Saturday, September 28, 2013

When extreme isn't extreme enough

Guess who said the following: "Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holder of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits." Ronald Reagan. But as David Horsey says, "The current crop of congressional Republicans have more in common with the Weather Underground of the 1960s than they do with traditional Republicans, including the man they claim to venerate, Ronald Reagan." Of course, let's not hold up Ronald Reagan as a kind of ideal. If the Democrats hadn't given him his enormous tax cuts, he might have been leading the charge for a government default. The main thing, though, is that a serious threat of a government default was always unthinkable—at least up to two years ago.

Last night, Politico reported some amazing news, House Republicans Lack Votes to Move Plan to Raise Debt Ceiling. Let me put this in perspective. Remember yesterday when I reported on the Ridiculous GOP Debt Ceiling "Plan"? This was the House Republicans' laundry list of every policy they've ever wanted: Obamacare delay, tax cuts, entitlement cuts, more oil drilling, and even an end to net neutrality. John Boehner couldn't get his caucus to agree to that.

According to the article, the Republicans didn't think there was enough in terms of deficit reduction. It reported, "Conservatives complained that it lacked specific spending cuts and failed to tackle entitlement reform." But not to worry! Representative Tom Cole said the leadership was tinkering with the bill. And Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers said they were working on the exact timing for the vote.

This is madness! They know that there are three stages to this process: the House, the Senate, and the president. Creating and passing a ridiculously conservative bill is not going to go anywhere. This is the very definition of political theater. I guess even the House Republican leadership thinks that pretending to legislate is good enough. If Boehner had any power whatsoever, he would be explaining to his caucus now is not the time for wish lists. Now is the time to put together a bill that might have some chance of actually becoming a law.

But I don't suppose I have any room to expect more. This is the group that has voted 41 times to repeal Obamacare. Getting actual work done doesn't seem to matter at all to them. But now we are at a point where something actually needs to be done. And that means they need a leader. Unfortunately, they have John Boehner, who is probably perfectly competent under most circumstances. But he is clearly no good at dealing with these idiotic and immature Representatives.

This will not end well.

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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