I fell asleep early Sunday evening and missed the final drama of do we or don't we have a debt ceiling deal? I have to say, from what I'm reading, I don't think I missed a thing. The various opinions, however, are interesting.
It seems, from initial reports, that no one in particular claims victory and that is a good thing. Being a Republican, I tend to lean in the direction that my party gained the most but there is always more than can be done. That is for a later date.
Let's remember this: Barack Obama originally wanted only a clean vote that would raise the debt ceiling. No conditions, no nothing. A really blank check. Republicans said no. With the new majority in the House, the no was relevant. In December 2010, when he Congress was ready to vote and Harry Reid said no to it for purely political reasons, the Republicans would have not been so relevant. Reid wanted the GOP to share the blame for any deal making once the new freshmen were sworn in in January 2011.
This vote could have been taken any time over the course of the last two years. It wasn't and the Democrats deliberately allowed it to go down to the wire, thinking the concessions would all fall their way. You know, scare the folks and the Democrats would be the victors.
It hasn't worked out that way.
We by-standers, the taxpayers actually footing the bills, were subject to hearing lots of interesting hyperbole from both sides. And the White House led the offense. Barack Obama, community organizer-in-chief, did what he does best. He bemoaned the demands of Republicans and scared the old folks receiving government checks. He ratcheted it up a notch by claiming the military families may not see their checks, too. Classy guy, that Barack Obama.
The fact is, if those people didn't receive their checks it would be the fault of Barack Obama. The President has the power to determine who gets a check and who doesn't. Revenues are there each month to handle the obligations to those dependent on the checks from the government. It was really low political hackery. Unfortunately, it is what we are subjected to regularly from this president.
As reported, Democrats panicked early and launched all sorts of wild charges against the GOP. Here's a tidbit from Minority Leader Pelosi:
Right before the House voted to reject a Democratic debt-ceiling plan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi didn’t mince words.
Pelosi pulled out a Star Wars reference on the House floor, saying that Speaker John Boehner “chose to go to the dark side” and court the most conservative members of his conference, rather than work on a bipartisan compromise.
“It’s time for us to end this theater of the absurd,” she said. “It’s time for us to get real.”
The usual was said by the party decrying a new tone in politics just last Spring - the GOP were terrorists, holding the American economy hostage, evil, even like "suicide bombers", according to Maureen Dowd. All because the GOP held firm against new taxes, or "revenues" as Obama likes to say.
Then the deal was tentatively struck and it appears the Republicans have more to be pleased about than the Democrats, as their sole concern was raising taxes, which didn't happen. Spending cuts will take place up front, a Balanced Budget Amendment will be voted on, and yes, there is a trigger that goes into place if the last half of the spending cuts are not agreed upon through the commission to be established. The trigger cuts deeply into the Defense budget so that makes the Democrats happy and it cuts Medicare which helps Team Obama with the new Obamacare mandates. It presents an opportunity for Obama to do away with the so-called Bush tax cuts that he has been trying to do away with from the beginning. The Republicans must work diligently to avoid the trigger implementation.
And, there is the devil rhetoric against the GOP:
Emanuel Cleaver is calling the bill a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich.” And lots of other lefties are shrieking about the “terrorists” who won’t just shut up and do things their way. Don’t take it personally, though, tea-rrorists. These guys are only lashing out at you because there’s no way to fight their real enemy: Math
Be proud, St. Louis residents. He's your guy in the House.
The Tea Party are not completely happy but more can be done later.
And libs can take heart: Republicans are ticked off too. TheDC’s Jeff Poor reports: “On Sunday night’s special edition of ‘On the Record with Greta van Susteren’ on the Fox News Channel, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson expressed his frustration over the deal by calling it ‘disgusting.’ ‘Even right now we are supposedly talking about a deal that will be $2.4-trillion worth,’ Johnson said. ‘Think about what that is: $2.4-million-million worth. You just have a couple people negotiating this. I mean, it is ridiculous. We’re talking about the federal government’s budget here… Ten years ago we spent $1.8 trillion. This year we will spend $3.6 trillion, and more. What the president’s budget would do after 10 years: Increase that from $3.7 to $5.7 trillion. He would spend $46 trillion. And all we are doing is lowering that by, what, $900 billion? …It may be a step in the right direction, but it is not fixing the problem.” Then he ripped open his shirt to reveal an “I [Heart] Al Qaeda” t-shirt underneath, while grabbing the can of cat food out of your grandma’s hands before she could even take a bite.
That last line was a much needed laugh this morning.
He's right. It is disgusting that all of the big legislation from this administration comes down to the wire, creating a real or imagined crisis so that the final product can be rushed through without debate or knowledge of what is written in the bill. Meetings behind closed doors attended by only a few is no way to write legislation or cut deals.
Remember this - if Republicans pull together and bring along Independents and conservative Democrats, the landscape changes in D.C. If the House is kept under Republican majority and the Senate goes to GOP majority, even with Barack Obama still in the White House, the battle gets easier for conservatives to turn this economy around.
Let's work on that.