The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Two Weeks Until Christmas and
Three Weeks Until ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Posted on | December 10, 2012 | 18 Comments

On the one hand, I hope everybody’s having a happy holiday season — and shopping our amazing Amazon holiday deals! — while on the other hand, I suspect you’re bummed out by the tedious ongoing downer in Washington. Politico:

Time is running short — and so are the options available to avert the fiscal cliff.
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have just 21 days to resolve their differences over how to handle more than $500 billion in expiring tax rates and steep spending cuts.
Although they met Sunday for the first time in more than three weeks — signaling a new, potentially more productive stage of the negotiations — there was no progress on the staff level ahead of that sit-down, according to Democratic and Republican sources.
The White House and Capitol Hill are now staring at a narrow set of options  fraught with political and policy peril.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. Washington Post:

The contours of a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff are becoming increasingly clear. But progress has been slow, and time is running out for leaders to seal an agreement and sell it to restless lawmakers who so far have been given little information.
With hope still alive for a resolution by Christmas, President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) met Sunday at the White House, their first face-to-face meeting in nearly a month and their first one-on-one session since July 2011, when they last tried to forge a far-reaching compromise to tame the national debt.
Neither side would provide details, but White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage and Boehner spokesman Michael Steel released identical statements saying “the lines of communication remain open.”

It’s either (a) a hopeless stalemate, or (b) the prelude to a total GOP surrender, and there not really anything you or I can do about it. Which means there’s only one thing to do . . .




  • Lightwave

    There’s another option. GOP walks away from the table and passes legislation that makes the tax cuts permanent for everyone, steep entitlement cuts, and immediate discretionary cuts with the debt ceiling clock ticking and default equaling a guaranteed economic depression.

    Put Obamee in his place. The House controls spending, period. The President’s job is to sign on to what the House spends. That how it worked when Naaaaaaaancy was in charge, yes?

  • Bob Belvedere

    Again: Let the Democrats in the House bring Obama’s plan to the floor for a vote and have every Republican abstain. Let the same thing happen in the Senate. Let the bastards get their wish and own it.

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    I don’t see that happening while the House is led by that gutless mewling surrender monkey boohoo Boehner.

  • Bob Belvedere

    gutless mewling surrender monkey boohoo Boehner

    Love it.

  • PGlenn

    I agree. Some argue that the G.O.P. will get blamed anyway, when the Democrat/”progressive” policies fail. That’s too much of a stretch, though, even for the Democrat media complex, because when the Obama “plan” is passed via G.O.P. abstention (“voting present”), the media will herald it as an Obama victory and a G.O.P. surrender.

    Has the tactic you’re suggesting even been tried before? If not, its novelty will contribute to reinforcing the “narrative” that Obama/Democrats own post-2012 economic policies.

    One surefire way to ensure that the G.O.P. will continue to be blamed for any and every progressive policy failure is to give Obama a formal “deal,” all dressed up with a nice ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    Of course, the Stupid Party won’t do what you’re recommending. They’re only too happy to participate in their own beclownment ceremonies. They’ll pretend to fight for this and that, publicly capitulate at that last minute, and then “co-sign” whatever stupid deal is slapped together. The purpose of the deal, of course, will be to set-up the G.O.P. to take the fall for the next round of failures.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Well put.

    To my knowledge, it’s never been done before on the national level.

  • Adobe_Walls

    Far better to be damned for doing the right thing than praised for doing the wrong thing. A principled political party would know that.

  • Adobe_Walls

    I fail to see the virtue in avoiding the fiscal cliff. The sequester is the only thing close to resembling spending cuts remotely achievable. While the tax hikes would hurt a great many people it does have the virtue of eliminating the need to raise the debt ceiling. The house should simply pass the bill it wants and then adjourn.

  • ThomasD

    The House ‘leadership’ needs to stop playing Obama’s game of seeking a ‘grand bargain.’ A bargain he’ll never accept.

    The House needs to start taking bites and make the Senate the fall guy.

    Start by passing a bill to make permanent the CURRENT middle class tax rates. Once that issue is settled then me can move on to the rest of it.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    You left out “orange,” but otherwise I loved it.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I did some Christmas shopping at the link RSM. I did a lot last year too.

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    And drunk. I forgot to mention that he’s a boozehound.

  • ThomasD

    The return to Clinton tax rates will not eliminate the need for an increase in the debt ceiling.

    But allowing the sequester to occur doesn’t preclude the possibility of making the Democrats responsible for declining to stop the tax increases.

    The Democrats are pretending that they don’t want middle class rates to rise – make it self evident they are lying.

  • Adjoran

    Nice fantasy, but bills which never see the Senate floor don’t hit Obama’s desk.

  • Adjoran

    This is the only suggestion I’ve seen that might have any impact at all. The “permanent” part will rankle Obama.

  • McGehee

    Just call him Weepy.

  • ThomasD

    Exactly. Granted, it would only be ‘permanent’ in the ‘lasts until the next time Congress is in session’ sense, but the symbolism, and need for him to address it directly, would change the trajectory of the media presentation.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Ahhh…so we’re screwed then.