Stumbling Toward Disaster

July 22nd, 2011 at 7:22 pm David Frum | 140 Comments |

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There’s blame for all in the debt talk breakdown.

The president walked away from Simpson-Bowles, declined to present plans to reach long-term budget balance, etc. etc. etc.

But in the argy-bargy, keep this in mind: the debt problem has become a debt crisis for one reason only: because Republicans put the threat of debt default on the table.

That never needed to happen.

House Republicans could have kept the debt ceiling issue wholly separate from the budget cut issue.

Instead, Republicans put the gun on the table. They raised the menace of deliberate default in a way it has not been raised before.

Then, having issued the threat, they discovered that their own core supporters would not allow the gun to be holstered again.

They issued demands they knew could not be met, for budget cuts much bigger than Republicans ever enacted when they had the power to enact them. They cocked the weapon. And now here we are: the demands are unmet and Republicans find themselves facing a horrible choice between yielding on their exorbitant demands or pushing the United States into financial upheaval.

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140 Comments so far ↓

  • el gato libre

    Don’t worry Mr. Frum. After watching Boehner’s brief presser it looks like some sort of back down is already in the works. Kinda funny how Boehner put out a big press release about abandoning talks with Obama, then meekly said “yes maam, ill be there tomorrow!” I never thought that Obama was a master negotiator, but it sure seems like the House Repubs will be blinking tomorrow.

  • Argy F

    I wonder if the vast majority of Americans are, like me, demoralized by this high stakes game of chicken or if they are completely tuned out.

    I can’t imagine anyone being enthused unless they have a drama disorder. I’m not trying to be snarky either, I really can’t believe that anyone who is rational can feel that this type of theatre is a good thing.

  • SteveThompson

    Here is what an economist with George Mason University has to say about the threat of United States debt default:

    “…it would appear to be quite likely that the United States will experience a debt crisis within the next two decades, unless the path for fiscal policy changes from what is projected by the Congressional Budget Office.”

    Here is the rest of Arnold Kling’s study on the likelihood of the United States defaulting on its debt and when that is most likely to happen:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/04/trigger-point-for-united-states-debt.html

    Let’s hope that Congress ceases playing their political games.

    • armstp

      Steve,

      You keep quoting that completely ridiculous website and article. It is such a crock of crap. That moron at George Mason has no idea what he is talking about. His assumptions are so far out in left or right field. Just more fear-mongering. This country is and never will be close to not being able to pay its bills.

      • Watusie

        That is because Steve Thompson IS the “Viable Opposition” blog and vice versa – he is just a link spammer.

  • TJ Parker

    Boehner can’t get the votes.

  • Oldskool

    Obama seems to do a town hall or a standup routine just before he decapitates his enemies. This time though, I’d like to see video of the bodies as they splash into the ocean.

  • nhthinker

    Almost every Republican in the Senate and almost every single Republican in the House voted for the Cut, Cap and Balance. Frum is out of touch with every mainstream Republican.
    Frum should move completely into the No-Labels party. He has lost any shred of Republicanism.

    • Bebe99

      Frum isn’t running for re-election either.

    • StarSpangledSpanner

      Your style of Republicanism is more attuned to Fascism.

    • armstp

      NH,

      Republicans can vote for any crap, crap and crap all they want. That don’t make it real or a viable option.

      That bill had absolutely nothing in it. Can you give us one major spending cut that was in the bill?

      They vote for the Ryan plan which increases the deficit by some trillion over the next 10 years and will require many debt cap increases and then they contradict themselves by trying to cap spending at some arbitrary level and put in a balanced budget amendment, which the Ryan bill will completely blow-up. Does that make sense?

      • valkayec

        Addendum: the Ryan budget added $6 trillion over the next 10 years and failed to balance the budget until 2060.

        • Watusie

          And even that meager progress was predicated on a series of utterly impossible economic scenarios.

  • armstp

    The GOP should just take the gun and shot themselves in the head. We will see how many of the Tea Baggers are left holding that gun in 2012.

  • anniemargret

    Well, watching both President Obama and Boehner tonight made it a clear distinction who was the adult in the room. And it wasn’t Mr. Speaker and his Keystone Kops.

    This is a travesty. And a complete acknowledgement by the GOP that they have a deep disrespect for the middle class and working poor in this country.

    • jcm433

      Haha nice comparing the House Republicans to the Keystone Kops. That’s an excellent comparison: a bunch of brainless, faceless ditto-heads crashing into everything.

    • busboy33

      I was fairly surprised Mr. B decided to go into his presser right after Barry gave his. Say what you will about the President, but he is a staggeringly gifted orator, and possesses the rare ability to spontaneously and clearly speak. He came off as passionate, honest, and direct. Mr. B did not. It actually would have been a pretty good outing for him, but immediately following the President cast him in a “out of his league” light, and that did him and his position no favors.

      • Traveler51

        They do seem to send the second string in, don’t they? One would have thought they learned from the Bobby Jindal debacle. Or even the Governor McConnell followup to the SOTU address. Not sure who decided to allow Michelle to give her rebuttal, but they sure are slow learners. I guess conservatism is clinging to the old ways.

  • nhthinker

    The Feds are spending 4 Billion a day that they don’t have.
    Time for some adults in the room and Obama is not one of them.

    • armstp

      nh,

      There is nothing wrong with the government borrowing money and spending money they do not have, particularly in a recession. Tax revenues have fallen because of the recession. There is no way you can cut spending to match during a recession, as that would put you in a depression and further kill the economy. As the economy returns and as the CBO is forecasting the $1.4 trillion deficit will fall over the next few years. In fact, the CBO is predicting that the deficit will fall to close to 3% of GDP by 2014, which is close to the 50 year average. This country has had no problem running deficits. It has ran deficits in every year except five in the last 50 years. The deficits and debt only got particularly big under Bush, but they will largely correct themselves with economic recovery. Let the economy recover, cut the military budget and get rid of the Bush tax cuts and the deficit will be gone.

      If you do not consider tax increases as the GOP does not, then you are not the adult in the room.

    • valkayec

      In the private sector business world, we borrowed all the time as a necessity to cover wages, other business expenses, short term outlays, purchases, etc. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing to cover expenses, especially during down times, until the market picks up. Businesses do it all the time. Most companies only survive via debt funding.

      Yet, you’re saying debt is an absolute evil. Try telling that to every Fortune 1000 company or even your neighborhood grocery store. They’ll all shake their heads and laugh at you.

      You remind me of the people who said, right after the market crash, that any business that did not have the cash on hand to pay their bills and employees should go out of business, rather than relying on a business line of credit. That was ignorant thinking then and it’s ignorant thinking now because of the timing of cash flows and business expenses.

    • NRA Liberal

      The Federal Government is the monopoly issuer of the world’s reserve currency. They do not “have” money like a household, firm or state. They create it at will. We went off the gold standard under Nixon.

  • jimbob54

    So I guess FrumForum’s position is that the debt ceiling limit should always be raised, no matter what the circumstances? Why don’t you go ahead and open up a FF bank, so I can get me a credit line, and get that Maserati I always wanted?

