Backlash to McConnell’s contingency plan continues

posted at 12:00 pm on July 13, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Who knows what to think about the surprising turn of events that took place yesterday, when, after a rousing speech on the Senate floor to the effect that he would not cave on the debt ceiling, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed a backup plan that would essentially allow the president to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling?

McConnell’s plan has only one defense. Let’s call it “the argument from politics” or “the argument from pragmatism.” In an editorial this morning, The Wall Street Journal provided a representative articulation of this argument:

The hotter precincts of the blogosphere were calling this a sellout yesterday, though they might want to think before they shout. The debt ceiling is going to be increased one way or another, and the only question has been what if anything Republicans could get in return. If Mr. Obama insists on a tax increase, and Republicans won’t vote for one, then what’s the alternative to Mr. McConnell’s maneuver?

Republicans who say they can use the debt limit to force Democrats to agree to a balanced budget amendment are dreaming. Such an amendment won’t get the two-thirds vote to pass the Senate, but it would give every Democrat running for re-election next year a chance to vote for it and claim to be a fiscal conservative. …

The tea party/talk-radio expectations for what Republicans can accomplish over the debt-limit showdown have always been unrealistic. As former Senator Phil Gramm once told us, never take a hostage you’re not prepared to shoot. Republicans aren’t prepared to stop a debt-limit increase because the political costs are unbearable. Republicans might have played this game better, but the truth is that Mr. Obama has more cards to play. …

Even if Mr. Obama gets his debt-limit increase without any spending cuts, he will pay a price for the privilege. He’ll have reinforced his well-earned reputation as a spender with no modern peer. He’ll own the record deficits and fast-rising debt. And he’ll own the U.S. credit-rating downgrade to AA if Standard & Poor’s so decides.

We’d far prefer a bipartisan deal to cut spending and reform entitlements without a tax increase. But if Mr. Obama won’t go along, there’s no reason Republicans should help him dodge the political consequences by committing debt-limit harakiri.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, essentially said the same yesterday, although Norquist also says he doesn’t specifically endorse the McConnell proposal, but rather a move of some kind to force the president to put a plan in writing (which McConnell’s maneuver does).

McConnell’s plan, while it may be a “last resort” option,” is simply a recognition of the fact that significant budgetary changes are all but impossible as long as Obama is in the White House. Norquist says it is extremely important that Republicans don’t let the president off the hook by “putting their fingerprints on his misbehavior” and agreeing to a lousy bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling (particularly one that raises taxes). Doing so would give Obama a huge political victory that is completely undeserved.

But some conservative groups are in effect turning McConnell’s own words on the Senate floor against him, telling McConnell, “We will not pretend a bad deal is a good one.” ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell, for example, had this to say in a statement yesterday, as the ForAmerica Facebook team posted a red alert urging the group’s more than one million online activists to call McConnell to disapprove:

If Mitch McConnell thinks caving to President Obama and allowing him to raise the debt ceiling without cuts is the way to become Senate Majority Leader he is sorely mistaken. The American people elected him to serve as a check on Obama’s appetite for out-of-control spending, not to write him a blank check to continue the binge. It’s these sort of shenanigans that got Republicans thrown out of power in 2006. If he is serious about giving Obama and the Democrats a free pass in exchange for not having to make the difficult decisions, he should look to John Boehner to see real courage.

Bozell is right that Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) continue to fight for meaningful spending cuts in exchange for a debt limit increase, but, notably, Boehner himself characterized McConnell’s plan as “good work.” The line from House Republicans seems to be that having this backup plan in place could substantially help the deal negotiation itself.

But I’m skeptical. All along, I’ve had what the WSJ called “tea-party/talk radio … unrealistic expectations” of Republicans. In my mind, the debt ceiling debate was a hostage Republicans were prepared to shoot — because, with no real threat of default and with the overwhelming support of the American people to oppose any debt limit increase at all, “no deal” needn’t have had politically unbearable consequences, provided Republicans somehow made it clear any painful consequences (Social Security checks not going out, for example) were a result of the president’s decisions as to how to prioritize spending under a debt limit budget.

