A Nutria’s Take On This Debt Ceiling Business

I’m not sure I agree with everything in this, but the rat does make a point or two. Worth a read. – MacAoidh

Dick Morris is kinda like a nutria. He’s got less hair, but the body type is similar.

He’s actually a hobbit rather than a nutria. But hobbits are sorta in between nutrias and, say, Jared Nadler.

And Morris has a thing today saying the Republicans ought to just suck it up and vote for the Boehner plan even though it’s more or less poo.

It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough. Republicans in the House should pass the Speaker’s plan. It meets the essential criterion Boehner laid out at the start of the debt debate: That the debt limit increase be less than the spending cuts. While conservatives are right to push for their cut cap and balance plan, there is no chance that it will pass the Senate and it is foolish to squander the chance for truly big savings while waiting for the impossible.

The fact that Boehner’s plan doesn’t carry Obama through the election without his having to come back and beg for more borrowing all over again is an asset not a detriment. The President’s ratings have been dropping ever since the debt fight started. He looks weak and irrelevant. The process is not good for him and it would be great to force him to go through it again before the election.

In the narrow match-up of the President vs. the House Republicans, poll show that Obama has persuaded the independent and swing voters that his approach of some tax increases and some spending cuts is the way to go. By 53-35, in my poll, they would rather see this combination than an all spending cut approach. The fact that Reid has agreed to a spending cut only plan is truly a gift and Republicans should accept it thankfully. His willingness to concede the point shows how the battle is hurting everybody in Washington and he is right to want to bring it to an end.

If Republicans can get out of town with more in spending cuts than in additional debt authority, it’s a good deal and we should take it.

Morris isn’t alone. There’s a whole bunch of conservative bigshot types who have weighed in on the deal. Art Laffer, who’s a self-described hobbit, says it’s OK. John Bolton, who’s got whiskers like a nutria, said it’s worth supporting. Thomas Sowell, who’s smarter than any nutrias or hobbits I know, got behind it.

These guys aren’t RINO’s.

And the thing is, they’ve got a better argument. MacAoidh’s been saying all along that Boehner made a dumb mistake offering this deal, rather than just passing CCB and then taking a powder and let Harry Reid try to figure out how to screw that football. I think that’s probably right. Do business with somebody, and you know you’re screwed when they fold their arms, shut up and look at you. They’ve made their offer, and if you want a deal you either have to take it – or if you don’t, you’re the one doin’ the talkin’. And you’re gonna do lots of it, because all they’re gonna do is sit there and say no until you’ve given away the store.

Harry Reid has been sittin’ there sayin’ no for a month. He hasn’t brought so much as a fish sandwich to this thing until this week, when he did two things – one of them Morris noted. That being the cave-in on no tax increases, which pretty much chopped Obama’s legs out from under him since all Barry has talked about from the start of this clown-show is corporate jet fatcats and mean oil companies and rich people like him. And the other thing was that Reid said he was OK with the idea that you cut more spending than you’d add to the debt limit.

Those are two really not-half-bad concessions, particularly when you’re dealing with a douchenozzle like Harry Reid. You can maybe get more out of him than that under certain circumstances, but you don’t really have them here – because as big a douchenozzle as Reid is, he’s the Democrats’ leader in the Senate because almost to a person their contingent is 10 times Reid in their douchenozzlery. We’re talking about a group with people in it like Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer and Bob Menendez, after all.

Is douchenozzlery a word? I dunno. You guys can have that one if you want. Just let ’em know I had it first.

Anyway, Reid coughed up the no tax deal and the more-cuts-than-debt-limit increase nickel. What he’s not coughing up is a short-term deal. Reid wants this to go past the election, because somehow the Dems have it in their little domes that if they get a debt ceiling hike of two and a half trillion or so then the budget/debt thing goes away where next year’s election is concerned.

And that isn’t douchenozzlery. It’s a word MacAoidh cooked up a while back: duncitude. These guys are dunces if they think they can wish the debt thing away by passing some dumbass law on a piece of paper that says we just lifted the limit on our Discover card so we don’t have to worry about the fact that the government is subsidizin’ mohair and payin’ adult babies disability with money we don’t have.

In other words, this idea that a short-term deal is actually something that works for the GOP is kinda dumb. It’s not. Just because you raised the debt ceiling enough so that you won’t raise it again before the election that doesn’t mean the voters won’t care about this stuff anymore. All it means is you’re not going to piss off the voters who are already tired of this battle by dragging everybody through it again before the election, which means you’d probably bleed Obama real nice but you’ll get plenty blood on you as well. And Obama’s already bleeding like a stuck pig, because the country’s noticing that this cat couldn’t lead people in silent prayer.

But even with all that said, Boehner’s deal is a short term deal. He DOES put us back into this stuff at the end of the year, what with this commission that’s supposed to scrub the budget and come back with $1.8 trillion more in cuts that then get voted on. I think that’s more a bug than a feature, based on what I just said above.

Reid’s idea was for more cuts and a bigger debt limit increase. His cuts, or at least half of them, are bullshit – he did this dance about how we can save a trillion and a half or so over the next 10 years because we won’t be in Iraq or Afghanistan, and that’s typical Reid douchenozzlery. But that’s the kind of thing that gets blowed up when you go to a conference committee. Reid put his number out there; you can make him stick to that number and force him to actually meet it with real cuts instead of his bullshit based on what he’s already conceded.