    • arvan

      Sure, no problem, provided you’re able to pay it back on time, with interest. You don’t even need a FF bank for that. Any old bank will do.

      The truth is that the US has had no problems in paying its debts on time. We borrow money, invest it, make money on that investment, and pay back the debt. Then we borrow more, and repeat. We’ll never pay it all off, but there’s no reason to, as long as our investments have an ROI in excess of the interest rate. Businesses do the same thing. Anyone with a working knowledge of finance can tell you that.

    • armstp

      Jimbooooo,

      There should be no debt ceiling. Period. That is the correct position.

    • wileedog

      Yes the debt ceiling should ALWAYS be raised. It is expenditures already authorized and promised. By not raising the limit, the GOP is saying they refuse to pay out money they already voted to pay.

      If you don’t want to spend more money, don’t budget it in the first place.

      Why does no one with an R next to their name get this?

    • Primrose

      If you don’t like the budget, you bargain when it is budget making time, and assuming you have the votes, you pass it. You don’t refuse to pay the bills because you didn’t have the votes to pass the budget you wanted.

  • Stumbling Toward Disaster | Reader

    [...] here to read the rest: Stumbling Toward Disaster This entry was posted in Daring Fireball and tagged argy, budget, david-frum, debt, debt-ceiling, [...]

  • StarSpangledSpanner

    Why are Republicans such quitters?

    Palin quit.
    Cantor quits when the going gets tough.
    Boehner runs away to cry in the corner.

    Wuss should be the new name for the GOP.

  • Emma

    anniemargret:

    “a complete acknowledgement by the GOP that they have a deep disrespect for the middle class and working poor in this country.”

    Indifference is more like it. The real purpose of the GOP game is to wound Obama — mortally wound, if possible. All the GOP fretting over health care, budget deficits, and national debt is just a pretext, a means to an end. And that singular end is to DESTROY OBAMA. If the House Republican Caucus was convinced that Obama would face the brunt of voter outrage over a default, they would engineer a default. Screw the consequences for the nation or the world.

    • anniemargret

      Emma. I am horrified by what you say. Yet, I believe it, too. At the back of my mind I’ve always believed that the GOP has been following the lead of one of their de facto leaders….Rush Limbaugh, who at the outset of Obama’s presidency, said “I hope he fails.”

      Of course that comment meant that if Obama failed, so did the the millions that voted for him, that believed in his policies.

      In point of fact, I remember the odious Karl Rove saying the GOP wanted to remove Democrats forever from governing the nation.

      I believe it’s both. I believe the GOP has a deep disrespect for anyone outside their bubble of belief, and also a deep hatred and fear of the black man in the White House…. because he represents a new vision for America. An America that is multi-cultural, not just Waspish, an America that respects minorities be they sexual minorities or ethnic minorities or religious minorities .

      They are trying desperately to change the flavor of America.

      The 69 million Americans that voted for Obama are not going to turn around and vote for these bozos whose vision for this country is to implode it from within.

    • dasdas

      Correction Emma. The Republicans have a deep disrespect for freeloaders and bums. They have a very high respect for those who work for a living and carry their own weight.

      • anniemargret

        dasdas.. whoa there. You mean you are deluded into thinking Life is a Fair Game? that everyone gets the same opportunity, the same chance to reach success?

        Do you live on Planet Earth?

        Do us a favor and drop the pretentiousness and arrogance, because Life can bite you on the rear pretty quickly and you might find yourself on the other side of that equation.

        The mentally ill, the disabled, the poorest of the poor, the elderly, the veterans of America all apologize to you for not being able to carry their own weight.

        You ought to be ashamed of your statement but it’s apparently useless to debate with such a self-serving mentality.

      • busboy33

        based on . . . ?

      • dmnolan

        Grover Norquist seems to be a free-loader and the Republicans line up to kiss his ring and sign his “Pledge.” It’s not that these people want to reduce the taxpayer’s burden but rather to redirect those tax dollars to themselves. Virture and rectitude have never been part of it.

      • armstp

        dasdas,

        You mean like all the freeloaders who live off of corporate welfare or who pollute or rape our resources without paying for it.

        So you are saying that all the generations of American elderly, which pretty much includes everyone, who benefited from social security and medicare are all freeloaders?

        How about Bachmann who’s spouse’s clinic takes government healthcare money or her relatives that benefit from agriculture subsidies?

        Or the defense contractors who sell us billions of useless military equipment and systems?

        etc. etc. etc.

        Lets just make sure we include all the “freeloaders” in your comment.

        By the way actually true welfare only accounts for about 1% of the federal budget and many of those who receive welfare are only on it temporarily and have paid much taxes through their entire life, so there are not really many welfare “bums” as you say taking much free money out of the system.

        • laingirl

          Please include all the non-working Republican members of Congress who do little for their pay and pensions. They introduce no bills of any real importance and do not seem to have any original thoughts in their heads. They speak in Faux Nooze talking points and are the biggest freeloaders of all.

      • Primrose

        Like all the immigrants who spend their life working hard and earning nothing?

      • balconesfault

        Exactly why the GOP wants to eliminate the tax on inherited wealth.

        Because it’s important to reward the hard work it takes to be born to the right parents.

  • dasdas

    The Democrats are FUBAR. Our only hope for America is that we make it to 2012 when we can dump Obama and his ugly ilk.

    • valkayec

      I really do feel sorry for you. It’s obvious you’re an Ayn Rand Objectivist who believes solely in a narcissistic viewpoint and has no compassion towards anyone else.

      As someone who’s spent a 30+ career engaged in fiscal negotiations in the private sector, I know the only way to truly win a negotiation is to work a deal in which each side feels it has won something and gave up something.

      What the GOP is doing is demanding total surrender. As someone who bought goods and services throughout my career, if a vendor company had demanded that of me, I’d have told them to screw off and looked elsewhere.

      Your attitude shows complete and utter spoiled adolescence. An attitude of “me first and to heck with everyone else”. Outside of a small majority of robber barons at the turn of the 20th Century, that attitude has always been rejected by Americans.

      Again, I feel sorry for your feeble-minded, adolescent, selfish thinking.

    • armstp

      dasdas,

      I think you Republicans are in for a big surprise in 2012. I think a lot of your Tea Party buddies will be out of a job in 2012. Just look at what is happening in Wisconsin for a look into the future. Also Ryan’s plan screwed you in NY-26. A sign of things to come.

  • anniemargret

    btw…Mr. Frum, you say there is equal blame for the breakdown in the debt talks. Of course it cannot be so, because you, yourself, admit that the Republicans could have voted to raise the ceiling, and then worked on the deficit and spending, etc…

    So there is no equal blame, let’s make that crystal clear.

    The Republicans are to blame, and everyone knows it. They can pretend to take the high lofty ground here, but they were willing to let this country go to the dogs to make a point. Disgraceful conduct by so-called ‘leaders.’