Naively, I thought that’s what McConnell was saying on the Senate floor yesterday — that no solution could be reached, so Republicans would have to vote against a debt limit increase. What he was actually saying was that no solution could be reached, so he would have to propose a plan that would force (or free) the president to raise the ceiling by himself. The difference between the two is more than $2 trillion in authorized debt.

McConnell’s plan does provide political cover — but how cool would it have been if he would have had confidence that the American people would pay attention and provide that cover themselves by nobly accepting whatever difficult consequences ensued from no debt limit increase and voting out the bad budgeters in Nov. 2012?

But then the question becomes, could Republicans have depended on the electorate in that way? Maybe not. Perhaps my faith in the American people is also reflective of “tea party/talk radio … unrealistic expectations.” Maybe politicians like McConnell have learned to hedge their bets with political tricks because experience has taught them the voting public is fickle. Maybe the mistrust rightly goes both ways: The electorate can’t trust politicians to be principled, politicians can’t trust the electorate to reward principled decision-making … Cynicism setting in.

Update: In her excellent column on the subject, Ann Coulter essentially answers my above question, “Could Republicans have depended on the electorate in that way?” She writes:

The problem isn’t with elected Republicans; the problem is that the people want their treats. According to a Gallup poll in January, more than 60 percent of Americans want no cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which currently consume more than one-third of the entire federal budget.

Obama and the rest of his party are determined to keep increasing the size of our massively bloated government, on and on, year after year, without end in sight, until everyone with a job works exclusively to pay taxes to the government. Plan B is for everyone to move to Greece.

Republicans can’t cut anything as long as they control only one-half of one branch of government. If purist conservatives on the outside want serious spending cuts, they’d better give the GOP a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress first.


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Please consider the following as an alternative to the McConnell debt ceiling proposal:

The Treasury, OMB and/or CBO must have an estimate for currently authorized/required spending for August. Call that “S.”
The Treasury, OMB and/or CBO must have an estimate for projected tax revenues for August. Call that “R.”

Propose an increase in the debt ceiling of (90% of S) – R the following proviso:
Full payments for the debt, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the military and their families (and any other payments that you consider political hot potatoes) must take precedence over any other spending.

This would require that 10% be cut from the budget for August, but would prevent default, and safeguard Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the military.
The administration would have to make the “hard choices” they always talk about, and find 10% to cut in the budget.
If the Senate Democrats won’t pass it, or the President vetoes it, then they are responsible for choosing default or denial of entitlements or military pay rather than cutting 10% from a budget that has grown 24% in two years.

Naturally, you can choose some percentage other than 10%. The lower you make it, the more unreasonable the Democrats would have to be to reject it, but the less progress that would be made toward the debt.

SwampYankee on July 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM

It’s like Sarah Palin said, paraphrasing Hemingway, how did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly. One day we will experience a sudden crash. Better sooner rather than later. Don’t keep putting off the pain. No, I’m not a masochist. Or even a realist. I just don’t like pain.

Paul-Cincy on July 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Tina, have you not realized that most men in D.C. (Treacher is exempt) have no testicular fortitude.

NONE!

You have more testosterone running through your veins than most of the males there.

You poor woman.

upinak on July 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

McConnell is weak. He makes weak Boehner look like Superman.

Just a reminder in case there are any Santorum fans left… at the time of his “retirement” (loss in Senate race), Rick “Strong Conservative” Santorum had a lower ACU rating than McConnell (Graham, Dole, Martinez, etc.).

mankai on July 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Boehner Budget Deal 2011: It’s brilliant!…oh wait
McConnell Debt Limit Deal 2011: It’s brilliant!…oh wait

Seriously, the reaction from the ususal suspects is becoming predictable. Doesn’t change the fact that this unconstitutional “Contingency Plan” stinks on ice.

The Tea Party elected Republicans in 2010 for a reason: STOP THE SPENDING! We were told we had to capitulate on the 2011 budget deal because the “real battle” was going to be on the debt limit. Now, the pathetic GOP leadership is ready to punt on that as well. Unfrickin’ believable.

