July 14, 2011

MEGAN MCARDLE: Call His Bluff:

So how can the GOP get something it wants out of the sodden mess of our debt negotiations? Here’s my answer: pass a short-term debt-ceiling increase. It seems pretty clear to me that there’s no time or common ground for a grand bargain before August 2nd, so pass a short-term increase. Give him nine months. Call his bluff.

Because it is a bluff. Obama is not going to shut down the government rather than accept a short term deal. He’s also not going to default. Doing so would virtually ensure that even if he doesn’t have to raise the debt ceiling in 2012, come January 2013, he’ll be cleaning out the Oval Office to make room for the next resident.

Is this what I would have liked to get out of this confrontation? Certainly not; I’d have liked a broader deal that raised some new revenue and cut a lot of spending. But I think the time for that is past. What you can do is make the White House have a lot more conversations like this. . . . And if I’m wrong, and he does force a default, then it’s the fault of the Democrats, not you! It doesn’t get much better than that, right?

Indeed.

Related: Mickey Kaus: How would this not be a defeat for Obama? “So Obama’s macho’Deal-by-Friday-or-time’s-up-on-to–Plan-B’ ultimatum is actually an obvious, slightly desperate attempt to avoid the cuts-only take-it-or-leave-it no-brainer ploy that even E.J. Dionne and Jennifer Rubin and NRO’s editors talk about, right? … P.S.: Looks as if Obama might get a cuts-only deal in a McConnell Plan B “hybrid” anyway. Jon Alter seems to have missed that part. … P.P.S.: Objectively (as we Marxists say) that would be a defeat for Obama, after his showy insistence on revenue increases, no? He’d still wind up with all cuts, no new revenues. But why do I suspect it’s all OK with Obama as long as he can look like he’s in charge? Avoiding Carterization is Job #1.”

A little late for that.

And reader Brad Sandy writes: “All those people that think Obama wins in a shut down don’t see his poll numbers and remember this fact…everyone thought he would be a uniter and an engine of change not the person responsible for a shut down because nobody gets along. This will be the final straw for many.”

Yeah, that whole hope-and-change narrative hasn’t lived up to the hype. Republicans should be reminding people of the promise vs. the delivery.

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