Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Road to Compromise

That speech last night was one of the most drippingly pitiful examples of partisan demagoguery and left wing hackery ever witnessed from a modern president. Doing it with a straight face was a testament to BS'ers the world over. But it just may box Boehner and the GOP into a corner and win Obama reelection if the cards aren't played right:
Carney said today, "We have a divided government. We have a two-party system. No party controls every branch of government. Compromise is the only option."
That's true, but of course his definition of compromise involves giving in to Obama's rigid demand for tax increases (even though Obama said it's unwise to raise taxes during a recession), promises of massive distant cuts (that can be overturned in future budgets--imagine Pelosi grinning and holding that huge gavel again), and Boehner's likely demise as Speaker if he agrees (after a Tea Party revolution casts him off for heresy).

It's a tough spot--one Boehner had no choice but to place himself in after the O sucker punched him with a last minute dealbreaking tax increase in their previous almost deal. Speaker John walked out (stormed?) and decided he would only play with the adults in Congress, which caused last night.

But the GOP dare not dismiss the hackery. Obama's working off a time tested formula. He knows the washed and unwashed masses who don't know a debt ceiling from a hole in the wall will side with him when he starts really scaring them--after all, this is the president of the United States talking--and money is involved. The Tea Party is still a minority.

What to do? Boehner can continue to ignore Hopey and work with Dopey in the Senate, hoping Barick's political capital has run dry as advertised and planning things around an eventual O'cave-in later this week. But desperate men do desperate things, and O is probably being counseled that this is his Newt Gingrich winner take all moment for 2012. That's probably why he reeled Biden back in and opened up a massive can of boilerplate. Never let a crisis go to waste.

If Boehner agrees to a relatively clean bill on the last day he will get blamed by both the TP'ers and Dems, getting stuck with any perceived damage to the markets and our credit rating, which will be ginned up by the White House propaganda factory and parroted by the baby bird media. The damage will not only be to him personally, but to the entire GOP.

Boehner could of course cave now and allow the massive tax increase but everyone knows the outcome there, so it's not worth discussing.

Or....Boehner can start saying, "ok sir, you're right, we're dysfunctional--including you--so if you want compromise we've got a compromise ready that basically does nothing but extend the limit for 9 months, just like previous extensions". Problem is, this would technically favor Obama since he didn't want any major debt decreases in the first place, but he couldn't very well admit that after fashioning himself as Captain Deficit, so that might lock him up. Then again, the baby bird media is there.

It might be the only way, though. Boehner would need to make repeated statements alluding to the fact the government is so divided that it's useless taking the chance of busting the debt limit over a rigid demand for tax increases--that it's something the people will need to decide in decision 2012, and therefore the only responsible and adult thing to do is pass an extension just like the preceding versions. He can then point out how Obama called his own no vote on extending the limit in 2006 a 'mistake'.

The Tea Party might be mad they didn't get a huge deal but not as mad as with other outcomes. Further counterattacks from Obama demanding a tax increase would start to look pettier by the day and also illustrate his singular goal from this affair--tax increases.

Then again, that scenario kinda leaves the impression that the entire thing is an elaborate kabuki dance. Which it is, really. But at least very little actual damage would be done.

MORE 7/26/11

Some of the baby birds are jumping out of the nest. And doing their jobs. It's promising to see a reporter actually interrupt one of the press lackeys instead of allowing endless scolding filibusters even if it is Ed Henry, one of the few who would push back in the press room when he was with CNN, now with Fox News.


Some recent history from Timmy Geithner...

Amazingly we didn't melt down in March, although he avoided it by writing IOUs to the government pension program. Is there another magic accounting trick available this time?

Notice what the baby bird reporterette said at the end: "now we've got a date on the calendar to hopefully provide some push forward". That's part of the arsenal at Obama's disposal. Nothing turns off the mass public like financial numbers, although EVERYBODY cares about their own finances. When they hear threats and warnings that might hit home, they take notice. Obama is now exploiting this fear perhaps as no Democrat has ever done before, and certainly as no modern president has done before.

Again, as postulated above, my position is not a cave. It calls for Boehner to craft a short term clean deal raising the limit for no more than 9 months, coupled with a blizzard of statements reiterating that divided government will not allow a big deal until we sort things out in 2012. This avoids the radical label--hey, just trying to avoid catastrophe--and if Reid won't take it up or if he does, and Obama won't sign it then let the default begin, which will be entirely on him.


LASunsett said...

AC, you are missing it.

There is a WH plan. The plan is to have no plan, so they can keep moving the goalposts, so they can blame the TEA party for not getting a deal.

It's a good plan from someone who has never articulated a plan on anything else, except to blow through massive amounts of money on spending plans that do not work. If the Congressional plan was like the ones they just blew through in the previous Congressional session, it would have been signed, sealed, and delivered by now.

A.C. McCloud said...

Well said, but the bottom line here is independent voters and which way they turn based on this 'crisis'. That's why O suddenly showed up in the debate and has been trying to position himself as the adult (as opposed to the intransigent Tea Party)--to emerge looking better to the muddle going into 2012. Regardless of what happens here, IF he wins the indys through this event it will negate anything the Tea Party has done to this point, because we will be back to a completely Dem-controlled govt in 2012.

Not everyone understands the poison of debt as does the Tea Party, but they understand it when granny doesn't get the social security check. The plan is to paint them as radicals to make indys think twice. Throwing the country into some kind of default would be a huge propaganda windfall for the Dems, already the party of lies and exagerrations. They best be careful.

LASunsett said...

Tea Partiers believe they were sent to represent principles and not worry about an election. If they are smart, they will be able to use this to a better advantage next year. They can say, there was a mandate and we held true to it. We cannot help it if Boehner turned to Dems to ram something through that wasn;t good. We stood firm.

Meanwhile, Obama is losing support in all categories except black voters. Independents, liberals and voters in swing states are abandoning him quickly. I think they see he is a dismal failure. And by the time the election rolls around, the Tea Partiers will be able to use the worsened economy as more ammo. Because it ain't getting any better if they don;t get a deal that cuts things now.

You are right, It is a game of perception. But I think more people are waking up to the emptiness that sits in the Oval Office.

A.C. McCloud said...

I would hope that speech broke the camel's back, but never misunderestimate the masses who aren't paying close attention (then again, maybe they are the smart ones).

I just read another possible strategy similar to the one I posed--Boehner waits until the last minute to get enough votes to pass the Boehner bill, and there's almost no time left on the clock for A) Reid to fiddle with it and send it back, and therefore B) Obama not to sign it to prevent catastrophe. It might work, but they could always blame the unwound clock on Boehner/Tea if the debt limit passes. It makes more sense than my scenario insofar as not giving time for Reid to bite back, but it's the same principle-- here's the bill the save the day, you've got it.

Anonymous said...

What continually amazes me is that only leftists get to play on a level playing field, only conservatives are racist, and only Republicans must compromise. I do understand the need to find common ground, but has anyone besides me noticed that every compromise we make with the communist left moves this country one notch closer to a socialist state? This may not be earth shattering in and of itself; but add to that Vladimir’s own pronouncement, “The purpose of socialism is communism.” Suddenly, we have a unique perspective of the communist left and we are shocked to learn that no one in the GOP has an adequate defense against this encroachment.

A.C. McCloud said...

Mustang, I believe it stems from institutional brainwashing--about 90 years of it.