Posted on | March 28, 2011 | 11 Comments
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday urged Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to ditch members of the Tea Party and cut a deal with Democrats to avert a government shutdown.
Reid insisted it is those GOP internal divisions that are threatening to shut down the government after April 8, in less than two weeks.
“For the sake of our economy, it’s time for mainstream Republicans to stand up to the Tea Party and rejoin Democrats at the table to negotiate a responsible solution that cuts spending while protecting jobs,” he said.
First point: No Republican is “threatening to shut down the government.” The House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans. The Senate is controlled by Harry Reid and it is he who, by rejecting the House budget plan, is trying to force a shutdown, which he clearly hopes to blame on the GOP.
(Question: Are reporters at The Hill professionally obliged to report Reid’s dishonest rhetoric in this credulous manner, as if they were stenographers or publicists at a p.r. firm? The Hill‘s Erik Wasson “reports” three entire paragraphs quoted directly from Reid’s press release and it is not until the eighth paragraph of Wasson’s article that he begins to permit the GOP to respond.)
Second point: Republicans are doing a piss-poor job of explaining the shamelessly deceptive game being played by Reid and the Democrats, who are not being directly called out on their use of the federal budget as a political hostage. Every day, in every statement, in every public appearance, Republicans should point out that the current negotiations are the result of Nancy Pelosi’s failure, when Democrats held an insuperable majority in the House, to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2011. Had Pelosi and the Democrats done their job last year, we would not be in our current “crisis” mode, and any attempt to scapegoat the GOP for this situation is nothing but a damned lie.
Third point: If Boehner lets Reid get away with this kind of stuff — driving a wedge into the GOP House caucus — it is Boehner, and not Reid, who is to blame.
The overwhelming Republican victory in 2010 was a clear mandate for reducing the out-of-control deficit spending that has been a deliberate part of the Obama administration’s misguided Keynesian economic policy. In the current budget negotiations, Reid and the Democrats are trying to “win” retroactively an election campaign they lost.
These are self-evident political facts, which are not complex or “nuanced,” and which any taxpayer can easily understand. If Boehner, Cantor and other GOP leaders are unable to articulate these facts, if they let themselves be bamboozled into arguing policy in the phony terms dictated by Democrats, then they do not deserve to be called “leaders,” and deserve the defeat into which they seem to be stumbling.
Senate Democrats and the White House on Monday were working to finalize a new counteroffer to the GOP on 2011 spending cuts.
The counteroffer would cut an additional $20 billion from 2011 spending on top of the $10 billion already cut by two short-term continuing resolutions enacted this month, sources close to the talks said.
Today is the first time I’d ever noticed Wasson’s byline (he joined The Hill staff in November) and, as in the previous Harry Reid story, here Wasson offers eight consecutive paragraphs of Democrat talking points before making an “oh-by-the-way” gesture toward letting Republicans reply.