Jen Rubin makes the case for supporting the Boehner plan. The key thing for me is helping put the blame on Obama and the Dems for this fiasco. If it does that and the GOP wins next year, it's fine with me. If it doesn't work, well, we're pretty much screwed and I don't see a future for this country.
The editors of the WSJ have caused a minor eruption by expressing contempt for the tea party:
But what none of these critics have is an alternative strategy for achieving anything nearly as fiscally or politically beneficial as Mr. Boehner's plan. The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.It's not a sure thing that if the House passes Boehner's proposal the Senate will do the same, so the differences may be academic. I've never thought that the 2010 elections finished the job. The tea party activists, as much as they hate anybody they consider a RINO, are going to have to work and donate to make sure the GOP regains the majority in the Senate and that Barack Obama is limited to a single term.
This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP Senate nominees. The reality is that the debt limit will be raised one way or another, and the only issue now is with how much fiscal reform and what political fallout.
The House has already passed bills and a budget keeping the tea party's promise, and the Senate has stopped them cold. The hope with Boehner's new plan is that it will pass in the Senate because it contains cuts that the Democrats have agreed to during earlier negotiations. Reid has blustered and the White House is saying that Obama will veto Boehner's bill. That may be true or it may be what Jay Carney called "gorilla dust," a new term to me. (It refers to the bluffing by gorilla males confronting each other, beating their chests and throwing dust in the air.) Either way, I think the GOP has reached its limit.
The real question is who will be blamed if the government shuts down and defaults on its debts. A lot of conservatives whose opinions I respect are saying this is the best we can hope for, counting on victories next year, partly because it will be evidence that the GOP offered to raise the debt ceiling, but was rebuffed by the Democrats and the President. Don't expect the mainstream media to report it that way. The GOP will have to win the PR war like it did in 2010, by circumventing the media. It needs the tea party and the WSJ's editorial only enhances the view the tea party grassroots that the GOP "establishment" doesn't care about what conservatives think.
All I can say now is that if there's a chance to hang a shut down around Reid and Obama's necks, we should take it. What's really at stake here is the 2012 elections. If we lose them, the debt ceiling increase won't matter. If we block the debt ceiling increase and lose next year's elections, it won't have been worth it.
I can't understand why these trillion dollar deficits don't scare the bones out of every American, but the Democrats' "me first" approach seems to have wide appeal. It never seems to occur to anyone that we can't all be first.