The Other McCain

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

Obama Wants ‘Largest Deal Possible’

Posted on | July 17, 2011 | 24 Comments

The president is obviously trying to turn the debt-ceiling negotiations into an opportunity to claim victory:

“I think there’s still time to get something big done,” [White House budget director Jack] Lew said. . . .
Lew said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that the president “made clear he wants the largest deal possible.”“He wants to do the most we can to reduce the deficit,” Lew said. “But he also said that if we can’t get the most done, then in addition to extending the debt we should do as much as we can.”
House Republicans are preparing to vote this week on allowing an increase in the government’s borrowing limit through 2012 as long as Congress approves a balanced-budget constitutional amendment.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., called that proof that Republicans are willing to compromise and “hardly a radical idea” but the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said that bill doesn’t have the needed support in the Senate.
“This notion that we have to change the Constitution to do what we were elected to do is just plain wrong,” Durbin said. Both senators spoke on “Meet the Press.”
Lew, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” also did not like the idea.
“What these ideas do is say let’s kick the can down the road so that others will deal with it,” he said. “The challenge is for Washington now to do the job the American people sent us here to do.”

Three words: Bipartisan kabuki dance.

Making the debt-ceiling increase contingent on passing a balanced budget amendment is the kind of meaningless symbolic gesture that will deceive no one with enough intelligence and knowledge to actually comprehend what the current debate is about.

Republicans evidently don’t want us to forget their uncontested ownership of the “Stupid Party” label.

On the other hand, Obama’s insistence on the “largest deal possible” very much calls to mind John McCain’s insistence in 2006-07 that the only way to address the immigration problem was through a “comprehensive” bill that included amnesty for illegals.

Washington’s preference for the bipartisan Big Deal represents a cowardly attempt to avoid political consequences for choices that are inherently political. Taking the sharp edges off difficult issues by presenting the public with a “comprehensive” Big Deal helps obscure fundamental partisan disagreements, and leaves voters with the feeling (to borrow a famous phrase) that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties.

After the historic Republican landslide in the 2010 mid-terms, there logically ought to be political momentum for the kind of conservative fiscal policy favored by the Tea Party movement. And yet we see GOP leaders in Washington cowering in fear of pursuing such a policy, while Obama is apparently emboldened, uttering tough-guy one-liners like an action movie hero: “Don’t call my bluff!


Enough with this pitiful kabuki-dance pageant. Silly symbolic gestures will not suffice, either as policy or politics. House Republicans should do what Newt Gingrich said: Stop negotiating and start legislating.

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What You Can Do
If you agree with the logic of the foregoing argument, why don’t you copy it in an e-mail and send it to your Republican representative, senator, governor or state GOP chairman? You can also e-mail it to your favorite local or national talk radio host, or Republican presidential candidates (who certainly ought to be speaking out on the current budget debate). Also, by using the “share” button at the bottom of the post, you can share it via Twitter or post it to Facebook. Thanks in advance for your help in spreading the word. — RSM


24 Responses to “Obama Wants ‘Largest Deal Possible’”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    July 18th, 2011 @ 1:37 am

    Not only should the largest debt limit raise be $500 billion or so, but the House should also put language in it saying precisely what gets funded should the debt limit be reached in the future.  Take that weapon out of Obama’s hands for the future.