Tuesday, June 28, 2011

GOP dangerious game of chicken

Several years ago blogger Duncan Black (aka Atrios) began calling Washington DC 'the Village'. By this, he meant that Right, Left, Democrat, Republican, journalist, consultant, pol, staffer whatever, all those that reveled in being a Washington insider belonged to the same big " clique and suffered from a kind of group think that insulates them from understanding how the rest of the country feels about the major issues and Washington itself. Fellow Villagers are often the sources for Village journalist perpetuating their misconceptions about much of what they write about and this is why the Washington insiders are always the last to see societal changes and are nearly always surprised by them. Case in point, Hillary will be the Democratic nominee and win the general in 2008 and only those who don't know any better believe [insert snicker here]Obama will be able to compete with the Clinton 'machine'.

We are seeing Village tunnel vision in the debt ceiling. Villagers reassure each other that in the end the GOP will make a deal because they have to make a deal and it is only rational that they make a deal, yada, yada, yada. It appears that on a daily basis the Villagers are reassuring each other that they are right on this one, as they are on all things -- Like President Hillary Clinton or that Bush would not invade Iraq if he didn't know the location of the WMD.

But listen to what Boehner and McConnell are actually saying. Since last Friday when Cantor walked out of debt talks, Boehner has told anyone who is listening that no revenue increases by either tax hikes or removing loopholes will pass the House. Boehner has drawn a hard line in the sand, that will make it very embarrassing for him to walk back and without appearing to have caved.

And Boehner's comments are mild compared to Mitch McConnell. McConnell is insisting on deep Medicare cuts (that get the GOP off the hook on gutting Medicare) and no new revenue. He could not be more clear.

The Villager assures themselves that it's all just negotiation posturing but no one points out where the wiggle room is in GOP comments to allow them to compromise on revenues without losing face.

It seems perfectly clear to me that the GOP plan is to literally refuse to move on the debt ceiling on the belief that the Democrats will capitulate to all their demands rather than risk a default. In other words, we can be Dr. Srangelove because the Democrats will save the day and in doing so appear weak an impotent by completely cave to GOP demands.

So what am I missing?

No comments: