Nobody expects the no-brainer

Nobody expects the no-brainer! If even E.J. Dionne thinks Obama is vulnerable to a GOP move in which

Cantor takes every domestic spending cut that was discussed as part of the negotiations with Vice President Joe Biden, declares that the administration has blessed them, and packages them together for a vote

then it’s probably a good bet that Obama is vulnerable to that kind of cuts-only House debt ceiling bill, no? What is the President going to say–“yes, I said these cuts were OK, but I refuse to avoid a cataclysmic default unless I also get some tax increases”? Wouldn’t that be hostage-taking?

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  • S

    The pressure in on Obama. The debt ceiling must be raised, and it will be raised. The only questions that remain are when? and how?

    The American people want spending curtailed and they do not believe raising taxes in a recession is sound policy.

    First he insults the public by asserting that they don’t understand what is going on. Then, he threatens to starve Granny. Who will be blamed if Grandma doesn’t get her check? Obama. Because the ultimate decision on who gets paid when will come from his Treasury Dept.

    The House would be wise to follow Dionne’s advice and pass a bill on or before Friday.

    • randomerror95

      My guess is that Boehner won’t let this happen, since it would be unlikely to pass the Senate and would utterly poison any future dealings between him and Obama, not just on the debt ceiling but on everything. Cantor has been a cancer in these negotiations, and has his eyes on the Speaker’s position. Boehner isn’t likely to let him lead on this.

      Further, I think you underestimate the power of the presidency and the bully pulpit. In the event of a default, Obama will be able to defund Social Security, farm subsidies, and every other program beloved by constituencies that reliably vote for the other party, and also blame the the need to do so on Republican intransigence. He will have a point (only so far, but enough – his opponents wanted everything, and to give up nothing, and the deal was a bad one), and most media will support him on this (conservatives love to complain about the media’s tendency to fawn over Obama – and they are not wrong about that). I seriously doubt the Republicans’ ability to blame Obama; he has been working hard to create a narrative that they won’t compromise (easy, because it is true!), and the maneuver described here fits right into that.

      • kwo


        “and would utterly poison any future dealings between him and Obama, not just on the debt ceiling but on everything.”

        Uh, hasn’t that horse left the barn? Obama stalled for months on negotiations, now he insists on a short deadline, throws bombs at Republicans every time he talks to the press, and still refuses to offer any concrete spending cut proposals. He’s not “dealing” in any sense of the word.

        • randomerror95

          No. I think Obama and Speaker Boehner can I assume Obama and Boehner have basically been done with deals, but

        • randomerror95

          Sorry about the incoherent post. Issues trying to do this on my phone.

          What I intended to write is that I think Obama and Boehner can deal with each other – it’s Cantor and the tea party caucus who are entirely inflexible about revenues.

  • damianlewis719

    Pat Buchanan has been saying the same thing for the last couple of weeks over on MSNBC.