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View Diary: Why The Debt Limit Fight Will Be A Political Face-Off With No Gimmicks Or Constitutional Crisis (208 comments)

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  •  I do not know whether he will win or (11+ / 0-)

    not because these people are a lot crazier than most rational people can comprehend, but I can say that no one will be able to say that the President didn't act as smartly and strategically as he could have under the circumstances - not at this juncture, at least.

    •  Some of them are crazy, that's for sure (7+ / 0-)

      but not ALL of them.

      And if Boehner is smart(er than he acts), he'll bring the bill to the floor even if it passes with only the minimum GOP votes needed for passage.

      Just like the 'fiscal cliff'.

      •  The question is ... (4+ / 0-)

        is there a critical mass of crazy in the Republican caucus.  I think that's a very close question.  The failure of Speaker Boner's "Plan B" suggests there very well might be.

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:43:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Now that Boehner is going to have these (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton, aitchdee, Matt Z, Quicklund

        bills moved through committee instead of say simply calling for a vote on raising the debt ceiling, there's a lot of room for ridiculousness - and a lot of people who are intent on acting ridiculously.

        There are numerous scenarios in which a bill could come to the floor where there would be no Democratic support because of crazy cuts that may well be attached to the bill - but also not just no Dem support - not enough GOP alignment to pass it either.

        Boehner might well be able to pass a straight bill that only raised the Debt Limit with Democrat's help, but even that's not an absolute certainty right now.

        The Republican caucus is all over the place and the majority are now extremist Tea Partiers.  All the more reason for the President to tell them to get their House in order, so to speak.  

      •  How do you like my CT? (0+ / 0-)

        The thought of default is so odious that McConnell has asked Boehner to do him the favor of bringing the debt ceiling to a vote without the "majority of the majority." It will pass and make Boehner look like he can run the House rationally in spite of the nuts he has to deal with in his caucus.

        Seeing this, the Senate Democrats will guess, wrongly of course, that the Republicans are at last going to behave themselves, consider the needs of the nation, and therefore, there will be no need to change the filibuster rules.

        McConnell will then, through the filibuster, once again control the Senate the way God intended.

    •  They are not crazy. They have sponsors to think (6+ / 0-)

      of.

      Now there are some real nutters, I'm sure given the recentTeabagger ascendancy, but the majority of them are working directly for their sponsors.

      So what we have to do is not judge their metrics for success by what is good for our people, but what is good for profits.

      That's where the leverage has to happen, and given this administration's and the DLC leadership of the Democratic party, is never going to happen.

      We really need to judge the situation by the metrics of the principals, not by the metrics of the peasants like us.

      It's kind of like how people think that Bush was some sort of terrible failure, when in reality he was extremely successful - everything he wanted but Social Security, and laid a powerful foundation and socio-economic-political trend that gave it a head of steam.

      Here we are.

      Hope that makes sense.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:34:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My money is that the repubs will give in (6+ / 0-)

        and provide enough votes with the dems to avoid a crisis.

        But before that there will be a lot of closed door meetings to see which members will support the increase, and which can vote against - based on the politics of their districts. Same as happened with the fiscal cliff.

        •  Absolutely. That is what will happen (5+ / 0-)

          but this time, unlike with the Fiscal Cliff, Nancy Pelosi may tell Boehner that he needs to muster at least a majority of Republicans to vote for the bill. Sadly, even Democrats don't like to vote for debt limit increases and she'll be wanting to give as many of them cover as possible.

          Further, affiant sayeth not.

          by Gary Norton on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:57:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What makes you think Boehner... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gary Norton, MichaelNY

            ...can find a majority of the majority? Default is stupid, but too many on the right think voting to raise the ceiling "won't play in Peoria" or wherever they are from. They'll take their chances with a broken economy.

            Pelosi knows this and so do the Democrats she leads. She'll have to cough up nearly all the votes to avoid default.

      •  Sponsors? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton, k9disc, Matt Z

        I've always thought of them as their owners.

        If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

        by trillian on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:56:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sponsors or owners - whatever anyone (6+ / 0-)

        wants to call them - are not turning out to be quite as powerful of a force in uniting this caucus and that's because the tea partiers are that crazy and there are a lot of them in the House.

        Going back to Bush, the Republicans walked lock-step together when he was President.  Those days are long gone and the differences between the factions within the caucus are great enough to have created their own private world of gridlock within their ranks.

        I think that one of the mistakes people around here make is framing this controversy in terms of Obama winning or losing.  A definition of a win is mighty broad on a certain level and whether Obama personally wins or not isn't as important as whether or not the people and the country "win" - or really if you limit the discussion exclusively to the question of the Debt Ceiling, what we are talking about whether or not America gets hurt by crazy people.  

        We don't really "win" by not defaulting or by not getting so close to default that the economy and world markets are destabilized.  That's not a win - or should not be defined as a win - that should be defined as "correct", "normal", "responsible", "rational", and "sane" policy for a country such as ours.

        Obama did a smart thing today.  By saying that there is no game, he nullified the concept of playing with this fire as offering the potential for anyone thinking about winning.  It is a totally counter-productive tactic on the part of the Republicans - if anything going down the road of default threat or reality is a no win situation for anyone.

        Basically, Obama can't do anything in this situation other than to make the rational case for sane governance, but the rest is up to  the Congress and specifically the House Republicans.  It is all on them and a lot of them are crazy - crazy people are often immune to reason from anyone - even sponsors.

        •  They have not been pushed yet... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart, divineorder, elwior

          They are allowed to play the crazy card, the crazy uncle - didn't Reagan do that back in the day with the Ruskies?

          Put them in a corner and let their caucus sort it out. Let them have their great cleaving (corporate and social conservatives). Force it.

          I'm kind of bummed that you took the 'Obama's win' idea and left out the idea that we're looking at the wrong place to apply pressure.

          These guys have sponsors. These guys have Think Tanks.

          We should be looking at the goals and desired outcomes of the think tanks and corporate sponsors of public policy in order to predict their movements and gauge their success.

          We are totally looking at the wrong metrics for success by the principals in our political system. We are viewing them through our needs and desires and what would be good for us. That's why so many of us, on both sides of the aisle scratch our heads or get pissed off when there is a political non sequitur. But it totally does follow if you look at true needs and desires of the principals.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:29:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In the grand scheme of things the sponsors (4+ / 0-)

            are hugely influential and I agree with all of what you say about big picture understanding being a key to better success and actual wins.  

            On the Debt Ceiling question, however, I'm taking a very narrow view in part because I think it is a more advantageous frame in the quest to avert another Republican-created crisis.  Obama is shutting down the debate on this front and rightly so.

            •  I hope you're right... I don't have faith in his (3+ / 0-)

              chosen direction, I think he's tacking right sullying Democrats and socialists and saddling us with the end results of failed conservative policies. I think he serves corporate and the GDP first, and therefore don't trust him to negotiate for our future on these issues.

              It's a real bummer.

              I do think there is value to looking at the metrics and goals of the true constituents of our current government, the corporate sponsors, and contrasting them to what we need as a people and what we are offered in terms of policy choices.

              We need to have a wakening on that front.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 02:25:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

                On the Debt Ceiling though progressive objectives are the most vulnerable.  The choice between avoiding worldwide economic contraction and giving up important programs would give the rightwing the absolute upper hand with a huge majority of people.  That's why isolating the debt ceiling debate is critical, IMO.  It is a false choice that should not be a choice.  

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