I am fed up. The GOP is worthless. It’s 3rd party time.

Norwegian on July 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Pre-emptive surrender is always a losing tactic.

landlines on July 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM

I am fed up. The GOP is worthless. It’s 3rd party time.

Norwegian on July 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM

No, not a third. Just a new one.. with set rules on how to be, act and so on politically.

upinak on July 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM

McConnell’s plan does provide political cover — but how cool would it have been if he would have had confidence that the American people would pay attention and provide that cover themselves by nobly accepting whatever difficult consequences ensued from no debt limit increase and voting out the bad budgeters in Nov. 2012?

well said!

rob verdi on July 13, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Somebody PLEASE primary this dried up gasbag.

CurtZHP on July 13, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Obama wants pain… I think he’s going to lose… let him own the debt ceiling raise.

ninjapirate on July 13, 2011 at 12:10 PM

It’s very easy to tell whether the McConnell plan is smart or stupid: Pass it. If Obama signs it, then it’s a stupid deal that will cost the GOP seats in 2012. But if the deal is as smart as McConnell and the WSJ think it is, then Obama will veto it [or Reid will take a bullet for him and block it in the Senate; same difference] and force the GOP to give him a clean, straightforward debt-ceiling increase instead.

Fabozz on July 13, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Raise the ceiling to 20 trillion, or 30 or 40, what’s the difference? These stupid leftist trash have no clue what they are doing, might as well give them a face full of reality and allow the walls to crumble down around them.

If not now, we’re doomed soon enough in the near future anyway; there is a majority of Americans who rather than work would let the government loot on their behalf from the productive.

Bishop on July 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Please consider the following as an alternative to the McConnell debt ceiling proposal:

The Treasury, OMB and/or CBO must have an estimate for currently authorized/required spending for August. Call that “S.”
The Treasury, OMB and/or CBO must have an estimate for projected tax revenues for August. Call that “R.”

Propose an increase in the debt ceiling of (90% of S) – R the following proviso:
Full payments for the debt, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the military and their families (and any other payments that you consider political hot potatoes) must take precedence over any other spending.

This would require that 10% be cut from the budget for August, but would prevent default, and safeguard Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the military.
The administration would have to make the “hard choices” they always talk about, and find 10% to cut in the budget.

I like this proposal, which would force the Government (even in the event of default) to pay the “hot potato” items will defunding “expendable” government services, such as ObamaCare, the Department of Energy, and the EPA.

But this should be a SHORT-TERM (for example, 3-month) fix–increase the debt ceiling by 3-months’ worth of deficits in exchange for the cuts, so that we have to have this debate AGAIN, to work out the long-term fix, BEFORE the election.

If a long-term fix can’t be worked out over the short-term extension, then keep pressing the short-term fixes so that Obama can’t escape this debate between now and the election.

Steve Z on July 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

This is just going to turn ugly real fast. Cheeky comments in the senate are going to haunt these out of touch people. They better get the debt under control now.

All this other stuff is ropa-dopa.

Hening on July 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

El rushbo

Gop elite care more about the lsm than us

Indeed rush, indeed

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM

But then the question becomes, could Republicans have depended on the electorate in that way? Maybe not.

Maybe not, Ed? Please. Try definitely not.

Everyone (or at least 2/3 to 3/4 of the population) wants their candy. They absolutely don’t want to pay for it and they might be happy to see other people lose their candy, but they definitely still want what’s coming to them.

Dukeboy01 on July 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM

El rushbo

Gop elite care more about the lsm than us

Indeed rush, indeed

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM

The GOP Elite did not learn a thing from the Midterms.

kingsjester on July 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Everyone knows there will be a crash. I don’t mean a stock market crash, but a sudden, glaring, and obvious inability of the government to pay for all of its programs. All the politicians seem to care about is being as far away from it as possible when it happens. Cowardice. Self-delusion. An epic failure of leadership.

*sound of the largest crystal chandelier falling a hundred feet and shattering on the ground into a million pieces*

“I didn’t do it! I didn’t do it! I wasn’t even nearby! I was in another state!”

