Never underestimate the Republican Party’s capacity for stupidity, particularly amongst its leadership. No matter how strong their hand is, instinctually they lean towards doing exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time and they have legions of political insiders, consultants, and aides who assure them that they’re geniuses for spouting idiocy like this.
Desperate to get out of the political box they helped to create, Senate Republicans are actively pursuing a new plan under which the debt ceiling would grow in three increments over the remainder of this Congress unless lawmakers approve a veto-proof resolution of disapproval.
In effect lawmakers would be surrendering the very power of approval that the GOP has used to force the debt crisis now. But by taking the disapproval route, Republicans can shift the onus more onto the White House and Democrats since a two-thirds majority will be needed to stop any increase that President Barack Obama requests.
“It gives the president 100 percent of the responsibility for increasing the debt limit if he chooses not to have any spending reductions,” Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Republican Conference chairman, told reporters Tuesday.
…From a reading of the GOP memo, the presumption is that Obama’s Treasury Department would ask for an increase in its borrowing authority and the president would be required be required to propose offsetting savings.
Three votes are anticipated between now and the 2012 elections, the first for $700 billion later this month, the second later this year and another for $900 billion in the summer of 2012.
Together that would add up to $2.5 trillion or the rough equivalent of the $2.4 trillion debt increase that has been commonly discussed in talks with the White House.
If Congress were to pass a resolution of disapproval, Obama would still have the power to veto the measure. That would require a two-thirds vote to override and become a test of political loyalty for Democrats.
In other words, McConnell’s plan is to give away all the Republican Party’s real leverage and allow Obama to raise the debt limit for $2.4 trillion so the GOP can use it as a campaign issue.
Sadly, this is typical D.C. insider thinking. “Sure, our base will hate it and it’s terrible for the country, but technically we can claim we care more about reducing the deficit, even though we’re doing nothing about it, and that should give us a political advantage.”
What these idiots don’t seem to realize is that they weren’t put in power to play political games; they were put in office to fix problems. I know Obama and the Democratic Party are hard to deal with. I know they lie incessantly, the media is on their side, and they actually want to increase spending, not decrease it — which is economic suicide. But, Senate Republicans aren’t allowed to mope around, shrug their shoulders, and give up.
Senate Republicans, for once in your weaselly political lives, decide that you’re going to stand up, do what’s right for the country, and show the courage of your convictions instead of giving in because it’s hard or because you’re afraid of the media. If you can’t win this fight, even with the American people fully behind you demanding deficit reduction, what fight can you ever win?
PS: No, I really wouldn’t support the debt limit compromise if McConnell resigned as Minority Leader. I would, however, support McConnell resigning as Minority Leader.