Republicans are Letting Obama have his Lincoln Moment

July 14, 2011 9:20 AM ~  
This entire debt ceiling summit is nothing more than a charade designed by the Democrats to let President Obama appear to be a great statesman and a "hard worker" for the upcoming election cycle. So called journalists are already conjuring up comparisons to the many sleepless nights Lincoln spent in the White House pouring over battle reports in his "heroic conquest." (For the record, Lincoln was a tyrant who killed the constitutional republic, but I digress.)

Yesterday Obama added to the drama by making a supposedly bold move:
When Cantor said the two sides were too far apart to get a deal that could pass the House by the Treasury Department’s Aug. 2 deadline — and that he would consider moving a short-term debt-limit increase alongside smaller spending cuts — Obama began to lecture him.

“Eric, don’t call my bluff,” the president said, warning Cantor that he would take his case “to the American people.” He told Cantor that no other president — not Ronald Reagan, the president said — would sit through such negotiations.

Democratic sources dispute Cantor’s version of Obama’s walk out, but all sides agree that the two had a blow up. The sources described Obama as “impassioned” but said he didn’t exactly storm out of the room.

via President Obama abruptly walks out of talks - Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman - POLITICO.com.

It should be plainly obvious here that the Republicans have absolutely nothing to gain by sitting in any of these meetings. Firstly, the Democrats aren't going to cave - we know they aren't because they sacrificed something like 70 seats in congress to get their healthcare takeover passed. Secondly, Obama has grown spending more than any other president in history, there is absolutely no way that he is going to cut spending, period. Any spending cuts that he agrees to are superficial only, and will use accounting tricks to qualify as "cuts." For example: Obama talks about removing tax loopholes in order to cut spending. Removing a tax loophole doesn't cut spending, it increases revenue. Obama talks about tax breaks for oil companies as if they are subsidies. Stealing less money from someone isn't considered subsidizing them, not by any sane person.

Finally, the outcome of this summit doesn't actually matter: the government brings in enough money every month to pay the interest on the debt, to pay for social security, medicare, and the military, and to pay for most other things. So if no agreement is reached, the worst that will happen is that a bunch of federal employees will have to take furloughs. Boo-hoo.

So, yet again, the Republicans have placed themselves in a kangaroo court of sorts with no way to achieve any sort of political victory. If they compromise and allow tax hikes, they'll anger their fiscal conservative base, along with many in the Tea Party. If they don't reach a compromise, Obama will stop sending out medicare checks and blame it all on the Republicans, which will anger the Republican elderly base, along with many in the Tea Party. So this entire charade has become a lose-lose for the Republicans, all the while giving Obama the illusion of being some sort of leader.

What should have happened is this: the Republicans in the house should have passed a budget that cut spending and didn't raise taxes and kept us below the debt ceiling, and then simply walked away. They should have said "we are fixing this problem now and this is the way it is going to be" and then just let it be. Had they done that, the action would have been all on the Democrats: either they could have passed the law in the Senate or they could have refused to and let the country pass the debt ceiling. Either way it would have been their baby and their blame if something went wrong.

Yet again, Republicans have shown that the only good thing about their party is they have Ron and Rand Paul.