    • dasdas

      Annie – The Republicans did that because they have America’s best interests in mind. The Democrats are trying to destroy America. At least that’s how it looks to me. Class warfare, tax and spend (English translation: confiscate and squander), etc. The have total losers in positions of power. Obama is a prime example but there are many more. Consider losers like Shiela Jackson Lee, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, horrible awful people with zero qualifications to lead.

      • busboy33

        So the Republicans are out for only what is good and right, and the Evil, malicious Democrats are out to hurt as many Americans as possible. Probably while twirling their mustaches as well.

        Do you know how utterly silly that sounds?

      • anniemargret

        George Bush 43. Grover Norquist. Newt Gingrich. Karl Rove. Dick “deficits don’t matter’ Cheney.

        George Bush 43.

      • dubmod

        You idiot. We are not Greece. This will destroy our credibilty in the developed world educate yourself or shut the fuck up

      • dubmod

        You idiot. We are not Greece. This will destroy our credibilty in the developed world educate yourself or shut up

      • Lonewolf

        No, they don’t. Many of them, including Mitch McConnell, have publicly stated that their first goal is to ruin the President. To do this, they are perfectly willing to bring the nation to its knees. The Republicans have NOBODY’S best interests at heart, except their own. It is foolish to believe otherwise.

      • armstp

        dasdas,

        You seem to have something against women and black women in particular.

        Pelosi is a great leader. She was responsible for one of the most productive congressional terms ever, despite a GOP that blocked her on everything. Boehner has accomplished absolutely nothing since he took over.

      • Primrose

        You don’t understand finance if you think default is better than not raising taxes. America’s credit is impeccable. When we default it won’t be. It will never be impeccable again. This is a big, big, deal. It will change our interest rates and if you don’t understand how much that will cost you, there are a number of credit card companies that would very much like to do business with you.

    • Kevin B

      btw…Mr. Frum, you say there is equal blame for the breakdown in the debt talks. Of course it cannot be so, because you, yourself, admit that the Republicans could have voted to raise the ceiling, and then worked on the deficit and spending, etc…

      Annie, the word “equal” does not appear in Frum’s piece. He says there is “blame for all … but … Republicans put the threat of default on the table.” I think you should re-read what he actually wrote, and see if you don’t agree that he is placing the blame almost exclusively on the Republicans’ shoulders.

      Not exclusively, but almost exclusively.

  • dubmod

    Stating that both sides are responsible is bullshit. Read Andrew Sullivan tonight he hit the nail right on the head. This incarnation of the Republican Party is a homegrown Al Qaeda. The only possible silver lining is that this will finish them with the business community. No pragmatic businessman could support this anarchy.

  • anniemargret

    Emma. As a center left liberal/Dem, I have a great deal of respect for Andrew Sullivan, as I believe he is probably one of the more honest bloggers around.

    I just read his excellent analysis of the GOP and their stance against Obama and the crisis. Here is a piece of it:

    “Boehner and McConnell have one goal and it is has nothing to do with the economy. It is destroying this president and this presidency. They are clearly calculating that the economic devastation their vandalism could create will so hurt the economy that it could bring them back to power through the wreckage. And they will use every smear, every lie, every canard possible to advance this goal. The propaganda channel dreamt of by Roger Ailes in the Nixon era will continue to pump poison into the body politic, until they defeat the man whose legitimacy as president they have never truly accepted.

    Coming from abroad, this country seems as if it is beyond dysfunctional. It looks like a banana republic on the verge of economic collapse. Now that Nixon’s dream has come true and the GOP is fundamentally the party of the Confederacy, it was perhaps naive to think they could ever accept the legitimacy of this president, or treat him with respect or act as adults in the governing process.

    But this is who they are. I longed for Obama to bridge this gulf in ideology. But he cannot bridge it alone, especially when the GOP is determined to burn the bridge entirely, even when presented with a deal so tilted to the right only true fanatics could possibly walk away from it. And so the very republic is being plunged into crisis and possible depression by a single, implacable, fanatical faction. Until they are defeated, the country remains in more peril than we know.” – http://www.andrewsullivan.com

    You are right on the money with your own analysis about their wanting to DESTROY this president, because I think this, too. Ugly, isn’t it?

  • jamesj

    I don’t know how any reasonable person could look upon this madness and come away with anything but disappointment in Boehner and the House Republicans. They’ve taken an unbelievably extreme position and pissed on a deal from a democratic president and a democratically controlled senate to reform entitlements and the tax code in some majorly conservative ways. I’m speechless really. Its hard to wrap the mind around. I feel bad for Boehner because you can tell he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. He sat on the precipice of a historic deficit cutting deal with major concessions from democrats, but a portion of his own caucus is so extreme that he was unable to act. Truly sad.

    • anniemargret

      Way back when, the Dems were held hostage to the extreme left, but got smart and purged them.

      The American people are basically decent-minded, fair people. They don’t like extremism.

      The GOP has been held hostage to their own radicals for a long, long time. Because they wanted their votes, they went to the Dark Side. I don’t say this with any humor, I mean it. What they are exhibiting is evil…because it hurts everyone, even their own country.

      I no longer want to hear Republicans coo and chant about their being the ‘real Americans’ or that they hold the mantle of ‘patriotism.’

      They are *not* patriots…not by a long shot.

  • StarSpangledSpanner

    Grover Norquist unelected deputy leader of the GOP has instructed the Republicans to raise the debt limit.

    All hail the leader Limbaugh and deputy leader Norquist.

  • anniemargret

    wait a min….wasn’t it Bartlett that said Obama was the first true conservative President?

  • Sinan

    The sad truth is that we are seeing the modern version of the Civil War played out yet again. Listening to the far right is like reading speeches by Calhoun in the 1840s. We already fought this fight, we annihilated the South and then forgave them and let them rejoin us. For this act of complete forgiveness, we have been rewarded with nothing. The South has been a burden on us since Reconstruction and they remain the stronghold of far right ideology. It is time for responsible leaders in the GOP like Frum to call them on their psuedo-treasonous positions. The USA is not in a debt crisis, period. We are in a crisis of artificial means that is not about the deficit at all. The deficit can be fixed by allowing the Bush tax cuts to just expire. No, this is a battle for the same issues we fought a Civil War. In the minds of every single conservative I have ever met is an image of a black, brown or different person taking something from them which they refuse to give. First it was freedom, then it was 40 mules, then it was the vote, then inter-marriage and now it is legitimacy and equality. I am disgusted with this version of the GOP. As a 55 year old, this is making me long for the days of the Reagan Republican. This group is by far the most radical, racist and destructive force we have seen since the days of the Gilded Age. Frum, stand up for what is right and take down your party. They are a disaster.

    • sinz54

      “The South has been a burden on us since Reconstruction and they remain the stronghold of far right ideology. ”

      Not the problem.

      There are Tea Party chapters all over the country, even in my own state of MA. I think they’re in every state by now.

      http://www.teapartypatriots.org/allgroups.aspx

      In the House of Representatives, the Tea Party Caucus includes members from Arizona, Colorado, West Virginia, Nebraska, Montana, etc. The head of the Tea Party Caucus, Michele Bachmann, represents a district in Minnesota.

