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

Debt ceiling negotiation: Cantor in way over his head

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(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.