Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Liberals finally wake up: GOP will destroy economy

By Frank Moraes 

"It's almost as if spoiled children seized control of part of the federal government and don't appreciate just how much damage their recklessness can do." That was written yesterday by Steve Benen. He is one of the prominent members of the Happy Horseshit Caucus (HHC), a group of liberal pundits who are far better than I at ignoring all the evidence and assuming the best about the Republicans.

I first came up with the name when writing about Greg Sargent's repeated claims that we didn't have to worry about the Republicans destroying the world with the Debt Ceiling. He would always say something like, "Boehner has already admitted Republicans won't allow default." As I said back in May:

It is true that Boehner said, "I'm not going to risk the full faith and credit of the federal government." But one can only read so much into that. To begin with, Boehner is talking about himself, not the party. But far more important, the statement sounds like a hope more than a commitment. If he is signaling, it is to his caucus, not to the rest of the nation. It's more like, "Please guys, don't do this!" And since saying it, he's been pretty quiet.

Well, all that has changed! Yesterday, Boehner said, "We're not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending. It's as simple as that." Quelle surprise! 

Now, it seems that the HHC is having trouble maintaining its optimism. Greg Sargent is at least wavering. This afternoon he wrote lots of column inches about the Obama administration's strong commitment to not negotiating. And he seems to be holding out some home that John McCain will save the day. Benen seems to have completely collapsed. But even he ends his article on a positive note, "The last time the White House stuck to its guns, the GOP backed down. Stay tuned."

The problem as I see it is that the Republicans will do damage regardless. Obama may say that he won't negotiate over the Debt Ceiling, but he will still negotiate about the budget and that is never a good thing.

In the end, I expect that we will see the Debt Ceiling raised and the Republicans will get something for doing it. Obama has shown himself to be too twitchy a negotiator and the Republicans have shown themselves to be every bit as crazy as their reputation would indicate. Where this all ends is anyone's guess.

And that's what's so terrifying about this situation. I don't think that Boehner has any idea how this all going to end. He's like a bad chess player who starts a major attack without any notion of where it leads: he will ultimately lose, but there will be huge loses on both sides.

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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