Home National Politics Debt ceiling negotiation: Cantor in way over his head

Debt ceiling negotiation: Cantor in way over his head


(Good diary, I largely agree with this reasoning. – promoted by lowkell)

I rarely post diaries here, maybe never.  I like visiting the site, but with limited time and a lot of material to read across the intertubes to satiate my political thirst, I just don’t have time to do a lot of writing.

But this piece about the reality of Eric Cantor’s predicament in the debt ceiling negotiations demands attention.

It’s really something, I had not put together the tidbits of information Jay Newton-Small combines even though I had read these pieces of information separately.  Presuming he’s right in the perspective he shares, Boehner is pissed and is privately feeling, “OK, Eric, if you think you can do it better than YOU get a @#$@ing deal you stupid little @#$@.”  Boehner seems to be wanting to teach Cantor a lesson in politics and legislating that Boehner learned long ago, and Cantor has never learned but obviously now needs to.

All this makes me smile.

I’m quite happy with the roles the White House and Congressional Democrats have been playing. This has been, IMO, a rare instance where it’s served our party well that they’re NOT on the same page in messaging. They are effectively playing good cop/bad cop. It’s not deliberate I don’t think, but it’s working out that way, IMO to the advantage of both.

Obama is offering sweet deals for the GOP that yet the GOP rejects, making himself look moderate and reasonable to voters.  We need our President to get reelected, and appearances matter greatly in that regard.

And yet we also need Congressional Democrats, especially on the House side where their political risk is minimal as a minority party occupying largely blue seats, to play bad cop by saying “no” to surrenders of liberal priorities in policies and programs.  They’re effectively the backstop that prevents anything getting enacted that could genuinely harm Obama and downballot Dems from the left side of the electorate.

A third element helping us is the teabaggers themselves.  Just as Russ Feingold’s intransigence forced Senate Democrats to go right in order get Republican votes on Wall Street reform legislation, the House teabaggers are, unwittingly, forcing Boehner and their own party to go left for Democratic votes.  We don’t have hard numbers on how many House GOPers will vote “no” on a debt ceiling hike no matter what, but we know a non-trivial number will, and 30 have signed a letter saying they won’t vote “yes” without a Balanced Budget Amendment that has zero chance of being part of a deal.  Those 30 don’t include the firm “no” votes who won’t accept any deal.

And now all this is Cantor’s problem…until Boehner swoops in to force a deal at the 11th hour.

  • Teddy Goodson

    Boehner swooping is a sight I will love to see…. shedding tears the whole way no doubt. (Do eagles cry when they swoop, or is that vultures?) You are right, this is quite a soap opera.  

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    you should post more often…

    I am not sure that you are right about your take, but it is worth considering.  (Especially because it is just too depressing to believe that we could be being sold out by our own side).  And believe me I have found the past few months antics from Washington very depressing. Talk about messing w/ people’s lives.  There is far too much emphasis on “big things” a seriously vague, superficial and absurd way to define and trivialize at the same time a life-altering for many millions, negative agenda. I also cringe when he compares things so life-altering to “eating your peas.” Nevertheless…

    Lawrence O’Donnell shared a really interesting and brilliantly (who knew this about Lawrence?) thought out step-by-step breakdown of how Obama has handled this and if O’Donnell is correct, then the president has indeed played this brilliantly. Having said that, the consequences to Americans are so grave that I shudder to think this could be gamesmanship. So, a part of me hopes O’Donnell is right and a part of me doesn’t. The President did, after all, tell us more than once that none of the things he offered up are part of any agreement until and unless the whole package is agreed upon.  Therefore, any piece could be removed (I hope, especially those things NOT contributing to the deficit and irrelevant to raising the debt ceiling).  

    I know the President is thought to be “the only adult in the room,” though that gives little credit to senate Dems or the House minority. I only wish he had pushed as hard about the seriousness of the debt ceiling much earlier.  But then, he may have thought the Republicans, who know full well the importance of lifting the debt ceiling (because they have done it more than Democrats), would ultimately behave like adults.  Boehner’s previous behavior suggested that they wouldn’t.  But Can’t-or seems to be breathing down Boehners neck.  He is the biggest loser of a majority Leader we have had, makes the Gingrich era look like the “good old days” (don’t worry, I know they were awful).  At least Gingrich didn’t try to cause the economy to collapse, though when he chided his side of the aisle this summer, he took his punishment from the TeaParty.

  • I sure hope Lawrence O’Donnell is right about this! Maybe I’m naive, but I tend to think he is.

  • commentator1

    As of 4:00 today it seems that the Republicans have blinked. Now let’s hope they get down to some honest compromise or a snowball comes rolling through DC during August.

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    which is fairer accomplished around 2013.  After he is sworn in.  The GOP is unserious.

    BUT also the GOP leaders are railing that Obama “deceived” them!?!   Huh?  They will stoop to anything.  They are the ones who have deceived.  They purport to support a position and when Obama concedes that, they move the goal post.