners will not. This is mostly because independents and leaners do not want an end to big government but merely a control valve. To let Obama do what no Republican president has even whispered about during the conservative era would do irreparable harm to their tent and all while growing the Democratic tent and putting the system on more solid footing.
Do not believe this is possible?
I understand your disbelief but what you have to understand is that the President has not been playing the rope a dope strategy all by himself. It has been totally reliant upon the GOP’s projection of who he was and what his end goals were and time after time they have found themselves proven wrong.
They lost a presidential election, they allowed the ACA to be passed and then lost the battle of repealing it though in fairness even they knew this was a promise that they made for a campaign that would never happen anyway. The president, no matter how much of a brilliant politician I believe him to be, would be nothing without the group that continues fumbling the ball keystone cop style.
Do you know why everyone is using the term “revenue increases” instead of tax increases?
Two reasons, first they are mostly closing loop holes so it is not really raising anything but instead leveling the field but the second reason is the funny part. The second reason is to create cover for the GOP to take the best deal it has ever been offered. Boehner used “revenue increases” and the pundits and news shows nodded along. This is not the left trying to sneak an increase under the guise of closing loopholes but instead conservatives trying to break their own pledge because the deal is filled with long hungered for GOP candy.
Before Mitch talks the GOP into handing over all of the power to raise the debt limit himself it would be wise to figure out who Obama is more likely to hang with that lengthy rope he has been handed. The meme on the right is that Obama is just making offers because he knows that the GOP can not accept them…but what happens if you are wrong? What happens if you are routed for the hundredth time and have to publicly bury bills giving what GOP voters have requested for decades and the GOP has always answered “just a little longer.” To quote Jon Stewart when discussing trickle down economics and the nomination of Barack Obama “what happens if someone makes it rain!”
I can tell you what happens they call it a sea change election and the man that would have handed it to the Democratic party will be Mitch McConnell. Don’t say I did not warn you…
“The Magical Sky Father resides in Portland, OR his own little city on the hill where he longs to work at Powell’s and soaks up the liquid sunshine like a native. Personal politics are Libertarian Socialist or as he likes to put it a balanced extremist. He sits atop his rain cloud typing angry rants into the blogosphere trying to keep the balance in his extreme’s.”