      This isn’t North-South anymore.

      This is all the folks who enjoyed Glenn Beck’s show and Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” getting together on the Internet and Facebook and forming a political movement out of it. (Glenn Beck was born in Washington State.)

      And the reason why they’re so intransigent is that Ayn Rand was. Her novel’s hero, John Galt, flatly refuses to have anything to do with the statists, even though America is nearing collapse. Eventually America does collapse under the weight of statism. Only then does John Galt and his allies return to rebuild the country.

      Liberals thought that Rush Limbaugh was bad. But Limbaugh sounds pretty sane to me, compared to Glenn Beck. A political movement that takes direction from Glenn Beck is really something.

      • Sinan

        Nice try. The Southern States represent a voting block that is difficult to overcome and they have more power than they should considering their relative population and economic status. When you throw in Rural america which basically agrees with the South on all manner of social and political policies, you have a block of states with a lot of power for which we get very little in return. The tea party is the party of the south, it is the white rage party. You do not see tea party majorities in the large cities or in liberal states. The heavy lifting in this economy is done by the liberal states with the exception of Texas whose best product is a resource, oil. If you want to boil it down even further, it is the white evangelical voter and no one is going to convince me that these folks are not part and parcel sympathetic with the South.

  • Lonewolf

    Boehner just expended his last, tiny scrap of moral authority. He has now proven he is incapable as a negotiator, incapable as a leader, incapable as a politician, and incapable as a citizen.

    • valkayec

      When you try to catch a wild tiger by the tail, you end up getting torn apart. That’s what has happened to Boehner and McConnell. I only hope it tears the Young Guns apart too.

  • baw1064

    As of today, I now consider myself a Democrat, albeit a fiscal conservative, libertarianish one. I say this after having been a committed Independent for 30 years, and having voted for Perot, Dole, and GWB.

    The Republican Party as it is presently constituted is utterly insane. I hope, but am not optimistic, that people like Frum and Bartlett can talk sense into the GOP. We need two or more groups of responsible adults with different views to have a meaningful political dialogue. We don’t have that now.

    Today a good opportunity for meaningful steps towards fiscal sustainability was squandered.

    • anniemargret

      baw. One of the things I enjoy about being a Democrat is that there is room for fiscal conservatism. There is nothing that says we have to be 60s hippie radicals in the year 2011 in the Dem party.

      I have always been centered in my views, and I have a suspicion that the majority of Americans feel the same way. The problem that the GOP has now is that it has endeared itself to the most extreme radicals and right wingers that years ago would have been anathema to that party.

      I grew up in a solid middle class, socially and fiscally conservative Republican home. I voted for Reagan. When Bush was elected, I started seeing the ugly culture wars start. First it was about religion, then sex, then science and now….racism. I fled to be an Independent, still thinking that somehow, someday I would vote Republican again. No chance…the party was corrupted by bigots, fear-mongerers, culture warriors and plain old Greed.

      Palin offered up a Pandora’s box of racism and bigotry when she called the President a near terrorist. They cheered her. Encouraged and enabled more of it. McCain had to flail about when a woman from his audience claimed that Obama was some type of Arab = terrorist.

      Then it happened. The GOP could have squelched this type of thinking. Instead we saw more of it. The furies started flying with Bachmann, Angle, Gingrich, and a boatload of Tea Partiers with their anti-Obama rants and vicious ethnic and racist signs and catcalls….along with the myriad others demonizing the black guy in the White House. On and on and on….

      Now we are witnessing the apex of all that venom and hate and fear and greed in the ugly display of hyper-partisanship in the GOP. The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves.

      Goodbye USA. It was imploded from within. Like Imperial Rome, it harbored corruption until it made a home in every Republican heart.

      • valkayec

        I remember sitting on the floor in front of my Republican, conservative father who grew up during the Depression, listening on the radio to the Kennedy-Nixon debate. Afterwards, I turned to my father and said Kennedy would win the election. My dad grinned broadly at me and say, “oh, yeah?” I’m sure he thought I was just a silly kid.

        Later when I could vote, I did not vote for Reagan. I just didn’t think as governor he was the best guy for the job. For all his budget rhetoric, he left the state of California with a much larger deficit than when he entered office. Now, I’ll admit, I’m something of a fiscal conservative – even a bit of hawk. I don’t mind deficit spending when it’s necessary for growth and competition, but I do have a problem with deficit spending to give tax breaks. My mom was an accountant. I grew up learning about fiscal responsibility and managing both sides of the ledger. When Reagan failed to do that kind of managing in CA, I just couldn’t support him for President. Oh, I know it’s often necessary and even wise sometimes to run a deficit, but when the economy is relatively good there’s no reason to increase the deficit just to give tax breaks to those who really don’t need them and thereby create an even bigger deficit.

        Anyway, after Reagan, all I heard from the GOP were statements that rang either false or ignorant. I can’t support either of those positions. Simply put, I don’t trust the GOP…on any level.

        My gut feeling about Presidential candidates has been pretty accurate which is why I know that I have a horribly sick feeling in my gut, I know the GOP has gone so far over the edge that there may be no turning back until a resulting depression hits.

        Sick, isn’t it?

  • Dazedandconfused

    McConnell’s wonderfully cynical “Let the Democrats be the only ones who extend it” gambit? No joy.

    “Cut, cap, and Balance”? Maybe a chance at a face saving vote will sooth them? No joy.

    Frankenstein grabs the violin and busts the good doctor upside the head with it…

    Looks like they both decided to take the case to the public, and hope a bit of collective outrage might pierce the information bubble the radicals are living in.

    Friday afternoon is a great time to stage the drama.

    • valkayec

      Yeah, let the public stew and fear and fret over the weekend so that by Monday we all have ulcers or worse. Great job, GOP.

      I’m just thankful I sold off yesterday before the closing bell rang and have everything sitting in cash. Unless a deal is made over the weekend, I fully expect the market to begin dropping next week.

  • rbottoms

    This is the same weary disgust John Cole had with the GOP before he quit. I don’t expect Frum to become a Democrat, but one can only tolerate disgust and embarrassment with your own side for so long if you have any shred of decency. I needled Cole so bad he told me to f*** off one time before he switched parties. I am similarly enjoying David Frum’s horror and disgust mainly because I have not one ounce of sympathy for him or any Republican.

    But I do understand.

    The final destruction of the GOP can’t come soon enough.

    Pass the popcorn.

  • BustedBoomer

    Sinan:
    I agree re Civil War. I have been reading the NYT (sorry) Disunion series, and the comments are the best part. Here we are again. Prior to the Civil War (and all its alternate names, my favorite being The Late Unpleasantness), Federal taxes were only for Federal stuff: Tariffs = Military etc. During and after that War, the Federal Govt began its ascendance. Now, rather than sectional (North vs South), it is Rural vs Urban, with the Rural illusion that the rural areas support the urban areas, when the reverse is the case.
    GOP: I like the ostensible concept, but oh for someone in the GOP to stand up to Bat Guano Crazies.

