Breaking: Reid appoints John Kerry, Patty Murray, and Max Baucus to Super Committee

posted at 6:05 pm on August 9, 2011 by Allahpundit

That’s precisely what we need to reach a grand bargain. Hard-left dial tone Patty Murray and a guy who spent the past Sunday muttering in front of TV cameras about a “tea-party downgrade.” Bonus fun fact about Murray via Amanda Carpenter: She’s the head of the DSCC this election cycle, which means there ain’t no way no how no chance she’s signing off on any deal that involves even minor Medicare reform.

Not sure what to make of Baucus, though.

Murray is expected to co-chair the committee, officially named the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, along with a still unnamed House Republican. A spokesman for Reid did not respond to a request for comment.

Reid’s decision to tap Murray will likely be met with scrutiny, as she is also chairing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2012 election cycle. But she is also a member of leadership, a senior member of the Budget Committee, and a woman on what is likely to be a male-dominated committee.

Baucus is chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee with jurisdiction over many areas, including entitlement programs, that the committee is expected to examine. Kerry, meanwhile, was selected for his stature and Senate tenure.

None of the three were members of the Gang of Six, but Baucus was part of the Biden deficit group that Cantor walked away from over taxes. Could he potentially be the seventh vote for a deal on the Super Committee? He comes from a red state, he’s an institution in the Senate, and he’s not up for reelection until 2014. He’s as insulated from a tough vote as one can be. He’s also, as noted in the quote, chairman of the Finance Committee, so if he blessed a deal, that would give it added credibility in the Senate. And he’s been reasonably good on taxes, so he might side with Republicans on tax reform. The bad news? He duly wet himself over Paul Ryan’s budget and he’s earned some fans at AARP for supporting “doctor fix,” which contributes mightily to Medicare continuously running over budget. He’s probably not signing off on any serious entitlement reform, in other words, although if the GOP can come up with some revenues via tax reform, that might encourage him to join them in a modest first step. He floated that idea himself, in fact, after Biden’s group melted down, proposing new Medicare cuts in return for new revenues. Then again, Baucus was on Obama’s Deficit Commission and ended up voting no on the final plan. Of course, so did Paul Ryan.

I’ll leave you with this thought, in case you’re under the mistaken impression that anything will be accomplished by this process:

Congress may undermine the deal that raised the U.S. debt ceiling by failing to agree on a plan to curb the deficit and then softening the impact of automatic spending cuts that would kick in to achieve the budget targets.

That’s the view of five former directors of the Congressional Budget Office…

While the cuts are supposed to be automatic, Congress can delay or override them if they prove too painful — defense spending would be reduced by 9.1 percent over a decade while non-defense programs would be cut 7.9 percent. That’s what lawmakers did with the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget Act, the template for the trigger.

Update: Weigel sees a new “the Democrats caved again!” narrative brewing on the left over Baucus. “So the Democrats will have one of their compromisers on the committee. Unless the GOP puts up one of its compromisers — a neo-Gang of Sixer, or someone like Bob Corker — the Baucus move alone means a committee that leans right.”

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John Kerry: Reporting for Super Doody.

Geochelone on August 10, 2011 at 12:32 AM

“Oh no! It’s Space Balls!!!”

no, I’n not talking about the end of the movie, I’m talking about the democratic wing of the so called “Super Comittee”…

Vntnrse on August 10, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Patty Murray? What a dimbulb.

Ward Cleaver on August 10, 2011 at 12:45 AM

Two morons and a toad. Fine. I hope they start learning second grade math.

pat on August 10, 2011 at 2:25 AM

John, I was for it before I was against it, Kerry is still living off of John Heinz’s estate…

Gohawgs on August 10, 2011 at 4:34 AM

In an exciting contest, the Super Committee beat porn star Jenna Jameson 3 boobs to 2.

MaiDee on August 10, 2011 at 5:19 AM

Patty Murray

dumbest biotch in the senate

maybe she can tell us all the good things about obl again

effing dooshbag

Sonosam on August 10, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Unless the GOP puts up one of its compromisers — a neo-Gang of Sixer, or someone like Bob Corker — the Baucus move alone means a committee that leans right.”

