Before you get riled about Senator Mitch McConnell’s proposal regarding the debt ceiling, take a deep breath.
Talk radio and blogs are near hysteria, calling him Pontius Pilate and pontificating that we must stand by our principles! Ditch Mitch bumper stickers are being printed. Many doubt that the senator from Kentucky has our interests at heart. They see him ceding power to Obama and taking it away from the legislature.
It’s always fun to get indignant and self righteous, but consider what’s going on. Yesterday when Obama said he couldn’t assure “folks” (Why always folks? Can’t we be Americans or citizens?) that Social Security checks, veterans benefits, military pay or disability checks would go out if the debt ceiling was not lifted. Many like to think the electorate is savvy enough to recognize this as the deceitful ploy and thuggish threat it is, but don’t count on it. A staunch Republican 83-year-old called a friend “frantic” with worry about whether she’d get her check. We all thought she knew better, but when people are scared they do not act rationally.
Jennifer Rubin, writing the Right Turn blog at the Washington Post, sees what’s happening. Here’s how she describes it: “McConnell had enough of the phony White House talk. The White House offered a paltry $2 billion in actual, immediate cuts.
“McConnell gave a speech to make clear that wasn’t enough and that the debt limit would be raised only with real cuts and without tax hikes. McConnell could sit back and wait for default. But he comes up with a mechanism to force Obama to put up cuts. Send them to Congress and face default if the president’s cuts don’t go through.
“In the process he makes 34 Democrat Senators vote over and over on cuts (the sound you hear is the conga line at the Senate Republican Committee headquarters).
“But if there is no deal then the defaults will not be on the shoulders of the Republicans.”
McConnell explained a few of these facts on the Laura Ingraham radio show this morning. He pointed out that we only have one third of the government. He said that the U.S. has never defaulted and wasn’t going to this time. He emphasized that he will not accept tax increases. He also said he would not stand by and let his party take the blame for any fallout. Obama owns the economy and should in 2012.
In this scenario the House retains full appropriation authority, giving Obama the rope with which to hang himself. As McConnell said a day ago, it is clear that the only real solution to the problem is a new president. He’s looking down the road – realistically – to 2012.
Keith Koffler at whitehousedossier.com blog calls it the “GOP Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too” plan and “brilliant.” Koffler understands that “McConnell will take the crap from them (Congressional Republicans) for getting them off the hook… Conservatives get to pretend they’ve done something noble by supporting a policy of not raising the debt ceiling that would quickly destroy the economy. And Obama and the Democrats will take the heat.
“The reality is that voters who put Obama in office and gave the Senate to the Democrats. If a deal with Obama that doesn’t raise taxes is not possible then you don’t destroy the country out of spite. You go back and campaign to get a different political calculus in Washington.”
Some of the hysterical voices on talk radio, the National Review and Redstate are not thinking strategically. Their advice didn’t work out so well with Mitt Romney who enacted Obamacare in Massachusetts or with Christine O’Donnell in Delaware who gave the almost certain Republican Senate seat to a far left, Socialist Democrat, did it?
McConnell is a smart and trustworthy Republican. Let’s give him a listen.