Paul-Cincy on July 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Lets think about this from a purely political perspective:

1. The Left and Dem Base will rightly salute the courage of Obama in defeating the Republicans and gin up his support for 2012.
2. Many people on the fence will rightly conclude Obama means buisness and is now the Decider in Chief.
3. The Right will be dispirited and disgusted.
4. Bad policies will be further enforced.
5. Obama can cut support to GOP priorities ties and support Dem constituencies, further strengthening his hands.
6. Corporations will see who has the money to hand out and act accordingly.
Did I miss something?

rob verdi on July 13, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Don’t remember which commenter mentioned it, but now whenever I see him, all I can think of is a turtle.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Ooops. Sorry, Tina. I’m still used to the “Ed = Daytime posts, Allah = afternoon/ evening posts” format.

Dukeboy01 on July 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Cynicism setting in.

Welcome to my world.

Cody1991 on July 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Dukeboy01 on July 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Ed doesn’t wear skirts.

upinak on July 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Exactamundo. KJ

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Don’t remember which commenter mentioned it, but now whenever I see him, all I can think of is a turtle.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Kind of like every time I see Larry King he reminds me of Kermit the Frog.

PatriotRider on July 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Let’s not save the country from oblivion, let’s give Obama the power so that people will blame him for driving the country into oblivion, and then after we are in oblivion the Republicans can…oh, wait.

Raisedbywolves on July 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Can the House GOP propose a bill that does nothing but raise the debt ceiling, then let it pass only on Dem votes? Then, pass it along to the Senate and have it pass only on Dem votes?

Obama and the Dems would own it all, wouldn’t they?

BuckeyeSam on July 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

rob verdi on July 13, 2011 at 12:15 PM

7) Out of work public sector unionists will find ready employment in the Domestic Security Force, formed to respond to the food and energy riots that will start hitting the cities.

Bishop on July 13, 2011 at 12:20 PM

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Skidmarks on the bowl…

Seven Percent Solution on July 13, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I guess they didn’t hear me last November. And where is the Tea Party organizing some rally’s in D.C.

Now please excuse my while I run to the store and stock up on some KY jelly, I think I’m going to need copius amounts of it.

Knucklehead on July 13, 2011 at 12:20 PM

GTFO to both O and McConnell.

Fuquay Steve on July 13, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Yup 7%

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Now please excuse my while I run to the store and stock up on some KY jelly, I think I’m going to need copius amounts of it.

Knucklehead on July 13, 2011 at 12:20 PM

grab me some warming or tingly stuff! Iat least want to enjoy the experience since I will be closing my eyes.

upinak on July 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Kind of like every time I see Larry King he reminds me of Kermit the Frog.

PatriotRider on July 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I think he looks like a turkey.

BuckeyeSam on July 13, 2011 at 12:24 PM

VIA newsbusters,tingles likes Mitchie’s plan

Can’t get linky at this time, however, if tingles like this, the gop needs to run away from this

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Tina: I agree with you that the debt ceiling was not the same as the government shutdown situation. But Obama was trying to make the debt ceiling issue akin to the government shutdown by arguing that he could not pay social security checks…

Of course, all of Obama’s strategies work because we have an MSM that does not hold his feet to the fire…

RedSoxNation on July 13, 2011 at 12:27 PM

What’s the time frame on McConnell’s “solution” was it after the speech on the Senate floor and the ransom note from Obama?

Cindy Munford on July 13, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Maybe McConnell wants to take on flak from the Right so Obama can no longer argue that Republicans are held hostage by the Tea Party…

RedSoxNation on July 13, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Don’t lose sight of the fact that McConnell is really a good politician on strategy; this may still work out in the Republicans favor…

RedSoxNation on July 13, 2011 at 12:29 PM

I am fed up. The GOP is worthless. It’s 3rd party time.

Norwegian on July 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM
///////
Yes,they are worthless but that is this bunch.We need to clean house of the beltway crowd,no doubt,but a third party??hello mr. incompetent for a 2nd term.

ohiobabe on July 13, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I would think many of you would appreciate the “if you give them enough rope they’ll eventually hang themselves” approach that MCConnell is proposing here.

