How seriously are outside conservative groups opposing the debt ceiling compromise negotiated in part by Republican Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell?
We’re not going to get a better deal now. The GOP is scared of its own shadow. At least, however, at least . . . at least we may get some real entitlement reform.
Lastly, the tears of the left on this are delicious. For that alone, I want to support this deal. But because of the foregoing reasons, I can’t support this deal. However, it could be worse.
Rush Limbaugh came out with a very similar tone this afternoon on his talk show. In the first few minutes of his show, Limbaugh stated that “I’d love to support [the compromise deal]… there are supposedly no tax increases in it,” before eventually going on to say he doesn’t actually support the plan.
The wishy-washy criticism is telling – it suggests that even hard-line conservatives like Limbaugh and Erickson understand the power of their influence, and the consequences of their actions.Could it be that somewhere, beyond all the rhetoric of the previous months, they understand the repercussions of lobbying hard against the compromise? That in such a frenzied and rushed scenario, they recognize that a harder line in opposition to the deal could change a few ‘yes’ votes into ‘no’ votes, and cause a real blow to the U.S. economy?
More difficult to understand is the position of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who after a long delay announced Monday morning that he opposed the deal:
“As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced – not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table. President Obama’s leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama’s lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal.”
Almost every other position taken by conservative groups seems easier to comprehend. Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform can sign off on it because there are no certain tax hikes. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce can sign off because the alternative – the failure of the compromise bill – would be devastating to its members.
And yet Romney seems to have less cognizance of what his position would mean if actually put into effect than Limbaugh or Erickson. This would make little sense, unless he figures that no one really believes that he opposes the debt ceiling bill, or that he has little influence over its passage.
This evening, Republicans and Democrats in the House are expected to vote on the compromise bill. Seems like we’ve reached an odd juncture when that the more responsible thing to do would be to listen to the better angels of Erickson and Limbaugh – which at least recognize the advantages of the deal – than to Romney’s dismissal of the plan.