Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bullshit Walks... Again

Mere hours after the NY Times announced that House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama were to sit down with renewed purpose to hash out differences in the budget, Boehner channeled Eric Cantor and acted like the Chief Executive by walking out on the meeting.

What followed was pure political kabuki on both sides: Without first notifying the White House (he ignored calls from the President's office), Boehner held a press conference and managed to keep his voice steady and eyes dry long enough to lay the blame for the impasse on the Democrats. It was obvious the Speaker of the House was extremely emotionally invested: The prospect of raising taxes (or rather, repealing the Bush tax cuts, which is what it would amount to) is without a doubt the most emotionally wrenching in the Republican mind.

Not long after this, Obama held his own hasty presser and blamed the Republicans only for stalling the process that would lead to the raising of the debt ceiling by the August 2nd deadline. What was most notable about the press conference was Obama's eagerness to somehow lay the blame for the impasse not on Republicans but Democrats who vehemently oppose his concessions capitulations to cut over $650,000,000,000 in entitlement spending such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Obama actually likened such progressive opponents to Tea Baggers.

The ironic thing is, in recent talks with the House leadership, Obama essentially locked out the Democrats just like the Republicans used to do in the Dark Ages when they controlled both houses of Congress.

Anyone with one eye and the most rudimentary comprehension skills can see that both sides are at fault for this white knuckle game of chicken. It is now 10 days, 240 hours, before we default on our national debt and risk slipping below the AAA rating we've enjoyed for decades. It would mean millions of seniors, welfare and unemployment recipients, not to mention millions of US troops and veterans drawing pensions, will not get their checks. It would be tantamount to the government shutdown that extreme right wing Congressional Republicans were willing to risk.

The only difference between the White House and John Boehner's faction is that Boehner is successfully sucking up to his Koch brothers base whereas it seems as if Obama is more willing to lash out at and further alienate his own base by likening us to the domestic right wing terrorists of the Tea Party. When all is said and done and if and when a budgetary compromise is reached and the debt ceiling is raised in time, it'll be Boehner who'll benefit from the illusion of being strong while Obama will be reviled by both sides: The right wing will accuse him of not being conciliatory enough and the left wing (and quite a few middle-of-the-roaders) will revile him for his willingness to sell tens of millions of seniors, students, service members and indigent Americans up the river. You'd think knowing which side to join would be a no-brainer for a guy who's run for office as Democrat his entire life.

Add to the frustrating mix Obama's refusal to invoke the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling through his office without Congressional approval, which would require no spending cuts to much-needed entitlement programs. Just as Bush's lawyers informed him that torture was legal under certain circumstances, Obama's telling us his own lawyers don't think raising the debt ceiling, as President Clinton recently said he'd do, is legal (former President Clinton, it ought to be mentioned here, is, like the current president, an ex-constitutional law professor).

Now, as is expected, both sides are hitting each other over the heads with St. Ronnie's bones and trying to claim that Reagan would've excoriated one side or the other if he was in office today. Yet, as Rachel Maddow recently pointed out, President Reagan wrote in his diary in 1983 that Republicans were to blame for the impasse in the talks to raise the debt ceiling. So much for Reagan's 11th Commandment. And in his resurrected radio address from 1987 makes clear, President Reagan's interest in raising the debt ceiling yet again was pretty much a non-partisan plea to Congress to do the right thing.

Or, to cite a more recent but no less relevant presidential example, President Bill Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy, beefed up the earned income credit in the tax code and rolled up a record $230,000,000,000 surplus. In the late 90's, we enjoyed a job glut. We as a whole nation were unquestionably more prosperous than we ever were under the previous 12 years of Republican buttfuckery under Reagan/Bush I.

Obama's obviously a tool of the Bilderberg Group and Wall Street and is a piece of shit, #1 for proposing about two thirds of a trillion dollars worth of spending cuts to entitlement programs and #2 for somehow blaming the Democrats for having somewhat of a problem with that.

It's kind of obvious to everyone but Obama what Obama has to do: Hold a press conference and throw down the gauntlet once and for all and say,

"OK, you fascist asswipes. I've been letting you rear-end me and the American people for 2 1/2 years now and, while it was at times beautiful and liberating, the time has come to end this charade of bipartisanship. I will veto any budget that does not include a 90% tax on the wealthiest 2%. That's what we did under Eisenhower. Trying to work with you racist assholes is like sticking my big black dick in a meat grinder over and over and expecting a more pleasing result.

"I will veto any spending bill that includes a cut by so much as one penny to any entitlement programs, any cut to Pell grants, any repeal to the health care bill. I've tried to make you cocksuckers happy but it's obvious to you sociopathic inbreeders that bipartisanship consists solely of giving you what you want, which is to destroy this once-great country.

"So, let's not raise the debt ceiling and when our bond rating turns into dog shit and many millions of Republican voters don't get their paychecks, we'll see whose party suffers the most in 2012. I cannot work with you and will never work with you cunts ever again and may God have mercy on your withered souls."

Of course, we'll never hear anything close to that but while the President has shown a disturbing willingness to rear-end the most vulnerable Americans and to vilify his own party and base, Obama's also shown a far greater willingness to compromise, however scummy and ill-judged those compromises are, than the Republican Party.

And if worse comes to worst, that may be what the American people will remember most vividly.


At July 23, 2011 at 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama doesn't get it. Americans know we're spending money at an unsustainable pace, and that we can't afford to bleed hardworking Americans further to try and support our terrible spending habit. The only real option, and it's something that Americans who live on a budget understand, is that we must reduce our expenditures to fit what resources we have readily available.

At July 23, 2011 at 2:52 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Obama gets this much: He's told the Republican leadership more than once that the budget will not be balanced with just cuts or just additions of tax revenue. The push to let the Bush-era tax cuts lapse is Obama's Last Stand and, as the deadline for raising the debt ceiling draws closer, the more likely it'll be that he'll cave.

As long as the GOP has any majority in either chamber of Congress, letting the Bush tax cuts expire will never be on the table for long or at all. Obama's not the answer and if yesterday's presser wasn't a tailor-made commercial to vote him out next year, nothing is.


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