    • chicago_guy

      The GOP has been painting themselves into a corner for the last 30 years, and unfortunately, there’s no one left TO stand up to the crazies; the crazies is what they’ve got left for political muscle (the money is still corporations and multi-nationals along with the born-rich, but the foot soldiers are the most fervent myth believers of whatever age we’re talking about).

      Normally it’d be enjoyable to see how Obama has allowed Boehner enough rope to hang himself, but that show stopped being entertaining when it became clear that John Boehner is so scared of upsetting the Tea Partiers from whence comes his strength that he really is prepared to let the country default on its obligations rather than doing the sensible thing and grabbing a long-term budget deal that is to the right of anything previous Republican Houses could have even imagined.

      But if he has to allow his members to see that Obama got anything out of the deal, he knows he can’t make it work. Some leadership skills, Boner.

    • Sinan

      I have been selling to rural America for the last 8 years exclusively. I have been to their parties, heard them invoke Jesus at business events, heard them tell nigger jokes, call liberals swine and worse and basically had to endure their ignorance in order to conduct my business. In every market I have been in, the radio is filled non-stop with content meant to cast any and all liberals and democrats as treasonous SOBs whose only desire is to siphon off the success of conservatives. I have endured this knowing that the Blue states contribute far more to funding the Red states. I have endured this while working in a totally socialized industry filled with raging conservatives who believe they deserve the socialism but some poor black woman with three kids does not. I am sick to my stomach at the ignorance of these imbeciles. They have decided that no Democratis leader should rule, ever. They will take us all down to make sure this is so. Only one thing that I know invokes this kind of passion in America and it is race. Basically, the two parties are now separated by racism. One lacks it, the other embraces it.

  • seeker656

    Can you imagine that the Speaker of the House, third in line for the presidency, feels the need to call Rush Limbaugh and reassure him that the Republicans are not going to compromise and then the Speaker walks away from critical negotiations so that he doesn’t offend Rush.

    How far do the Republicans have to go down this path before the financial community panics and gives them the word? Wall Street will not come out of this disaster unscathed and it will be difficult, not impossible, to spin the ensuing recession (if we are lucky) as an Obama caused event.

    • Rob_654

      You speak the truth. The Republican Party is de facto run by people who are not elected, do not have to face the consequences of what happens and can always find an “out” if it hits the fan.

  • baw1064

    For some comic relief (of the dark humor variety), here’s Redstate’s admonition to House Republicans:

    “Hold the freaking line. You only need four votes in the Senate to have a majority. You do not need Plan B. You do not need to negotiate.”

    I’d say more like running at full tilt toward the cliff.

  • ATLIndie

    I think Obama needs to show the House GOP that he is the Commander-in-chief and start bossing them. The polls definitively show that the people are with Obama on the balanced approach. So, Obama should use the bully pulpit to the max and take this to the people.

    I would have Obama tell the GOP that he is invoking the 14th amendment to cancel the debt ceiling, just like Bill Clinton, recommends, and tell the GOP to go take it to SCOTUS. Meanwhile, Obama torches GOP on the town hall circuit.

    Canada has wing-nuts just like the Tea partiers; however, the strong Canadian PMs like Chretien and Harper would use the Supreme Court to knock back Quebec separtists and the Governer-general to prorogue parliament when minority parties tried to overturn the 2008 election. In both cases, the people were with the Canadian PM, they just needed a strong PM to exercise the full power of the state. b
    BTW, the Canadian majority remembered the 2008 attempted hijacking and severely punished the minority parties in May, 2011 election.

    If Obama leads with a firm hand, the people will demolish the the GOPin 2012. He just needs to find his mojo and stop being so nice the House GOP.

    • think4yourself

      @ Atlindie: “I think Obama needs to show the House GOP that he is the Commander-in-chief and start bossing them.”

      I disagree. The reason the people are with Obama is that he is allowing the GOP to hang themselves. If he elects to exercise Constitutional authority then it should be at the very last minute possible. If he starts beating them with a stick, the Liberals will love it, but the independents will not.

  • rbottoms

    I’m all for Obama using the no Vaseline option.

  • rbottoms

    Speaking of Right Wing Assholes.

    [blockquote]A gunman stalked youths at an island summer camp for young members of the governing party after explosions in Oslo hit government buildings. The police seized a man, Anders Behring Breivik, whom they described as a right-wing extremist connected to the attacks.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/23/world/europe/23oslo.html?_r=1&hp/blockquote

    Wasn’t this the lead story here, back when it looked like Mooslims did it?

    • arvan

      Numerous right-wing sites pulled the story the moment it became clear that the terrorist was a right-wing Muslim-hater. I’m rather disappointed that FF is on that list.

      Scores dead, many of them children, and it will be forgotten within a week, because the media pisses their collective pants in fright at the thought of criticizing these fascist thugs. And as usual, anyone who mentions the murderers politics will be accused of politicizing the attack – never mind that it was clearly political in nature.

      • drdredel

        Political nature? I’m sorry, please remind me which political party (here or in Norway) is in favor of shooting random children. Just because something is a horrible tragedy doesn’t mean that it had discernable cause.
        The preliminary data suggests this was just a deranged man. Trying to figure out his politics in such a situation is a lot like trying to figure out the politics of volcano.

        • rbottoms

          No one on the Right is ever responsible for a goddam thing. McVeigh, lone wolf, Olympic bomber same thing. I said blood would flow from the NY “Super Mosque” bullshit of Pamela Gellar. Well here’s one of that shreiking harpy’s biggest fans. But let no one on the right stand up to swine like her, oh no.

          As tragic as this is the terrorists I am concerned with are the ones holding the world’s economy hostage.

        • StarSpangledSpanner

          There never has been a right wing terrorist and never will be. They are all lone wolf nut cases and have no political persuasions whatsoever.

          OTOH Bil Ayres was a commie. The end.

        • sinz54

          I’m against all forms of terrorism.

          Isn’t that the line your Islamist friends use?

          And your (half) black hero in the White House is still toast.

        • abj

          And the Tea Party/American Right has….um, what relevance to the tragedy in Norway, exactly? Were the terrorists taking their cues from subliminal messages Mitch McConnell sent them on CSPAN?

          I don’t think you’re well, and the sooner you undergo a psychiatric evaluation, the better.

        • elizajane

          The man was not shooting “children.” He was shooting teenagers who were attending a summer camp run by Norway’s Labor Party, a social-democratic party that supports a solid welfare state through high taxes. Its youth wing is called the “Youth Workers League.” The camp was specifically for these young people who wanted to make a difference in left-wing politics.

          This was absolutely a right-wing political act.

  • StarSpangledSpanner

    Sinz54.

    You have so much hate to give.

    Thank you.

    • Nanotek

      “And your (half) black hero in the White House is still toast.” sinz54

      it seems pathetic that you find noteworthy the manner in which his skin reflects electromagnetic radiation from about 390 to 740 nm in wavelength as compared to yours

      Obama seems a great man, like Lincoln, disregarding the harpy howls of haters in order to most greatly advance our nation’s union … knowing the strength that adds to us all

      I’m glad he’s in the White House, rather than McCain or Palin, and that he’ll be there until 2016 … we’ll need him there obviously

      • abj

        Near as I can tell, the only similarity between Obama and Lincoln is that both were elected to Congress from Illinois. And, of course, both were elected president. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.

