Saving Us From An Obama Deal
Seeing Paradox grace these pages again motivates me to rejoin the fray as well. Welcome back P; you were missed.
John Boehner lost his speakership today. No, the votes won’t be taken until January 3rd, but why would your caucus vote you in for another two years after this week’s display of incompetence? In less than a week, Boehner managed to sever himself from his Tea Party base and demonstrate to the White House that he controls nothing to deal with. His lack of strategic thinking veered from thinking he could bring his caucus along to accept a deal with Obama that gave up the wealthy and his debt ceiling chit for undefined spending cuts, to then pivoting to a taxes-only deal that still gave up the wealthy but this time for no spending cuts.
Why did Boehner do Plan B at all? Because he actually thought the GOP could detach itself from its unplayable hand on tax cuts and then extort massive spending cuts from Obama in February to get a debt ceiling extension. Think about that for a moment, and ask yourself why the GOP still thinks it could win an argument built on holding the country’s credit rating hostage again to gut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Does the GOP really not read the polls? Do they really still think the public would not turn against them for a replay of the 2011 debacle?
Fortunately for all of us, Boehner and the GOP have sunk their own boat and rendered themselves into months of circular firing squads, and as a result we will not get any deal. Despite what Chris Matthews froths about the calamity from going over the fiscal curb, the country needs to wipe the slate clean on the Bush tax cuts and needs the defense cuts. No, things won’t stay that way for long, because even GOP dinosaurs like Dan Burton know that the Democrats will get their way in the new Congress on taxes, and get a better deal than whatever Obama gives away now.
Boehner and the GOP’s implosion is the best news for the middle class possible, because as Paradox says, I have no doubt that if left to his own devices, Obama would have gone ahead and done a bad deal. The chained CPI gambit and the raising of the tax hike threshold to $400,000 are half-baked lunges by a man too desperate for his own good to get a deal, even if it screws over generations of seniors and veterans, and for what? To avoid a debt ceiling fight that Obama can win anyway? It’s better to let things play out, let the GOP to look bad and take the blame, and then start fresh from scratch with the new Congress more grounded in the lessons of 2012 than Barack Obama.