Which is not to say that Reid’s bill – it’s not even a bill at this point, it’s a hypothetical, but since he’s going on three years since he passed a budget you’ve got to have a real low bar for him to get over – is any good. It’s not. But it’s enough that you can kick his ass into a decent compromise kinda like the GOP got on the Bush tax rates seven months ago.

MacAoidh would probably say that you could get him to do that based on Cut, Cap and Balance passing out of the House, and if you sat there with your arms folded and your mouth shut Reid would eventually take that bill and try to amend it into something he could pass. Boehner obviously didn’t have a lot of confidence that would happen, and he obviously gets scared reading POLITICO or watching CNN or something. So he put this thing out.

So it’s like this – you can gripe about the Boehner plan all you want. But one of two things will happen. Either the Dems in the Senate will do what they say they’ll do and kill it, in which case they’re on the hook for what happens and it doesn’t matter what Boehner’s plan has in it, or the Dems in the Senate will amend it beyond recognition and take it to conference for a compromise, in which case it doesn’t matter what’s in Boehner’s plan.

See what I did there? It doesn’t matter what’s in Boehner’s plan, because once Reid and his douchenozzles get hold of it they’re going to try to turn it into Reid’s plan. So these guys who want to vote against Boehner’s plan on principle, which I’m fine with as a matter of principle, need to understand that what’s going to happen at the end of all this is a deal which isn’t even as good as what they’re voting on now. That’s something everybody has to understand tonight.

And while it’s a valid gripe that maybe that wouldn’t have happened if Boehner had shut up after CCB, he didn’t. For that maybe somebody ought to challenge him as the Speaker or something, but you can’t unfire that gun.

Passing this thing does have the benefit, though, of showing everybody that hey, we Republicans here in the House have bent over backwards to get a deal going, we’ve pissed on our principles, we’ve torn our own caucus apart and we’ve compromised like crazy by passing something even after CCB got passed. And Reid says it’s dead on arrival? What a douchenozzle!

Now go back to what we just talked about with Reid. He’s already sacrificed tax hikes and the dollar-for-dollar deal. His last holdout is making this settle down until the election’s over. And he won’t budge on that. He can’t. He’s made it a hill to die on, and so has Obama.

Like I said, is it really worth our while? Why not let Reid have that one, but in return he’s gonna have to offer up actual, real stuff to get that debt limit increase. You get in a conference committee with this guy, and there’s your deal. He’s showed you his hand – above all else he’s got to make this debt limit thing go away until January 2013 – and the guess is you can get pretty much whatever you want out of him if you give him that.

And while you want to burn Reid and Obama down on this so much you can taste it, you don’t have to beat them on the size of the debt limit increase to do it. Because as riled up as conservatives are about the idea of increasing the debt limit at all, the lefties are even more pissed off at their people over the idea that this won’t be solved by ransacking every mansion in the good part of town. Obama’s got the Hard Left lookin’ to find somebody to run a primary race against him, and the unions are screeching. There is a lot of lasting damage out there and short of a complete GOP collapse the Left is gonna see this thing as a massive loss. They already do, and they’re starting to flat-out hate Obama for it.

Of course, the whole country’s gonna lose when the credit gets downgraded. Which is gonna happen, and probably soon even after whatever deal Boehner can get out of Reid. That boat left the dock when Reid got his vote to table CCB. But when the Republicans are the ones talkin’ about choppin’ spending, which they’re not gonna stop doing and oh-by-the-way we’re gonna be right back at this in September when the 2012 budget is due and the GOP has passed one while the Senate hasn’t done diddly poo on it yet, who do you think is gonna take the hit for that?

Obama’s gonna take the hit for it. He’s the president. He’ll be the first president to have a debt downgrade to happen on his watch, EVAH. And then the biggest issue in the campaign next year is that since Obama is the dude who busted our bond rating we’ve got to get a new dude (or dudette) in the White House to fix the thing. Particularly since he’s now out of the mix on this deal – something lots of people have already noticed and more will notice as things move along.

Not that it’s a good thing for the bond rating to go south. It’s not. In fact, the way I hear it we’re gonna become Greece lickety-split when it goes down. Like within three months lickety-split. You’re not a AAA bond, and you can’t sell debt to a whole bunch of people who buy it now because they don’t buy bonds what’s not AAA. Either they change their policy on that or you go to a bond auction and you come away with debt you couldn’t sell. And at that point you’ve hit the REAL debt ceiling, not some piece of paper nobody really ought to give a fig about, because when nobody will lend you money you can’t spend it.

This ain’t a pretty picture. It doesn’t get better until you get a president who can run a damn lemonade stand. But because it doesn’t, Republicans need to recognize that they can win this if they can just manage to keep the country from going down the tubes until Rick Perry or Romney or Bachmann or Palin or whoever can whip Obama’s ass next November.

That’s difficult, but it’s doable. What is not doable is getting a capitulation from the douchenozzles and President Dick, like MacAoidh likes to call him, this week. All you’re going to get is what Reid’s already given you, and you can’t get that at this point without Boehner’s bill passing and Reid finally at long last being in a position where he’s got to actually come up with a piece of paper that he then has to convince you to sign on to.

You’ve got to take that, cuz it’s the best you’re gonna get. If you don’t take it, they’re gonna blame you for all the poop that just flew out of that fan. And should that come to pass you can’t get the Senate, and you can’t get rid of Obama, without which none of this will ever be fixed.



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