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November 29, 2012

Tax Hikes In Exchance For Obama's Promise to Cut Entitlements?

Ridiculous, of course.

Mitch McConnell has had a habit of justifying substantive caves for claims that he extracted some sort of concession that will prove to be a fruitful political issue.* I imagine any Republican even thinking about this deal expects Obama to break his promise -- in fact, the promise may not even be seriously offered. Republicans might even be just saying "You have to give us a fig leaf of cover."

So, the idea is that we just give Obama everything he wants substantively but we've extracted a promise from him, which he will then of course break, and so we "win" politically later by running against his broken promise.

This is the stupidest thing I ever heard. Not only would this plan be craven and dishonest itself (the plan to extract a promise you don't even believe will be honored as a "concession," and then act surprised it's being dishonored, is itself dishonest), but it has no chance of actually working in the first place.

1. Cuts are unpopular. Unpopular but necessary, of course, but unpopular. No one holds it against someone too much for breaking a promise to do something they didn't really want him to do in the first place.

2. Any "promise to cut" will involve some sort of later negotiations, and Obama can and will claim he intended to keep his promise, but Republicans once again sabotaged the "discussions."

Thus this whole idea is an attempt to avoid a major political confrontation which Obama would probably win... by setting up a later political confrontation which Obama also would probably win.

Let's not forget why we have the sequestration deal: We have it because Mitch McConnell decided it "wasn't the right time for a real political confrontation" and so put it off into the future. And now that that moment's here, surprise surprise, they're looking to concede, again and delay the actual confrontation until later, again.

And when that moment comes, what will they do?

If you can't fight now-- when the next elections are two years away -- when precisely would be a politically opportune time to fight?

Thanks to @benk84. This is from his headlines post.


* During the initial ObamaCare voting, when it was still in the Senate, Republicans had the opportunity to keep the Senate in session through the holidays and keep a filibuster against ObamaCare going. Instead, they agreed to hold a vote on ObamaCare -- and this was the vote that created ObamaCare -- and Mitch McConnell claimed he'd won an important political victory because Obama had agreed to hold a vote on the debt ceiling at some particular time that Mitch McConnell claimed would create maximum exposure on the issue and the maximum political problems for Obama.

Does anyone even remember that vote? It wasn't a big deal at the time, and we ended up losing on it too.

Plus, we got ObamaCare. Just so the Senators wouldn't have to stay at their jobs in DC over the holidays.

McConnell is forever justifying these major sell-outs by claiming he's so cleverly extracted a dynamite political concession that will wind up making the Democrats' victory a poison pill. It's either delusional or dishonest.


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posted by Ace at 12:47 PM

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