Pcoop on July 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Maybe politicians like McConnell have learned to hedge their bets with political tricks because experience has taught them the voting public is fickle.

Its not that the voting public are fickle, its that the Republican party in general has no fortitude. This is not a “Back-up plan” this is business as usual for spineless R’s. The R’s roll over in Washington more often than my dog.

Koa on July 13, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Don’t lose sight of the fact that McConnell is really a good politician on strategy; this may still work out in the Republicans favor…

RedSoxNation on July 13, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Yes I write him weekly thank you letters for making a deal allowing a vote on Obamacare before Christmas. What a clever strategist.

fossten on July 13, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Don’t remember which commenter mentioned it, but now whenever I see him, all I can think of is a turtle.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Kind of like every time I see Larry King he reminds me of Kermit the Frog.

PatriotRider on July 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Obama reminds me very much of a chimpanzee, especially when he does that sneering smile. Also, they’re described as “perpetual teenagers” by zookeepers, which fits him to a T.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 13, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Gop elite care more about the lsm than us
cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM

All one needs to know. Until that changes, nothing changes.

rrpjr on July 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Maybe McConnell wants to take on flak from the Right so Obama can no longer argue that Republicans are held hostage by the Tea Party…

RedSoxNation on July 13, 2011 at 12:28 PM

McConnell’s a wuss…

phreshone on July 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Harry Reid likes it…
Nancy Pelosi likes it…
Dick Durbin likes it…
Tingles likes it…
The GOP political elite ruling class likes it…

The American people…

… not so much.

In the words of Leonidas…

“This is Sparta…!!!”

Seven Percent Solution on July 13, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Anyone else getting the monster of all headaches?

ohiobabe on July 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Can the House GOP propose a bill that does nothing but raise the debt ceiling, then let it pass only on Dem votes? Then, pass it along to the Senate and have it pass only on Dem votes?

Obama and the Dems would own it all, wouldn’t they?

BuckeyeSam on July 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Contact your congressman and tell him to propose a bill that requires credit card companies to raise credit limits on their cards at their customers’ request, no questions asked. It would be amusing to see how that plays out. The dems would probably love it.

CurtZHP on July 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM

And still, each voting cycle we elect career obsessed liars to represent us, hoping for a different outcome each time.

That’s called insanity, isn’t it?

repvoter on July 13, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Who knows what to think about the surprising turn of events that took place yesterday, when, after a rousing speech on the Senate floor to the effect that he would not cave on the debt ceiling, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed a backup plan that would essentially allow the president to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling?

Does the expression “senility starting to creep in” possibly offer an explanation?

pilamaye on July 13, 2011 at 12:40 PM

The people said NO MORE SPENDING in November, we still mean NO MORE SPENDING now.

No means no, and if the GOP can’t understand that, we’ll find people who do. There is no more compromising principles, regardless of the outcome. The GOP can’t seem to grasp the concept of serving the people. Damn them!

madmonkphotog on July 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Mitch McConnell has just thrown his hat into the “I’VE BEEN IN DC TOO LONG – I DESPERATELY NEED TO BE REPLACED WITH A REAL CONSERVATIVE”.

IlonaE on July 13, 2011 at 12:42 PM

He’ll own the record deficits and fast-rising debt. And he’ll own the U.S. credit-rating downgrade to AA if Standard & Poor’s so decides.

At this point do we really care who’s fault it is? Or do we want to fix it. Obviously the games continue and we the people are going to be left with the empty bag…again.

Koa on July 13, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Republicans need to stand their ground.If the 70 million checks do not go out on August 3rd, how many democrats in the House will change parties? How about in the Senate? Will it be enough to turn Harry Reid into the Minority Leader?

Will congress Impeach Obama or will he be forced to resign by the 70 million checkless victims of this presidents failed policies.

