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Three Rings and an Elephant
Author: BobR    Date: 07/15/2011 13:01:23

It seems we've been writing non-stop on this blog about the ongoing debt negotiations in Washington. I say "debt negotiations" because the debt ceiling and budget deficits (which ultimately contribute to the National Debt) have been inextribably linked, even though they have traditionally been handled separately. As I wrote on Wed., the Republicans decided to bundle them together, and Obama called their ante and raised.

The Republicans are in real trouble. They think and hope that economic failure caused by anything they do will be blamed on President Obama. According to recent polls, however, that is not the case:
Numbers out of Quinnipiac University Thursday morning indicated that 54 percent of Americans say Bush is to blame for exploding the federal deficit and swelling unemployment, whereas just 27 percent believe it is President Obama's fault.
[..]
Fourty-five percent also said they trust the president to help the U.S. economy, versus 38 percent who believe Republicans could do a better job.

The poll also found that voters will largely blame Republicans, rather than Obama, if the debt limit is not raised. A further 67 percent of respondents said any debt deal out of Washington must include tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans.

It's apparent that the Republicans have been listening only to political advisers, each other, and their radical supporters. Unless they start listening to the voices of the people "outside the beltway", they are in serious trouble.

As an example of just how bizarre this has all become, House Speaker John Boehner is coming off as the responsible one, who sees the crash looming on the horizon, and apparently understands that this will hurt them:
Speaker John Boehner signaled Thursday that he’s open to new options to avert a default next month, including a novel Senate plan that would surrender much of Congress’s power over Treasury’s borrowing to the president.

It would be a remarkable shift for House Republicans — something like telling Pickett’s charge to go around Cemetery Ridge and not up it. And Boehner’s remarks may be a ploy as he keeps throwing out options to his rank and file in hopes that they come around to the merits of the $4 trillion grand bargain he attempted with President Barack Obama last week — before being pulled down by the right.

Of course - he's hedging his bets by blaming the failure to reach a deal on "too many people in the room". Good luck with selling American voters on THAT one.

Naturally, as Boehner is getting flak from his right, Obama is getting flak from the left. Proving that some people are too quick to believe whatever bad news they hear about the president (and stick with it despite evidence to the contrary) the Progressive Change Campaign Committee found 200,000 low-information voters to sign a petition pledging not to vote for Obama if he cuts Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. They are delivering it to his Chicago campaign headquarters today. One has to wonder if they realize that cuts can occur without cuts to benefits or coverage?

So this political circus will continue for the next two weeks. They took the last government shutdown right to the wire, and there doesn't seem to be any difference here.

Pass the popcorn...

87 comments (Latest Comment: 07/15/2011 23:35:12 by livingonli)
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