House Speaker John Boehner has walked away from negotiations with President Obama over a deal to raise the debt limit.
“In the end, we couldn’t connect. Not because of different personalities, but because of different visions for our country,” Boehner said in a letter to colleagues. He said Mr. Obama ” is emphatic that taxes have to be raised” and “adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs.”
“For these reasons, I have decided to end discussions with the White House and begin conversations with the leaders of the Senate in an effort to find a path forward,” he said. …CBS News
Then Obama talks to the press. He doesn’t write them a letter. He talks to them and he’s angry and decisive.
Lookin’ good, Mr. Obama! Lookin’ good!
A couple of legal scholars at the University of Chicago don’t recommend the 14 Amendment. For one thing, the president doesn’t need it.
It would be better if the parties made a deal, but if they don’t, default is the worst outcome.
The 14th Amendment is a red herring, however; even if its debt provision did not exist, the president would derive authority from his paramount duty to ward off serious threats to the constitutional and economic system.
Mr. Obama needs to make clear that he will act unilaterally to raise the debt ceiling if Congress does not cooperate; if he does so, then we predict that Congress will cooperate by enacting the McConnell plan or a similar fig leaf, and so Mr. Obama will not need to follow through on his threat, and the constitutional crisis will pass — just as it did with Roosevelt. Republicans will be publicly outraged, but privately relieved. They do not want an economic catastrophe; they can avoid violating their no-taxes pledge; and they retain the power to fight the budget battle another day. As for the president, he really has no other choice.
And I don’t believe Republican outrage would go over at all well with the American public at this point. Polls have shown that the American public have the Republicans’ numbers. Crash, bam, plop — one by one, across the map.
Cross posted from the blog Prairie Weather.