GOP Having a Great Time Making Democrats Squirm Over Debt Limit

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Republicans in Congress have had so little fun since Joe Biden and the Democrats swept into office. Being out of power, they can’t oppress women, blacks, and other minorities like they used to. They can pick on Mexicans and other foreigners who show up at the border, but that gets old real quick.


So, can we really blame Republicans for getting enjoyment out of watching Democrats impale themselves on the horns of their debt limit dilemma?

The debt limit must be raised. But Democrats don’t want to walk the plank on raising it alone. They need Republicans to hold their hands while they go into the water.

Of course, once the “crisis” is passed, Democrats will forget all this “bipartisan” crap and go back to savaging Republicans for being meanies. But for the moment, Democrats are in full-on genuflecting begging mode trying to get Republicans to remove this cup from their lips and drink some of the debt limit hemlock too.

No dice.


Congress has just 16 days to raise or suspend the debt ceiling to dodge what could be a catastrophic hit to the economy, ranging from delays in Social Security checks to seniors, turmoil in financial markets, and cuts to safety net programs like unemployment insurance and Medicaid. The world’s trust in the dollar would fade. Interest rates would soar, lifting mortgage, car loan, and credit card payments. Ratings agency S&P would cut its rating to the worst-possible rank of D.


“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria.” Reuters is laying it on thick.

The only way this happens — and if 10 percent of that happened, most experts would be shocked — is if Democrats don’t use the power available to them as a majority party to pass an increase in the damn, stupid, fricking debt limit.

Once more, repeat after me: Democrats don’t need Republicans to raise the debt limit. They can do it all by their lonesome. They don’t even need a grown-up to give them permission.

But Democrats need Republicans to vote with them because they believe that if Republicans are successful in forcing the Democrats to raise the limit all by themselves, they will try to use that vote against them politically.

Right again. But so what? This is Washington. Everything either party does will be used against them at election time. It’s called “politics” and it’s the way things have worked for 200 years.

Democrats’ attempts to shame McConnell into caving have failed so far. At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that Democrats “cannot and will not” use budget reconciliation to solve the problem.

The clock is ticking with no signs of a resolution to the impasse.

Even if Schumer changes his mind, some Republicans are preparing to drag out the process to inflict maximum pain on Democrats as they start negotiating changes to a $3.5 trillion social spending package. They will have many opportunities to do this, since Democrats’ best bet for lifting the ceiling on their own is reconciliation, an arduous, time-consuming procedure governed by strict budgetary rules. It also allows certain bills to be passed with just a 50-vote majority.


The prospect of watching the Democrats wiggle around on the end of a hook is too delicious to pass up. They created this mess. Now let them get themselves out of it.


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