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Mr. Reasonable versus Intrigue and Drama

Mr. Reasonable versus Intrigue and Drama

Obama just gave his speech on the status of the debt ceiling negotiations, and endorses some version of McConnell and Reid plans.  Calls Boehner bill something that will not become law because does not extend debt ceiling beyond election.

Calls for “bipartisan compromise” and calls on people to “keep the pressure on Washington”

“The time for putting party first is over.”  We will solve this problem despite “all the intrigue and all the drama taking place on Capitol Hill right now.”

Instead of Obama versus the Boehner bill, it’s Obama versus Intrigue and Drama.

The inability to move the Boehner bill forward yesterday  played right into his hands.


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Anything — I mean anything — the Republicans in the House didn’t do or did do would be playing into this guy’s hands. When a man is prepared to lie about anything and everything, it’s useless to orient your strategy around what he might say.

    JayDick in reply to Sherman Broder. | July 29, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Although that’s true in general, there are important exceptions. If the Republicans play this in such a way that Obama is obviously lying, it will make him more vulnerable. On the other hand, if they play into his trap, he will look good. That’s why I can’t understand the thinking of people like Michelle Bachman who say the debt ceiling should not be raised under any circumstances, period. Following that course would assure Obama’s reelection. The same applies to those who demand impossible steps as a condition for voting for a debt ceiling increase. Their demands might be good ideas, but the Republicans don’t have enough power right now to get these ideas enacted. Continuing to press these demands plays right into Obama’s hands and could get him reelected.

    At his point, it is more important for the Republicans to be right on the politics than on the policy. Being right on the politics now could result in enough Republican gains in 2012 to get the right policies enacted in 2013. Many Republicans don’t seem to understand that.

Meh. He’s a blow-hard, he would tell us that he was delivering the speech in the middle of the night when its noon if it suited him. I think Taminy Hall could have taken notes from this guy. I suspect all kinds of shenanigans are going on up on the hill that shouldn’t.

    SunnyJ in reply to Steve. | July 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    My dad used to tell me to watch out for the guy that will steal your wallet, and stay around and help you look for it. I see that guy in Obama.

This only goes to prove that old adage ..

if you take on a vast effort, and then only do half of it … it becomes half vast

    JayDick in reply to Neo. | July 29, 2011 at 11:30 am

    The way I remember the adage is: “Don’t take on vast projects with half vast ideas.”

I don’t understand how the inability to move the Boehner bill affects anything. The Senate Dems would reject it just as they tabled CC&B, or they would reshape it to suit themselves and take full credit (which would be almost OK for the sake of the country were it even a fiscally reforming bill in the first place, which it’s not, before being weakened further by Dem revisions.)

The House has offered something and can keep offering bills that will go nowhere, or they can really cave and give Reid-Obama what they want. I say House Repubs might as well offer meaningful, real reform bills to include defunding Obamacare and campaign on solvency and limited government next year.

The fiscal crisis is not looming before us, it’s upon us and cannot be averted with half-measures. Since the GOP won’t do it, the Tea Party needs to loudly and clearly repeat the mantra that any default is de fault of the Dems and establishment Republicans.

    The Republicans only control half of one third of government. The tea party controls zero parts. The nieve notion that they are going to magically change everyones way of thinking and be able to enact change by yelling the loudest and offering no concessions is absurd. The tea party, for all the good it did getting more R’s elected, is going to end up squelching the little power they have. I know they’ll never see it that way. The tea party’s failure will be the Establishment’s failure in their eyes because they didn’t capitulate to their unreasonable, extremely high risk demands.

      Nemo's omen in reply to mikehinton. | July 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

      Business as usual with a red ink Rorschach test as big as this continent, then? You see it’ll all be OK if the GOP plays politics well, but I see Manifest Dustiny. It’s as much about unaffordable government breaking the bank as it is about our transformation to a nation of dependents and subjects from increasingly intrusive and constraining bureaucratic control. As the EU founders, we become it.

        JayDick in reply to Nemo's omen. | July 29, 2011 at 11:59 am

        It is important to distinguish between short term reality and long term goals. Realistically, there are severe constraints on what Republicans can achieve in the short term. The only hope is 2012 and beyond. That’s where Republican focus should be.

          Nemo's omen in reply to JayDick. | July 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm

          Good governance principles and politics converge at this difficult moment and unique opportunity, imo:

          The Republicans have nothing to campaign on for 2012 other than liberty and economic issues (Tea Party stuff) and their best (the nation’s worst) hope was for the economy to be stalled out next year. Were they to pass bi-partisan budget and debt legislation now, the Dems get credited for trying, whatever happens, and especially if the economy turns around next year. The Repubs get blamed for failing if it doesn’t.

