There’s nothing more infuriating than GOP boosters pretending not to see “the end game”
And since I’ve been busy on Twitter answering such questions, I figured I put together here a coherent figuration that isn’t forced to fit into 140 character bites.
First, let me say this: it is curious to me that establishment GOP mouthpieces would accuse people like me of living in an “echo chamber” when it is they, who spend their every waking moment sifting through the DC minutia as if it were a game of RISK, whose positions are being so roundly rejected by the base. I know this, because otherwise the Cruz, Lee strategy wouldn’t have stood a chance in the House — and even now, John Boehner is seeking to surrender leverage at a time when he — and we, the American people — have so much of it.
Second, let me answer the to me disingenuous claim that a short term debt limit increase is a “smart political move” rather than a capitulation: for rejecting what amounts, yet again, to agreeing to give Obama more room to deficit spend, I was told that I need to stop the drama and take a breath. It’s only 6-weeks, I’m told. The country will last. Extremist.
And yet when you have a continuing series of always “temporary” delays, what you truly have in effect is a long-term delay. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget. As a result, they’ve been able to use CRs to fund the government — with GOP blessings — that include as part of their baseline the “one-time stimulus” spending revenue. They no longer even care about passing omnibus budgets, having learned that no budget at all freezes time at their preferred spending rate, right up until the time when they reach the debt limit.
Which is why the Cruz / Lee strategy that has the House passing single appropriations — and letting the Dems block them — is such a smart move: the people will be able to see that the Democrats are willing to punish them in ways large and small should 68% of the country who doesn’t want to be compelled to purchase government-written insurance under penalty of a “tax” not shut up and accept ObamaCare as “settled law.” They’ll be able to see how appropriations are supposed to work, all while learning why precisely the Framers, in their wisdom, chose to separate powers, and to leave the power of determining spending and taxation in the people’s House.
This ploy by our petulant Boy King and his Democrat henchmen to make people’s lives miserable or inconvenient until they beg the government for relief has been backfiring: a government that can close the oceans, or will spend money to make sure open air monuments are shut down — while claiming it is out of money — is a government that is out to harass and subjugate you, to coerce you, to turn you into its bitches. It is too fucking big. And people are seeing this thanks in large part to the good folks at the National Park Service, many of whom seem to relish having the power to push people around, temporarily incarcerate them, or boot them from their homes or businesses.
Adding control over our health care — and the data collection that goes with that — suddenly seems like an unwise expansion of federal reach.
But back to strategy: if, as I noted on Twitter, you don’t buy the claim that a failure to raise the debt limit will lead to a “default” — and there’s no reason to buy it, because it’s a lie: we have money to service the debt, and SS is automatically paid — then there’s no reason to grant Obama a 6-week debt-limit increase. And that’s because not only will such a delay lead to that much more deficit spending, but — more importantly — it gives Obama time to demagogue the issue from the bully pulpit, to scare people into believing his lies about an “economic” shutdown.
Should we hit the debt limit, the President has 3 choices: 1) prioritize spending, beginning, per the 14th amendment, with servicing the debt. The revenue available to him after that will be about 75% of what it has been, or at 2001 spending levels. What Obama will have to do is choose what to cut and what to fund: should he once again try to hurt the people — all while making sure, say, Planned Parenthood, NPR, and Obamacare implementation is funded, while foodstamps, Medicare, and Medicaid are not — there will be obvious blowback, provided the GOP point it out and hold him to account. And not just nationally: as I wrote yesterday, they should be on their local news back in their states and districts explaining what is happening and why. Doing so would ensure that a petty, vindictive, peevish Obama is shown for what he is; 2) the second choice, and the one that would be most rational, is that the President is then forced to the negotiating table, where he will have to make concessions or else risk having revenue cut to 2001 levels. This is what we want, because at this point we can push the delay of individual mandate for more than just Obama’s chosen constituencies, and tether Congress to its own law by forcing it to live under it. It is an argument about fairness — an Obama buzzword — that is easy to win. Refusal at that point would show starkly that Obama’s talk about “the rich” and “social justice” was a lot of smoke and mirrors — that in fact, Obama is a Marxist who is planning to use the techniques of liberal fascism to “fundamentally transform” the US; 3) and finally, Obama could, as many Democrats and leftist academics and law professors have urged him to do, “reinterpret” the 14th amendment, try to get away with conflating authorization and appropriation, and declare that he has the unilateral power to raise the debt limit in order to protect the “full faith and credit” of the US and “pay our bills.”
This would essentially remove the power of the purse from the People’s House, end the separation of powers, and turn the Constitution into a dead letter. And if that’s the case, the movement to bring articles against Obama for rejecting his Constitutional role — and presuming to propose and then approve spending himself — will grow loud and strong, and the media will find it difficult to protect him.
The way I see it, in every one of those scenarios, the people win: either spending is forcibly slashed to 2001 levels; Obama agrees to compromises that halt the implementation of ObamaCare; or he overreaches in such a way that he causes a real Constitutional Crisis, one that will compel us to return to the document itself — and it’s intent — to show just how far from stable law we’ve strayed.
There’s the “end game.” But beyond that, getting people invested again in the Constitutional system — allowing them to peak behind the DC curtain at the status quo Old Boy’s network of ruling class deals and “grand bargains” that are meant to protect each party politically at the expense of our wishes as the represented — is a good thing.
Which is why I find arguments that we must capitulate — that it’s “smart” constantly to punt — to be nothing more than the timorous pleadings of either those who like the statist system, or else those who are useful idiots blinded by their allegiance to a Party, not to what it claims to stand for.