Friday, July 29, 2011

Not taking "yes" for an answer...

There's an old piece of wisdom that one should not let the perfect become the enemy of the good. There appears to be a lot of that going on in the House of Representatives right now...
House Republican leaders, four days before a threatened U.S. default and facing stiff resistance within their ranks to raising the U.S. debt ceiling, plan to make a second try at passing legislation that is headed for a Senate roadblock.

Republicans led by House Speaker John Boehner were forced to scrap action on the measure late last night. They are considering a rewrite for a second time this week after face-to-face meetings with recalcitrant lawmakers failed to yield the votes to push it through the House.
Or, "cutting off nose to spite face," if you prefer...

Now it seems to me that I'm as militant and partisan and anti-debt and anti-tax and anti-government spending as anyone out there, but clearly, sometimes you've got to take the best you can get and go with it. It's hard for me to picture any outcomes of the House failing to pass the Boehner bill that are better than any of the outcomes of passing the Boehner bill. You can believe that US debt is too high and that the Boehner bill doesn't do enough to curb spending (both of which I believe, by the way) and still believe that it's absolutely the best case scenario in the current circumstances. Said circumstances include, again, the facts that the Democrats control the Senate and the Democrats control the White House and the Democrats are unutterably opposed to cutting spending and the Democrats are unutterably opposed to not increasing taxes.

I've said this before, but let me say it again:
The financial problems of the United States can not be fixed with Barack Obama in the White House and Democrats in control of the Senate. The financial problems of the United States can not even be seriously addressed with Barack Obama in the White House and Democrats in control of the Senate.
What that means is that the best case scenario here is that the Republicans manage to slow the rush to financial catastrophe without damaging themselves enough to cost the party the chance to win back the Senate and the Presidency 15 months from next Tuesday. It's easy to look at the Boehner bill and say, "No, it's not good enough, it doesn't really address the problems," - and I agree - but what's the alternative? If they don't pass something, and we do end up in technical default (not on August 2nd, but somewhere down the road), the consequences are very likely to be severe. And it doesn't matter how we get to that point - the Republicans lose the media war. We know that up front, going in. The people that get to stand on the sidelines and pass judgment, and spread that judgment as fact, are playing for the other team. We know that. It's a doomsday scenario.

But hey, those firebrand conservatives standing on principle can comfort themselves with their principles as they enjoy minority status during the economic apocalypse that accompanies the second Obama administration...

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