So. The debt ceiling deal. Take a breath. Where do we go from here?
More than anything else I feel exhaustion from the ordeal. The TeaGOP took the country hostage and President Obama made the hard call to try to keep the damage as low as possible. The usual suspects are furious with POTUS. The deal itself manages to at best push the pain into 2013. It does cut spending in a recession and the trigger conditions will cut more even if the Super Committee doesn’t make serious cuts first.
But what President Obama really did was to buy us time to give him a better Congress. The sword of Damocles doesn’t fall until after the 2012 election. And if the TeaGOP is still in charge of the House then, well the deal will absolutely hurt a lot of Americans and our economy. But what this President did is put himself and his re-election on the line in order for us to try to give him the means to change this deal in 2013.
The only way out of this labyrinth of lunacy is to get rid of the TeaGOP infection that’s eating the body politic. And let’s keep in mind this is still a lousy deal that the country’s going to have to find a way to merely survive. There are no winners, only major categories of losers. The fact we’re even talking about serious budget cuts when we need stimulus right now assures that the country’s economic woes will absolutely continue well into the twenty teens.
But I for one plan to resolve this horrendous situation by getting rid of the Republicans responsible for it so it can then be fixed. It’s the only way out, winning in 2012.
Greg Sargent expertly sums up how I feel:
I wish Obama had done all these things. That said, an additional question needs to be posed. If the basic premise of this critique holds that Obama should have stood up to a party that was prepared to allow the economy to implode in order to get its way, then why are we assuming that Republicans wouldn’t have done that anyway, no matter what the President did? If Obama had barnstormed the country for weeks, hammering the GOP with the demand for a clean debt ceiling hike and threatening the Constitutional option if the GOP didn’t buckle, would Republicans really have changed their behavior?
There are a couple of nuances that need to be added to the criticism of Obama, even though much of it is fair. First, with the deadline looming, Obama and Dems faced a choice: After their demand for a debt ceiling hike was rebuffed, they had to decide whether to shift to negotiations. Given that the deadline was fast approaching, this had to be done earlier rather than later to ensure that a compromise could be reached.
Could Obama have adopted a far more aggressive posture while negotiations were going on? Absolutely. But the simple fact of entering into talks inevitably reinforced the sense that Obama and Dems were not prepared to allow default — no matter what — reinforcing a set of dynamics that were stacked against them. Was that avoidable?
And the answer to all that is no, the Republicans still would have been completely barking mad. The question is not what President Obama should have done differently, but would anything have stopped the Tea Party GOP from taking the country hostage with a Democrat in the White House? Why yes: not having them in charge in the first place. This terrible deal was all but preordained when the left stayed home in 2010 and gave us a Tea Party House itching for revenge against President Blackguard MacDuskyskinned.
And if it was Hillary Clinton doing this, going big, barnstorming the country and STILL getting this exact deal that pushed most of the pain until after the 2012 election, would we have the same people demanding her head that are wanting to primary President Obama? I’m not convinced in the least that the answer would be yes. In fact, I’d be convinced that people would see Hillary as having grandly fought for liberals to preserve what she could.
Why is that? There’s an obvious theory, but I have to believe the left is better than that. And anyone who knows what it’s like to just have to be forced to eat a big heaping pastrami and fecal matter on rye by the universe knows that the key to fighting back is surviving long enough to counter-attack. Anyone who’s seen my Twitter handle knows my portrait is a weeble wearing a superhero outfit, because that’s been my life philosophy for years. Sometimes you just have to survive the onslaught to get through to a better opportunity. Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.
But when you counter-attack, you knock the fucker out. That’s our job heading into 2012, to send these Tea Party mofos screaming back to the depths of the abyss that spawned them. President Obama bought us rope-a-dope time, but it’s up to us now to deliver the knockout to the Tea Party bastards that did this to us. I think millions of us can relate to just getting by until it’s our turn to make that attack. November 2012 is that time.
You want to give something to the people to vote for? Saving the country from these assholes is a good place to start.