          The Dems will either make the case in next year’s campaign that government either hasn’t done enough (spending) to protect hurting Americans and that austerity Republicans want to kill Grandma, or that Obama-Reid saved the economy by their stimulus strategies and by making the meanie Republicans compromise.

          Obamacare and daddystate here we come, if the Tea Party loses momentum.

“House Republican leaders will wake up on Friday still trying to find the votes to pass Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said this week the bill is dead on arrival — if it even gets out of the House.”

The Hill

1. The inability to move the Boehner bill forward yesterday played right into his hands.

They’re called the Stupid Party for a reason.

2. The crisis is giving rise to destabilizing, opportunistic demagoguery which hopefully will not move to center stage.

OK, Obama has already stated that in the event the Boehner bill did pass the Senate, he will veto it. So why all the angst over Boehner being able to pass a bill that will land with a thud in the Senate, just as the Ryan budget and CC&B did?

The fix is in; accept Harry Reid’s disasterous plan or default. Suck it up America, your children are about to wind up at the end of the road to surfdom.

Dr. Jacobson: I do not disagree with you often, but here I must. Obama and the Senate Democrats will accept NO plan of any kind — they wish to shut-down government and blame the Tea Party. They hope to undermine the citizens sent to DC this past November, blame all the Republicans, and sweep into victory in 2012. As an added bonus, the establishment Republicans resent being forced to act like the fiscal conservatives they said they were and resent the Tea Party types, too.

There is NO plan they will embrace, despite statements to the contrary. The Sauron of DC wants only this: One DEBT to rule them all, One DEBT to chide them; One DEBT to bring them all and in the red-ink bind them.

Tea Party types might as well accept this scenario and prepare accordingly.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Mutnodjmet. | July 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Then the answer was simple, pass a plan which honestly could be deemed a compromise (like Boehner bill) and send it over to the Senate. Then it’s on them.

      Bingo!!! But I would have removed the Boehner plan step. The House did hand off CCB. That IS a compromise from the Ryan plan! After the hand off, they should have SHUT UP like good negotiators.

      In your words Professor J, “it’s on them”. Boehner SHOULD HAVE taken a very simple stand: “Gentlemen, you have CCB. The next thing the House will do in the debt talks is to vote on the Senate plan.” After that, adjourn, get on with renaming streets, whatever.

      Again, I disagree. No matter what is sent over, its rejection will still be blamed on the GOP’s Tea Party constituents (e.g., “they didn’t compromise enough”) — and the elite press and punditry will also lay the blame there. Alternatively, any House Bill will amended in a Senate-directed conference committee — and returned to the House for a vote (and the Reid-altered version will be something that no true tea party type can say yes to). Again, the GOP/Tea Party will be blamed for the outcome if this path.

      The focus should be on the Senate’s inability to pass a budget, per their legislative duty, for over 800 days and the drain preparation for Obamacare has been on the American economy. I hope America’s citizens, who are beginning to fully understand the scope of the debt and deficit, stay engaged and willing to counter the establishment.

      Legislate in haste, regret at leisure.

      Nemo's omen in reply to William A. Jacobson. | July 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      The Boehner bill will not be treated as a compromise by the Dems and their media arm. Reid might amend the bill to suit their agenda and boot it back to the House, at which point the Repubs will be painted into a corner of their own construction. If they reject the Senate version, they will be portrayed as inflexible and unwilling to compromise. If they accept it, the Dems take credit for the bill and no meaningful reform will take place.

      It’s a given that, were a compromise bill to be accepted by both Houses, the Dems will still force the Repubs to identify “cuts” (actually spending freezes) in entitlement and bureaucratic spending, other than stiffing the military. The Democrats plan on NEVER offering viable budgets until after the election when Obamacare goes into effect. Then they’ll be so surprised that we’ll need a lot of money STAT, and will have to levy fees and surcharges on all of us while further Taxing the Rich(TM) (middle classes.)

      Professor, do you really believe that? More likely than not, the Senate will not even bring the Boehner bill to a vote, and the media will report it not as a Democrat failure, but as a Republican failure to “compromise.”

      I think you are exercising some heavy wishful thinking on your part about where the blame will land.

        JayDick in reply to retire05. | July 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

        The only viable alternative to Boehner-like bills is the McConnell plan. Which do you like?

          retire05 in reply to JayDick. | July 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm

          The McConnell plan is unconstitutional and will be challenged. The Constitution is specific. Only Congress has authority over the debt ceiling.