I’ll bet that President Biden makes sure the checks go out on time.

meci on July 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Here’s what I don’t get (and I’ll probably take a lot of flack over this): If we’re all railing Geithner as a Chicken Little -I am too- then why are we also willing to rail on Republicans who only hold 1/3 of the power in the same manner?

Geithner says that if we don’t raise the debt limit by August 2nd, the sky will fall. A lot of us here say that if we don’t hold the absolute line in Congress, the sky will fall. Are we all so naive as to think that Boehner, or Canter, or Paul Ryan, or any GOP House member can force Harry Reid and Barack Obama to capitulate? They don’t care if we default because they’ve got every US media outlet, including half of Fox on their side in this debate. We have to take what we can realistically get and live to fight in 2012 -I think. Do we risk it all now for the sake of 18 months? There is no messaging from the GOP that will convince most SS recipients that they didn’t get their check because of Obama. We’ll lose.

BKeyser on July 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

So now when McConnell’s plan is retracted (and it must be retracted), the democrats can still crow that it’s the GOP’s fault. You don’t win wars by giving your opponent your whole right flank. You win wars by destroying the enemy, and this president, his party are the enemy. And so are their enablers like Mitch McConnell.

SouthernGent on July 13, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Republicans aren’t prepared to stop a debt-limit increase because the political costs are unbearable.

Really?!? The “political” costs are unbearable?!? And trillions in new taxes are “bearable”?!?

Neo-con Artist on July 13, 2011 at 12:47 PM

BKeyser on July 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Yep. The SS blowback will be on the GOP, not Obama. McConnell knows this. They are all playing politics with the thing.

upinak on July 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

How’s your Grandma?

a capella on July 13, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Tina: I agree with you that the debt ceiling was not the same as the government shutdown situation. But Obama was trying to make the debt ceiling issue akin to the government shutdown by arguing that he could not pay social security checks…

The truth is, as Karl Rove pointed out, if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the Treasury could still pay interest on the debt and Social Security checks from incoming tax revenue, without defaulting. It would be up to the Obama Administration to decide which Government agencies are unfunded until the debt ceiling is raised.

If Obama carried out his threat not to send out Social Security checks beyond August 2, Republicans could claim that Obama is throwing Grandma over the cliff to protect other Government spending (Porkulus, ObamaCare, green energy, whatever else Obama decides to fund), which could be characterized as less important.

Republicans could then argue that they favor across-the-board spending cuts, decided by the representatives of ALL the people in Congress, rather than one man (Obama) deciding who gets hurt and who doesn’t, and playing favorites.

Obama probably wouldn’t have the political courage to cut off Social Security checks (or Medicare benefits), and the military efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya would also need to be funded. He would probably have to leave other government agencies unfunded, and Republicans can then argue: wouldn’t it be better to have all agencies funded with an X% cut, than having some of them completely shut down?

If Obama is trying to force a showdown by insisting on tax increases, failure to reach an agreement could force Obama to show his true priorities, and whose ox he is willing to gore. This could be an opportunity for Republicans to ride to the rescue (after the “default”) by proposing a partial cut rather than a total shutdown for these agencies.

Steve Z on July 13, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Nobody has said it so far, so ……

THE GOP WILL BETRAY YOU

angryed on July 13, 2011 at 1:04 PM

*shudder* 7%
Run away!
———

Tru dat rrpjr

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Why is Social Security and Military pay up for debate but not Obama’s and Congress’s?

Cindy Munford on July 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Dippity do towing the dem spin once again

Bleh

cmsinaz on July 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

I just heard that Sen. McCain says that senior citizens are calling his office and no one can get through.

Cindy Munford on July 13, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Are we all so naive as to think that Boehner, or Canter, or Paul Ryan, or any GOP House member can force Harry Reid and Barack Obama to capitulate? They don’t care if we default because they’ve got every US media outlet, including half of Fox on their side in this debate. We have to take what we can realistically get and live to fight in 2012 -I think…

BKeyser on July 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Nope, the conservative base is not naive in asking that our so-called leaders STAND UP, MAN UP, and FIGHT!!!

If, as you say, Obama and his ilk do NOT care if we default, why should WE care?

