And if so, why? According to Jennifer Rubin, Boehner, McConnell, and Reid agreed on the framework for a deal over the weekend: a short-term debt increase with cuts larger than that increase, followed by a committee to find further cuts before any additional debt increase was considered. Reid then went to Obama for approval, and Obama humiliated the head of his party’s caucus in the Senate, the Majority Leader, and rejected the deal:
If this is accurate the president is playing with fire. By halting a bipartisan deal he imperils the country’s finances and can rightly be accused of putting partisanship above all else. The ONLY reason to reject a short-term, two-step deal embraced by both the House and Senate is to avoid another approval-killing face-off for President Obama before the election. Next to pulling troops out of Afghanistan to fit the election calendar, this is the most irresponsible and shameful move of his presidency.
I wonder. At first I thought this was some mad Cloward-Piven-like plan to create a crisis that would leave the people seeing no other solution than greater government control over the economy through higher taxes and regulation (i.e., “soft” Socialism), but that would make no sense. Even President Narcissus has to see that the vast majority of the people want the debt controlled, want a balanced budget amendment, want a smaller federal government, and don’t want significantly higher taxes — in other words, they want those things that are anathema to a Leftist. So, should a crisis hit, he and his party are likely to take as much or even more of the blame than the Republicans, who are acting more in concert with the will of the electorate and have at least tried to deal with the problem, something Obama and the Democrats have failed to do.
Maybe Rubin is right? Is The One taking this to the (supposed) brink because he’s desperate to push the next vote on the debt limit to after the election? So desperate that he’s willing to alienate his own caucus, which is itself in fear of 2012?
According to Rubin in a later article, the House and Senate are back to crafting separate plans. Not surprisingly, but tellingly and in the face of President Pouty-Face’s demands that his bluff not be called, Harry Reid’s contains no new taxes. We may actually be witnessing the national legislature begin to do the function for which it exists, which is to put the nation’s finances in order — with or without cooperation from the White House.
And if that happens and a bipartisan bill is sent to the Oval Office, Obama either signs it, lets it pass without his signature after ten days, or vetoes it and takes full ownership of whatever train wreck occurs. That surely wouldn’t help his reelection chances, which makes me think he will sign whatever they send up.
The threat to create a crisis is itself a bluff.
LINKS: Ed Morrissey thinks Reid went to Obama in the hope of splitting Republican Senators from their House colleagues and ended up with a split in his own party, instead.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)