  • StarSpangledSpanner

    From the BBC.

    “The man arrested following the attacks in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, describes himself as a “nationalist”, according to the police.

    In the purest sense of the word, he is not alone. On this day of grief, Norwegian people have united under their flag, vowing to stand firm against terror.

    But the suspect, it seems, is no pure nationalist. Instead, he is said to be a right-wing extremist of the kind that police authorities in the West have feared for some time.”

    From AP.

    “The man arrested for the attack has been identified as Anders Behring Breivik. Norwegian TV2 reports that Breivik belongs to “right-wing circles” in Oslo. Sources in Norway tell IREHR that Breivik has been known to write posts in right-wing internet forums in Norway, where he has described himself as a “nationalist” and has also written numerous screeds critical of Muslims.

    UPDATE 10:01pm – New evidence has surfaced indicating that Breivik appears to be a fan of the Tea Party’s favorite Islamophobe, Pamela Geller. The website Little Green Footballs reports that he’s been posting links to Geller’s website Atlas Shrugged since at least 2009. See here, for example.”

    Of course he is still not a Right Wing terrorist, just a misunderstood kitten.

  • sinz54

    If it’s impossible to get an agreement to deal with this huge debt problem that doesn’t involve tax increases, then I’m for tax increases. Surprise!

    Does that shock my conservative friends?
    It shouldn’t.

    My diagnosis of the problem is this: The GOP can’t reach an agreement with Obama because the GOP can’t seem to get its priorities straight.

    Here are some goals a conservative Republican might have:

    1. Lower taxes (or at least don’t raise them)
    2. Balance the budget and work toward reducing the debt.
    3. Stick it to Obama.

    Now: Every Republican, every conservative, should be willing to explain which of those is most important to him, and which of those is least important to him. Because we may not be able to get all three.

    So go ahead, order them by priority from most important to least important.

    And then once we get our priorities straight, we can negotiate better.

    One more thing: Any Republican who doesn’t believe that failure of the U.S. Government to meet any of its obligations is a real problem, doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    • StarSpangledSpanner

      Mitch McConnell.

      “Our greatest priority is to make Obama a one term President ” Period. Nothing else.

      Country be damned.

      The GOP’s priority is clear.

      • balconesfault

        Sinz lays it out well.

        Unfortunately, from his past statements, it does seem like “stick it to Obama” is his preferred outcome here as well.

    • Rob_654

      It is amazing that folks have yet to understand the need to first prioritize and then, very often, the next set of decisions become much easier.

      However, for many Republicans, they have prioritized and the Number One Goal is beating Obama in 2012.

      If they have to tear down the country to save it they are more than willing to do that because they believe that Obama is so bad that watching the markets crater, the US debt rating drop, unemployment skyrockets, etc… all of this is “ok” as long as it helps to defect Obama in 2012.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    3. Stick it to Obama.

    There it is, classic words of a non patriot. I never once thought “stick it to Bush” for the reason itself. Fight against his policies when I disagreed, absolutely, but to oppose him even when I agreed with him for the most part would have been unpatriotic.

    But Sinz is no lover of America. What a sad little pathetic man he must be. Try taking that huge pole out of your ass sometime and you might see that life is not as dark and scary as you imagine.

    • StarSpangledSpanner

      Agreed,

      Sinz and other like minded RW tools are Anti American and close to traitors in many ways.

      The GOP itself is prepared to work against the interests of the majority of the American people for purely political ends. Disgusting

    • sinz54

      My challenge wasn’t aimed at you.

      It was aimed at Republicans who can’t seem to decide what, if anything, they’re prepared to compromise on.

      I very much want Obama defeated in 2012, I want him out of the White House. Just like you wanted Bush out of the White House in 2004. The job of the party out of power is to get power. That’s politics.

      But that’s not the issue right now for me.

      • StarSpangledSpanner

        The way you go about gaining power is important. You have a deep hatred of this President. It has been obvious from your writings here over a long period.

        That hatred clouds your judgment and you make stupid statements about killing every person in Pakistan and other equally ridiculous ideas.

        Perhaps you need a course in anger management as you are often out of control.

      • Raskolnik

        “The job of the party out of power is to get power. That’s politics.”

        And here I was thinking that politics was about governance, and that the job of the party out of power was to work with the party in power to advance the national interest. Shows how much I know.

        • elizajane

          No, politics and governance are two different things but usually they can be accomplished together, in a complementary if not harmonious fashion. The problem with the Republicans is that for some considerable time they have been perfecting politics at the complete expense of governance.

      • medinnus

        I also want Obama out of the White House in 2012.

        However, the GOP failed in 2008 to give me anything reasonable to vote for, and the best they seem to be able to muster in 2012 is Mitt Romney? I fear that until the Christianist Tea Party fanatics are hounded from the party, I have no political home.

        I certainly don’t share the fanatical hatred of Obama that the racist Right retrogrades here seem to share. JimBob, Smeggy the Closet Gay, and others make me ashamed of the Right.

  • rbottoms

    The hell with running my government then, it’s all about power. The Right are just terrorists, in and out of government.

  • jg bennet

    A man in debt is so far a slave.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave
    – Leo Tolstoy

    The borrower is slave to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7)

    By 1855, the Republican Party controlled a majority in the House of Representatives. The new Party decided to hold an organizing convention in Pittsburgh in early 1856, leading up to the Philadelphia convention.

    As the convention approached, things came to a head — and to blows. On the floor of the Senate Democratic representatives Preston Brooks and Lawrence Keitt (South Carolina) brutally attacked Charles Sumner with a cane after Sumner gave a passionate anti-slavery speech which Brooks took offense (he was related to the main antagonist of Sumner’s speech, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler). Both representatives resigned from Congress with severe indignation over their ouster, but were returned to Congress by South Carolina voters in the next year. Sumner was not able to return to the Congressional halls for four years after the attack. Brooks was heard boasting “Next time I will have to kill him,” as he left the Senate floor after the attack…….

  • billybroadband

    Our country is not giving the third world a very nice picture of our exceptionalism right now. “Dysfunction” is the word that comes to mind. I haven’t subscribed to any of the standard tenets of the Democratic party for some time now, but the thought that comes to my mind during this kerfuffle is “I’ll never vote for another Republican again…..ever.” The GOP is dead to me now. The Tea Party can have it. I just hope and pray they come to their senses and realize that politics is compromise – but they sure aren’t giving any signs of that intelligence.

    • Sinan

      I wonder if you could explain why you do not favor a party that has been the sole protector of the poor and middle class for decades, stewards of our environment, champions for liberty and equality and respected the world over as the only party in America that is even closely aligned with the rest of the world. What is it that makes you say no this line up of policies and goals?