          Lawrence Tribe agrees with me on that.

    JayDick in reply to Mutnodjmet. | July 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

    You may be correct; there is considerable evidence to support this assessment. If you are correct, Republicans must be even more politically astute in their response, a characteristic for which they are not known. Seems to me, the best approach would be to pass a small, simple debt extension bill, repeatedly if necessary with minor changes each time. An alternative would be the McConnell plan, giving Obama authority to increase the ceiling with a few soft strings attached.

    Either of these approaches would help make it obvious what the Democrats are up to, making them more vulnerable in 2012.

Obama has lost the Indies at this point, and the Tea Party is not a small portion of the electorate no matter how the MSM touts it.

The House will pass the Boehner proposal and Reid will reject it, and Obama may even threaten a veto to try to remain relevant.

The Democrats will reject spenifn discipline abd hope for the future.

Not a winning position.

    JayDick in reply to the_geezer. | July 29, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Except for the die-hard bases, the electorate is fickle. What seems true now could turn around completely by November 2012. Political acumen is crucial at this point and I’m not sure the Republicans are up to the task.

With House debt ceiling bill stalled, Harry Reid makes his move


Take a step back, look at the big picture, and assess what we’re really talking about here. Considering our deficit and debt situation, none of the plans being discussed is adequate; most are insignificant. We need really big solutions, maybe ten trillion or more over 10 years. That can’t happen right now, and maybe never will.

But the best odds for getting the needed changes are by electing very conservative politicians and the next chance to do that is in 2012. If Obama and the Democrats are successful in blaming all our economic ills on the Republicans (which they are close to achieving), they will be reelected in 2012. How would that affect the chances of getting the big changes enacted?

This just in: Boehner adds a balanced budget to his bill, capitulating to the tea party and completely eliminating the credibility of this being a compromise bill.

The Boehner bill was the most conservative passible bill, Reid wanted it, but then Obama killed it by begging/threatening Reid not to accept the deal. The bill that eventually passes will be more liberal than Boehner’s bill, it will be past with mostly Democratic votes, the Media will declare the rebirth of Obama’s America, many low information people will believe it, and Obama becomes much more likely to be reelected. (I’m not usually this pessimistic)

Midwest Rhino | July 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm

With most media taking their points from the Democrats, the narrative is set, until Republicans yield to Reid/Obama. The local news must get their script from the DNC . This is the local news intro this morning …

“A massive breakdown in the Republican Party has put the country even closer to defaulting on its bills … couldn’t rally enough votes in their OWN party. … One lawmaker called it “pretty scary” (“independent” Bernie Sanders) … “an outrage”, “holding hostage”, etc.

… President Obama is reluctant to use the 14th amendment.”

All Democrat slant. Even Tea Party quotes are out of context. “This is the only proposal on the table that accomplishes …” as if that was about the Boehner new plan. “I can’t vote for a plan that only cuts one trillion” failing to note, that is a 10% cut in INCREASES back-loaded over ten years, while S&P wants eight trillion.

The media is in full blown propaganda mode, and will portray the very reasonable and popular CCB as hostage taking or terrorist extremism. Meanwhile S&P wants 8 trillion in “cuts”, but phantom “cuts” of one trillion are deemed “reasonable”.

Can’t Boehner convey simple points?

S&P wants eight, Democrats demand one, ensuring downgrade.

Democrats skipped the budget and are in contempt … how is that “reasonable”?

oh puhleeze…. Jefh had already announced that he would veto this bill if it made it through the Senate and landed on his desk, and now he’s blaming the Republicans?

Jefh can go attempt aerial intercourse with a rotating pastry.

You should not be overly critical of Obama, if this fight continues into the weekend, he will have to cancel golf for two consecutive weekends. He might have to play during the week, everyone knows that the greens are not the best at those times.

As to the Boehner bill, it is a piece of junk. We did not have a big election one year ago to send people to Washington to get along or compromise. The people that I talk to, small business owners and the elderly, know who is the evil one in Washington and are cheering on the Republicans, as long as they adhere to TEA party goals. The new Boehner bill might be the product as it incorporates a balanced budget amendment. But I think most people would just as soon see the government go down in flames, they are sick of what we have and know something has to be done. That something is not going to be easy.

Huntsman the first and only GOP candidate to back Boehner plan.

Huntsman backs Boehner plan, hits GOP candidates.

Various writers above advocating Boehner’s bill say any principled course would wind up making Obama “look good.” They say play politics and “it’s on them” and that “these approaches would help make it obvious what the Democrats are up to.”