Oh… but the media will call us bad names, you say? Baloney!! The media is NOT the GOP’s friend!!! Repeat this as many times as is necessary to drum it into your mind. Did their calling the Tea Party a bunch of racists, rubes, etc… stop the trouncing of the Dems in 2010?

It is the establishment that has consistently proven that is is NAIVE and INEPT! Why can’t they just trust the voters that overwhelmingly delivered the House to them without their doing anything? And follow up on STOPPING the SPENDING? And let the chips fall where they may.

TheRightMan on July 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Come on folks, McConnell goes off the reservation and that means we have to form up a third party? Excuse my impertinence, but wouldn’t it be several magnitudes easier to just get rid of McConnell?

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2011 at 1:45 PM

message to McConnell.

RESIGN NOW
RESIGN NOW
RESIGN NOW

If you can’t lead and articulate a vision of Conservative, limited Federal power then leave.

PappyD61 on July 13, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Here’s an “alternative”; let Barry shut down the government. We’ll see how long that lasts.

GarandFan on July 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM

But I’m skeptical. All along, I’ve had what the WSJ called “tea-party/talk radio … unrealistic expectations” of Republicans. In my mind, the debt ceiling debate was a hostage Republicans were prepared to shoot — because, with no real threat of default and with the overwhelming support of the American people to oppose any debt limit increase at all, “no deal” needn’t have had politically unbearable consequences, provided Republicans somehow made it clear any painful consequences (Social Security checks not going out, for example) were a result of the president’s decisions as to how to prioritize spending under a debt limit budget.

I like that somehow made it clear…that is not how it would happen. Republicans would get the blame, you can count on it. And if there really were dire consequences, the blame would help Obama win reelection. I do not doubt this.

The thing about the talk radio/unrealistic expectations stuff is that the talk radio people and the blogs etc do not have to deal with the constituents..they don’t have to run anything but their mouths.

The truth is Obama has more power in this situation, he just does. Hopefully, they can still come up with a deal that will result in real spending cuts.I really hope so.

message to McConnell.

RESIGN NOW
RESIGN NOW
RESIGN NOW

If you can’t lead and articulate a vision of Conservative, limited Federal power then leave.

PappyD61 on July 13, 2011 at 2:04 PM

You can disagree with McConnell, but at least he is out there up front and trying to make his case. The truth is if we had better candidates than Angle and O’Donnell for instance we might have been able to take the Senate and that would have helped a lot. It does not help to articulate a vision, if you do not have the votes to carry that vision forward. Maybe some of these people who were more interested in Rino hunting than they were in nominating electable candidates will think about in the next election.

Terrye on July 13, 2011 at 3:15 PM

TheRightMan on July 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Yes, I know the media is not our friend. In fact I indicated that in my comment when I said, “they don’t care if we default because they’ve got every US media outlet, including half of Fox on their side in this debate.” The media will destroy the GOP and bolster Obama as the poor benefactor of such irresponsible tactics, and it no doubt will cost the GOP votes next year. That’s the risk; gamble and lose it all next year or take what you can get, win next year, and address this will GOP leadership in the House, Senate, and White House.

Can you imagine Nancy as Speaker again? After two years on the sidelines, how bad do you think things will get with her running the show again?

BKeyser on July 13, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Was McConnell doing a “Weiner” and is being blackmailed?

Fuquay Steve on July 13, 2011 at 3:26 PM

I am fed up. The GOP is worthless. It’s 3rd party time.

Norwegian on July 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM

McConnell sticks his neck out and offers up a plan that would FORCE ALL AMERICANS to RECOGNIZE who is ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE [can't blame it on Bush] for the tax and spend 0bama Recession and all you can do is promote an ideal that WILL give the 0bama Regime another 4 years? UNFreakin Believable!!!

Thanks for proving this to be exactly spot on:

Maybe politicians like McConnell have learned to hedge their bets with political tricks because experience has taught them the voting public is fickle. Politicians can’t trust the electorate to reward principled decision-making.

DannoJyd on July 13, 2011 at 3:58 PM