      • think4yourself

        @ Sinan: “I wonder if you could explain why you do not favor a party that has been the sole protector of the poor and middle class for decades, stewards of our environment, champions for liberty and equality and respected the world over as the only party in America that is even closely aligned with the rest of the world. What is it that makes you say no this line up of policies and goals?”

        Huh? Are you talking about the GOP??? Did I miss the sarcasm button?

        • Sinan

          If you think the GOP is revered around the world you are sadly mistaken. We are being held hostage by racist ideologues. They disgust me.

  • Hunter01

    The consensus here is that Emma is right. (Not a perfect consensus, but pretty darn close.) The GOP is pushing hard for a default in the hope that the economic devastation will be blamed on Obama.

    Now the tough question: Assuming default is inevitable, what steps should Obama (or the Fed) take before and after August 2? I see three categories of action: (1) fiscal, (2) legal, and (3) political.

    Any ideas?

  • ram6968

    excuse my wild flight of fantasy,but, we need jobs….but that would take a jobs program (stimulus) which the republicans won’t allow…..but if the republicans “force” obama to invoke the 14th, wouldn’t that cut republicans out of the equation?

    • Solo4114

      Not exactly. Obama can’t authorize additional spending such as a stimulus. Only Congress can do that, and that much is clear. What’s less clear is who can authorize the payment of money ALREADY spent — that’s what’s up in the air at the moment.

      As I understand it, it goes like this under normal circumstances.

      1.) Congress passes a budget, votes on expenditures, and approves them. This happens earlier in the year because, until you have your budget, you don’t get funds allocated. This is why, earlier in the year, the GOP took the government hostage and threatened a government shut-down.

      2.) The funds are then distributed according to the budget by the Treasury Dept. Congress holds the power of the purse to authorize expenditures, but Congress isn’t actually holding the purse itself. Just the pursestrings. Treasury is the one holding all the money. Separation of powers and all that.

      3.) The debt ceiling kicks in. The debt ceiling is a legislatively-created constraint on spending that says “We have approved the U.S. to go into debt only XYZ amount.” The debt ceiling is usually voted on towards mid-year. Bear in mind that the U.S.’s already-approved expenditures are SEPARATE from whatever limit it places on its debt. So, in essence, Congress says on one day “We approve spending this much” but via the debt ceiling, says “Except that we don’t approve going into debt any more than this.” Now, in theory, this should work out just fine. The debt ceiling gets raised commensurate with expenditures, which, themselves are ideally commensurate with revenues. We retain debt, but because we always pay it, we’re actually able to operate the country with perpetual debt instead of surplus (or as soon as surplus is created, we spend more and turn it into debt).

      So, where’s all of this come into play with Obama? Basically, the 14th Amendment says that the U.S.’s credit can’t be questioned. Meaning (as some interpret it) that we do NOT default. Ever. One of the things about running perpetual debts, and the reason why nations can get away with it, is that nations pay their bills. Having debt is fine, as long as we know you’re good for it, and especially if we get a little extra on our return. The Brits invented this approach, as I understand it, back around the early 1700s, and it’s been working just fine since then — until you bring knuckle-dragging apocalypse-courting lunatics into the government. This is because the system relies on the implicit understand that, debt or not, the U.S. pays its goddamn bills. Always. Even if that means more debt.

      It’s this notion that Obama has, as President, a duty to protect. Under the “14th Amendment option,” the theory is that Obama would instruct the Treasury Dept. — part of the Executive Branch — to tell Congress to take a flying leap and pay our bills anyway, regardless of the limit imposed by the debt ceiling.

      In essence, we’d be faced with a Constitutional crisis or at least a serious Constitutional question that would need to be resolved in the courts. By the way, this question ALREADY exists — namely, what do you do re: the U.S.’s sovereign debt when Congress has told people it’ll pay them more than what Congress has said we can have by way of debt, AND when you have this clause in the 14th Amendment? The only reason the courts aren’t handling it right now are that the issue isn’t ripe. We don’t have an ACTUAL controversy because the President hasn’t defied Congress….yet. Hopefully, he won’t have to and some deal will be made, but if it comes down to it, my bet is that’s what will happen.

      • balconesfault

        In essence, we’d be faced with a Constitutional crisis or at least a serious Constitutional question that would need to be resolved in the courts.

        As much as the Roberts side of the court hates Obama … they love Corporate America more. And Corporate America will make it very clear that they want Obama to step in here and pay our bills.

      • ram6968

        my understanding is this will not go to court, the only remedy is impeachment which would put the republicans back where they were with clinton

        PERRY V. UNITED STATES, 294 U. S. 330 (1935)

        The government­’s contention thus raises a question of far greater importance than the particular claim of the plaintiff. On that reasoning, if the terms of the government­’s bond as to the standard of payment can be repudiated­, it inevitably follows that the obligation as to the amount to be paid may also be repudiated­. The contention necessaril­y imports that the Congress can disregard the obligation­s of the government at its discretion­, and that, when the government borrows money, the credit of the United States is an illusory pledge…

        The Constituti­on gives to the Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States, an unqualifie­d power, a power vital to the government­, upon which in an extremity its very life may depend. The binding quality of the promise of the United States is of the essence of the credit which is so pledged. Having this power to authorize the issue of definite obligation­s for the payment of money borrowed, the Congress has not been vested with authority to alter or destroy those obligation­s.

        • Solo4114

          I haven’t read the Perry decision, nor have I done any research on this subject, so I don’t know how far Perry would extend, nor how applicable its facts are to the current situation. Make no mistake, though, this case would likely be taken by the Supreme Court. They would not likely deny cert on this, even if the facts are highly similar on the same points of law.

          Impeachment is a possibility, given the makeup of the House and their penchant for grand and pointless gestures, but trial in the Senate would be pointless indeed, since it requires a 2/3 majority to actually remove a President from office. And if the GOP impeached Obama over this, I’m still not entirely sure that the case wouldn’t end up in front of the Supreme Court to determine even whether it is an impeachable offense. You can be impeached for “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

          Clinton was impeached for perjury which, in fact, is a crime. Andrew Johnson was impeached for something closer to what Obama would be impeached for, with his violation of the Tenure of Office Act. I think much of this would turn on the specific language of the legislation enacting the debt ceiling concept, and even then, I still think it’d be debatable whether ordering the Treasury to pay our debt would in fact, be a “crime.”

          I actually don’t know if impeachment would fly, though. I mean, yeah, the GOP “old guard” has been pretty craven in this scenario, but you’d basically be driving the GOP off a cliff if you went down the impeachment path, especially since it’d be doomed to utter failure in the Senate. Plus, don’t forget, a Senate trial would allow Obama to testify as to the reasons why he did what he did, the validity of his actions, and would basically give him a national platform for a riveted national audience. If you think things look bad for the GOP now — and they do — they would look WAY worse during any Senate impeachment proceedings.

          There is no easy way out for the GOP at this point, and the longer they delay the matter, the worse any eventual resolution will be for them. At this point, I feel pretty comfortable in saying that the current House GOP is made up of cowards and lunatics. The real question is whether the cowards will flinch.

