Monday, July 11, 2011

"This game is rigged, man."

Soooo, what exactly have we been doing over the past couple weeks?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday he believed a broad $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan was off the table as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

McConnell, appearing on "Fox News Sunday", also said he wanted to pursue the biggest debt reduction deal possible, but without raising taxes. He said no one in Congress was seriously talking about not raising the borrowing ceiling and allowing the nation to default on debts.
Occasionally someone lets this slip and the press quickly pretends it didn't happen, just to remind you how much these negotiations are complete bullshit.

As much as Obama needs to raise the debt ceiling, the Republicans need it done as well, because while they don't really care about tanking the economy, they do care about pissing off their corporate overlords, which defaulting on our debt would do.

So if everyone agrees, why not have a vote to raise the debt ceiling on it's own?

Well, people don't really like it when you're cutting Medicare and Social Security just for fun (except the idiot house Republicans, whose approval ratings plummeted after that vote), but if you're presented with the false choice of cutting those programs or destroying the world economy... well, what can you do?

This has been a right wing tactic for some time, but it's also exactly what was used to pass the extension of the Bush tax cuts last winter. Anyone remember Obama then?
This is the public option debate all over again. So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats have been fighting for for a hundred years, but because there was a provision in there that they didn't get that would have affected maybe a couple million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people, and the potential for lower premiums for 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.

Now, if that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it, we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are, and in the meantime the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of a preexisting condition. Or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out.
 And what I wrote at the time in response:
Just to be clear, he's saying that people who oppose this deal aren't looking out for the best interests of this country because they'd be opposing the unemployment benefits extension. He somehow says this with a straight face because the 99ers (the long term unemployed) were inexplicably left them out of Obama's awesome tax cut compromise. Tough shit guys! This was the only deal he could get and if you oppose the deal then you're against helping the special group of unemployed people that Obama chose to help, you know, not the group of unemployed people he just told to eat shit.

Everybody got that? Ok, good.

I think the most absurd part of Obama's argument (other than berating progressives about how good they've had it with an Administration that shits on them for sport) is that we're supposed to trust him that he got the best deal.

What part of him signaling his willingness to cave for the last TWO MONTHS could possibly tell us that he wasn't trying his hardest? Or maybe it was his former budget director (and soon to be Citigroup employee) Peter Orzag writing an Op-ED in the New York times advocating for something very close to the deal  THREE MONTHS ago.
1. Create a false choice
2. Take the less apocalyptic option
3. Declare victory, claim you're the only adult in room.

You get the deal you wanted all along, but are insulated from any criticism because a) "you had to do it", b) it was bipartisan, and if someone questions you any further, you accuse them of being purists who were ok sending us into a great depression to achieve your unrealistic goals.

I feel like them little bitches on the chess board...


  1. Oh, you mean pawns. That sounds pretty apt...
    The good news is, if you get to the last square on the other side, you get to be a queen!
    Of course, one of the better pieces will probably kill you well before then.

  2. should have watched that video before posting my last comment...