Monday, August 1, 2011


"Morning Joe" on the Debt Limit Bill

The panel (except Mika) was chortling about how the President got "rolled" by the Tea Party. They said that he looks weak and that he capitulated to the GOP; that Tea Party “stood firm” and "won;" they say Obama is a "bad negotiator."

I live in South Carolina. I know the Tea Party delegation here. The only thing they “stand firm” on is their disdain for Government. Not just “Big Government:“
ALL Government.

Their talking points are: (say it with me). “We don’t have a revenue problem—we have a spending problem;” and, “job-killing” taxes, or deficit, or whatever. Some of them didn’t even want the Debt Ceiling raised. They argued that we wouldn’t default: they just “felt” it, I guess.

Or maybe God told them, like He told them to vote against Boehner’s Grand Bargain.
These folks talk to Jim DeMint, Grover Norquist, and God.
But they don’t listen to God.

Michael Sreele was gloating that the Tea Party stood united & "beat" Obama.
The liberal Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman said that “Obama surrendered.”.
Tea Partiy true believers were gleefully announcing on TV that they wouldn't vote for it.
Wow--everybody hates the Deal--even those who say they "won."

But IS the President really a bad negotiator? It's hard to say, considering that he was "negotiating" with people whose minds seem to lunge around like moths looking for a light bulb to immolate themselves on.

Several weeks ago, Obama offered these same people a "Grand Bargain;" three trillion dollars in entitlement reform, plus 1 trillion dollars in tax reform. It was the best deal ever offered to conservatives by a Democratic president.
His own party was apoplectic with rage.

The Republicans walked away from it.
He sweetened the pot.
They walked away from it again.
And again.
Poll after poll revealed that the President's position--a combination of spending cuts and tax reform, or "shared sacrifice"--was the solution desired by a large majority of Americans.

But most Republicans had locked themselves in a closet with self-appointed kneecapper Grover Norquist and they couldn’t break free. They had signed away their votes for safe re-election bids. By signing a pledge never to raise taxes, They had abdicated their responsibility to think for themselves.
And that’s just the way they liked it. Thinking is hard. You may have to defend what you think--or try to explain why you think it.

When one party comes to the bargaining table in such a hobbled position, it's tough to see how it can even be called a “negotiation.”

Time and again, House Speaker John Boehner presented offers from the Democratic leaders-- including the President--to his caucus, and each time was sent back to the "negotiating" table.

One of Boehner's biggest problems apparently, was Congressman was Eric Cantor, who reportedly torpedoed some agreements before Boehner could make a move.

The President did quite effectively demonstrate that the Republicans would not accept any solution that was offered. That was clear after several days.

Finally, with financial Markets on the verge of collapse around the world; with the credit rating of the United States in peril; at the very last moment--a deal containing no immediate tax hikes was cut.

It is a deal that everyone hates. Progressives hate it. The Tea Party hates it. The American people hate it.

But I realize now, that--given the visceral animosity towards the President--had he indeed invoked the !4th Amendment as many wanted him to do, the ensuing outrage would have been too poisonous.

Some critics blame the President for ignoring the looming Debt Ceiling increase for 8 months


Congress won’t do anything these days without a gun to their heads.
So, on "Morning Joe," people were praising the Tea Party for their "negotiating skills," saying they "won."

That’s like praising a sitting dog for sitting.

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