        • JonF

          The Supreme Court did eventually find the Tenure of Office Act unconstitutional, but not until well after Johnson’s impeachment trial was over.

        • ram6968

          the problem for me is……..there has to be “harm’ or “injury” to bring suit….so who would be “harmed” or “injured” by implementation of the 14th?

  • sinz54

    The GOP base, as well represented by RedState.com, has now flung down the gauntlet. Effective last evening, they are now rejecting any compromise with Dems whatsoever, and instead are advocating an outright ultimatum: Accept the “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan in toto with no modifications, or else the U.S. Government goes into default. They believe that since under Obama the United States is doomed anyway, default can’t be much worse.

    http://tinyurl.com/3pxsp62

    Even to the point that if Boehner did come up with a compromise plan that could pass the House somehow, their heroes in the Senate like Rand Paul and Kelly Ayotte should filibuster it! (Filibustering would almost certainly run past August 2 and drive the Government to default.)

    http://tinyurl.com/3stbub9

    They should learn from history: Exchanging ultimatums is usually not a prelude to a solution, but a prelude to all-out war.

    That is why Boehner hasn’t returned Obama’s phone calls. He has no compromises to offer when the Tea Party is rejecting all compromises on principle. And without them, he doesn’t have the votes to pass any compromise plan.

    • TJ Parker

      If this is mainstream GOP thought, then the GOP is now a “party” of anarchists, and this becomes a national security issue. Obama must then act unilaterally. Oddly this will also result in the Federal Reserve doing a massive QE3. And just to stick it to the wingnuts, Obama should sell US gold reserves to raise immediate cash.

      He has no compromises to offer when the Tea Party is rejecting all compromises on principle. And without them, he doesn’t have the votes to pass any compromise plan.

      Yah but there are lots of Democrats in the House.

      What’s amazing is that the GOP must now recognize that fundraising for 2012 is going to tank for them – it already has on Wall Street – and they still haven’t blinked. Must be the confidence inspired by their pact with Satan.

      • Solo4114

        Which, if accurate, raises a glimmer of hope. Not for the Democratic party, although that’s part of it, but for challenges from the CENTER of the GOP. There ARE centrist candidates out there in GOP-land, but they’ve spent the last two years demonstrating that they are (A) solely focused on politics rather than governing, and/or (B) on the run from Tea Party right-wing challenges.

        If the money goes to the centrists, the centrists CAN win. I do not believe that the Tea Party represents “the base” so much as it represents “the MOTIVATED base.” While I’m reluctant to employ the phrase, I do think that — at least within the GOP itself — there is still a “silent majority” that will likely wake up and attempt to recapture the GOP from its more self-destructive members. With sufficient Wall Street and business backing, that is a possibility. It also sets the stage for a realigning of the party. Maybe. Alternatively, the craven will continue to be defeated by the insane.

    • balconesfault

      Exchanging ultimatums is usually not a prelude to a solution, but a prelude to all-out war.

      If you believe that the most important principle is defeating Obama … and not improving the lives of Americans … then all-out war is called for.

      Wouldn’t you agree, Sinz? You are, after all, one of our windows into that mindset.

  • Will They Reach a Deal? - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

    [...] Because I'm pretty sure that's Congress. Well, that's too broad. House Republicans, perhaps. Frum put it well: Quote: But in the argy-bargy, keep this in mind: the debt problem has become a debt crisis for [...]

  • JimBob

    The blame. Barry Hussein the Chicago Street Hustler Marxist.

    • TerryF98

      Thanks Smarg for your great comment.

      How does such a tiny brain reside in such an immense cranium?

    • medinnus

      The blame goes to morons who spout gibberish like this. You make me ashamed that you get to be an American by accident of birth.

  • Bagok

    Oh what the heck. The blame. America hating Teahadists.

  • forkboy1965

    So to sum it up we need only take two words from the article: “cock..” and “GOP”.

    I think those sum things up pretty well, don’t you?

  • Banty

    “But in the argy-bargy, keep this in mind: the debt problem has become a debt crisis for one reason only: because Republicans put the threat of debt default on the table.

    That never needed to happen.”

    Yep. It comes down to that. Laying out ultimatums and taking hostages, if it ends badly, never successfully gets the blame directed to whomever did not give in. We don’t say to real hostage-takers, if they kill their hostages, “well we know that if the family just came up with the ransom, they’d still be alive”.

    The other thing that gets me about this situation is how the Republicans are saying “we aren’t going to default, silly fear-mongering Democrats, we’ll have enough money to pay our bondholders”.

    Huh? Many of these same folks jump to defend banks for hiking interest rates on folks whose credit has been damaged in transactions quite unrelated to the loans or credit lines in question. Our bondholders are not our only creditors. We would be failing in other legislatively mandated obligations, and that not only makes the bondholders nervous (they would be first in line this time, but what about next time??), it erodes our status as a nation of laws.

    Most of all, before the entire world, we’ve demonstrated that the full faith and credit of the United States is subject to blackmail. There’s a reason why we tell terrorists and criminals that we don’t negotiate over hostages, even at the risk of the death of innocents. It is more important to enforce against the very threat being made, than it is to prevent its being carried out in any given instance.

    We may be the place to go now, being as there is at present nowhere else, for bond investment. But once that changes, and it can change FAST (think China), we’re toast. And already, for having been in this situation. Thank you very much, naive and irresponsible Tea Party freshmen!

  • Bunker555

    Where is ego-maniac Cantor hiding? He’s the Axxhole who threw the spanner in the efforts to have a satisfactory resolution to the debt ceiling raise proposal. He can’t un-fuck it now, and hopefully Cantor and the Tea Cons will lose a large percent of the Tea Bagger voting bloc.

  • El Gipper

    I’m sorry, but didn’t Senator Obama vote against the debt limit increase while in the Senate?

    Where is it written that the debt limit must be automatically increased? I think that it’s brilliant that the Republicans are threatening to choke off 44% of federal expenditures until the Democrats cry “uncle.”

    The Democrats are equally to blame in this drama. If they want to pretend that they’re steely-eyed, tough negotiators willing to close down 44% of the government, then they’re just as crazy as the Republicans. The Republicans passed their debt limit increase. Harry Reid is the loon who voted it down. Why doesn’t Frum direct his bile at Senator Reid?

    Look, Obama and the Democrats are going to cave just like Governor Dayton had to cave in Minnesota. You see, the party that likes to spend money is always going to be the loser in these negotiations.

    When the Republicans take power, the Democrats can never make a credible threat to use the debt ceiling as a negotiating tool because it’s the Democrats that want government to say open for business. Finally, the Republicans, with the spine stiffening support of the Tea Party, has realized this truth.

    I love to read the left’s sanctimonious rants about going off a cliff, etc. Conservatives don’t give a f**k about your precious welfare state. Just make sure that interest payments, defense, courts, law enforcement, health and safety, State Department, and other necessary functions go on. Couldn’t care less about HUD, HHS, Agriculture, Labor, Commerce, Education, and all the other left-wing departments that will shut down.

    Now if we could just dump Grover Norquist over the side of the ship, we’d be sailing into fair waters.

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