Please note that Corker is up for re-election in 2012.

ladyingray on August 10, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Kerry, Murray and Baucus. They couldn’t muster a coherent thought between them, even with the assistance of hundreds of taxpayer-funded full-time staff. What wastes of space. This committee should be a real Gong Show.

curved space on August 10, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Kerry, being a Jane Fonda sycophant,has no business experience whatsoever. His only experience in making money is marrying rich widows with Theresa being his second one. He has less private sector work experience that even Obama, if that is even possible. His selection is insanity unless you use him calling the Tea Party terrorists and asking the media to censor them as a basis for the decision.

volsense on August 10, 2011 at 8:44 AM

You betcha we do, ladyingray. Corker is like the old bluedog democrats. Lie through their teeth at election time and stab their supporters in the back the day after the election.

volsense on August 10, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Patty Murray is a tool, no doubt. But I am not so sure she is stupid. I watched a lot of C-SPAN during the healthcare debacle and she seemed to be their point person on rules (since the usual go-to guy, Bob Byrd, was on his deathbed).

She seemed to know the rules inside and out and was constantly popping up with obscure objections. My guess — she is on this committee to make sure there is all sorts of crafty and sly legalese that Republicans miss, as usual, and then agree to without realizing they are being duped.

Watch out for her and especially for Lurch who will report everyday on the intransigence of the Stockholm Syndrome Republicans obeying their captors, The Tea Party.

Greyledge Gal on August 10, 2011 at 8:56 AM

I almost drove off the road again when they announced the D names. We all knew this super duper commission was a joke and would never come to any agreements the country actually needed but this was a huge Reid slap in the face to all of us. They still don’t take the people seriously.

Kissmygrits on August 10, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Maybe Kerry will ride in on the SS Rhode Island.

TimBuk3 on August 10, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Excoriate it now!These president’s choices are clear evidence of clear desire not to find a resolution -to put up unreconcilable hard leftists on so important a committee, while the disitegrating world watches, begs the biggest question of his entire reign -does he deliberately wish to take america down?

Do it! Take out ads. Fight now, show the people what he really is now. Don’t wait as you did with the debt ceiling only to get blamed.

This as a deliberately unworkable choice -accuse him of what he is doing – he intends to have it fail, in time for blaming the GOP a being intransigent and winning 2012.

Don L on August 10, 2011 at 9:30 AM

This super-duper-mega-über Committee is more Debt Ceiling Kabuki Theatre. McConnell needs to appoint Rubio, Paul, and Lee to counter these ultra-liberals appointed by Reid.

ErnstBlofeld on August 10, 2011 at 10:14 AM

A sincere thanks to Harry Reid for living down to our expectations and at the same time providing Great Clarity in this farce. By appointing two fringe-left partisans, Kerry and Murray, he has trumpeted his contempt for the Spending Cuts Farce and for fiscal reform in general.

As for Max Baucus, he can only be there for one reason: he helped mid-wife the abortion known as O’BozoCare, and is there to guarantee its protection. Watch the Dems attempt to use his name to feign “moderation”, and join me in a hearty laugh at the notion of drunken twit Baucus as a moderate anything.

Jaibones on August 10, 2011 at 10:36 AM

McConnell needs to appoint Rubio, Paul, and Lee to counter these ultra-liberals appointed by Reid.

ErnstBlofeld on August 10, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Heh. I can see it now…

Jaibones on August 10, 2011 at 10:46 AM

“Super Committee Budget powers – ACTIVATE!”

mojo on August 10, 2011 at 12:42 PM

She seemed to know the rules inside and out and was constantly popping up with obscure objections. My guess — she is on this committee to make sure there is all sorts of crafty and sly legalese that Republicans miss, as usual, and then agree to without realizing they are being duped.

Greyledge Gal on August 10, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Patty Murray is widely recognized as one of the dumbest people in the congress. She has a bachelors degree in physical education and that’s the apex of her education. She taught a “parenting class” (whatever the he!! that is) at a community college and was an environmental lobyist before inadvertently wandering into an election and surprising herself and everyone else by getting elected. She may be somewhat politically shrewd, but most likely someone elses tool. She has no background or knowledge in economics or budgeting, has never held a “real” job and is way above her paygrade and intellectual heft in this assignment. She’s there to parrott her master’s wishes.

Trafalgar on August 10, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Are you fugging kidding me???

When is Obama going to take into consideration the first Debt Panel he had?

How long before we just have a ‘President’, a bunch of Czars, and a committee to tell Congress what to do?

You are witnessing a Coup d’ etat.

.

cntrlfrk on August 10, 2011 at 8:35 PM

This is why we need to get these people out of there. I can’t even think of any worse but maybe Reid could have come with something worse if he had really tried. Patsy Murry is a total “dumbbell” and John Kerry is worse than Patsy.

duff65 on August 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM

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