I ask: Make it obvious to whom? Exactly who are we trying to convince by playing political games? Are we assuming statists or Democrat leftists will bend to reason? Should we count on the Establishment Media spinning the truth instead of Democrat talking points? Should we count on the undecided numbskulls out there to draw reasonable conclusions, or to discount what Obama says as lies and deceptions when they are eager to swallow everything he says hook, line and sinker?

It seems to me that some here advocate playing to an audience that doesn’t exist.


As I called it. John Boehner now has the votes to pass his plan.

Harry Reid just declared that the only compromise that will pass will be his plan. “The only compromise there is — is mine,” he said.

Harry Reid will take John Boehner’s plan, insert all the Democrats’ demands, and send it back to the House daring the GOP to kill “the Boehner Plan.”

The Democrats will line up to vote for it.

It will pass.

I do believe someone predicted this would happen.

Congrats, House Conservatives.”


[…] see both sides, and many of the opiners who I respect side with B-Daddy. However, after much thought, I have come to this conclusion: Aragorn: Hold your […]

Rick Perry on the debt ceiling and Washington drama

What a contrast to the Obama hysteria of granny not getting her social security check on August 3.At the time of this video Governor Perry was recovering from illness and he still is more articulate, more charismatic, more HUMAN than the obot in the WH
Run, Rick, run!

As an avid chess player, I’m going to hold to Charles Krauthammer’s point about “playing the long game”…

The ‘Debt Ceiling’ became a farce when we broke the $8 Trillion mark back in 2006 (Dem majority in both houses). We’ve already pushed passed the brink when our debt exceeded 90% of our current GDP. There is no more debt ceiling.

We have NO leverage now as long as the Boehner’s Bill (which admittedly doesn’t fix anything but has the more strategic effect of putting B.O. and senate Dems on the defensive)….STAYs in the house because we are too busy calibrating our catapults (I’m purposely refraining from any modern weapons metaphor so as not to indulge any nutroots)

Hurl the Boehner bill at Reid. Let Senate Dems and BO figure out how to put out this Greek Fire. Whether they reject or accept it…they lose. Reject = blamed for revised credit rating. Accept = blamed for adding to the debt.

If we refuse to move with the tides of battle, we will not have the leverage to win the White House in 2012.

    Nemo's omen in reply to Aucturian. | July 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    With media back-up, Reid has two good options upon receiving the Boehner bill:

    1. reject it and call out the unserious, radical Republicans for playing games with the debt ceiling. Dems win.

    2. amend it to his liking and own it. If the House rejects it, ideologue Republicans will be unwilling to “compromise” and Dems win. If it accepts it, Reid will have saved the day with the acceptable version. Thanks to the media, Dems win, the Tea Party is either dispirited or the GOP angrily splintered for 2012, and the Senate and maybe WH stay in the Democrats’ control next election.

    In either event, the country loses.

SmokeVanThorn | July 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

The Hinton Formula for Success – Do whatever the people who will never vote for you tell you to do.

It is time that conservatives think like winners. Last November the American public gave Republicans a historic win in the House of Representatives.

What was their mandate? Among other things, to bring deficit spending under control and to restore fiscal sanity in Washington.

When you can not afford to pay your bills, so you are borrowing 40 cents for every dollar that you spend, and you have no plan to pay back what you already owe, where is the sense in the taxpayers allowing the Federal Government to increase its credit limit?

The Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011, which passed the House with bi-partisan support set out a plan to restore fiscal sanity. Conservatives were prepared to support this proposal and agreed to lift the debt ceiling, providing Congress passed a balanced budget amendment.

Under Boehner 3.0, to release the third tranche of the increase in the debt limit, in addition to Congress having to pass legislation, as scored by the CBO which will result in a minimum of 1.6 trillion in deficit reduction, that will address both the immediate and longer term fiscal imbalances, a “clean” balanced budget amendment (i.e. one that does not require a 2/3rds majority vote to raise taxes) must have been sent to the States for ratification.

How was this achieved? Because a sufficient number of freshman representatives stood on principle, in the face of all kinds of threats, including the threat of being redistricted, so ultimately compelling the House leadership to move towards their position.

Now we hear the complaint that this stand strengthened Obama’s hand? Sure, but let’s step back for a moment and look at the forest.

The country is going broke. Congress has not passed a budget in 800 days. Spending is out of control. Every day we add roughly 4 billion dollars in debt to the tab.

So, which is more important, working to develop a solution, or being afraid of giving your opponent a momentary and perceived tactical advantage, which he blew with his speech earlier today, becoming President twit.