In an interview with The Huffington Post, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D) aired his concern that the fiscal “belt-tightening” President Obama and many Democrats have pursued has effectively diminished the party’s brand. Democrats, he argued, have “allowed the center of the political debate to be shifted so far to the right that we find ourselves debating on their territory and using Republican language. It’s very troubling,” he said. – Sam Stein
It’s weird reading my own analysis repeated back to me so many months after I first wrote it.
Here’s my problem with the entire debt ceiling tango.
Now everyone is pointing fingers at majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor for being “childish” and not negotiating. It only makes him smile wider. He isn’t operating under normal rules, which surely people get by now. He deeply, honestly, truly does not care if the debt ceiling is raised and every time anyone in the establishment starts attacking him the people who support his political philosophy and economic extremism applaud wildly from the wings.
The inability for Democrats to see this coming a mile away is pretty staggering to me.
Sen. Corker wondering if the debt ceiling was the wrong place to “pick a fight” has for a bookend Pres. Obama’s proffer of cutting entitlements, which certainly has backfired, too.
Then there is the Tea Party faction who rose up and caused hell on health care, so why wouldn’t they do even worse on the debt, which is the bottom line target in their political thinking? This is in play regardless of what happens elsewhere.
No one can blame Pres. Obama for getting involved and you cannot second guess what happened once he did. But he should have known that he wouldn’t be able to make Cantor budge. So, he might as well have ignored the whole thing for all the good it’s done him or the debt ceiling talks. House Republicans will come to the same conclusion regardless of Obama’s involvement, which was set in concrete long ago.
The rest is a simple game of chicken and discipline for Pres. Obama.
Felix Salmon thinks the Republican caucus is “such an inchoate mess,” but to their thinking they’re acting on principle, which doesn’t compute given the gravity of the consequences.
All the noise surrounding what’s going on is because no one believed House Republicans following Cantor meant what they said.
I don’t know where anyone got that idea, because if you’ve looked at what’s happened since the 2010 midterms in states across this county the austerity party is going on full blast, including on women’s rights, so there’s no reason to doubt that Mr. Cantor and his followers aren’t headed in that direction too.
The debt ceiling will get passed, because it has to. Until it does Pres. Obama would have been just as well off touring factories and talking about jobs. If some brave reporter had shouted a question in his direction about the debt ceiling talks he could have simply said “that’s Congress’ job,” because that’s exactly who’s responsible for raising the debt ceiling, always has been.
It’s been like watching bad dinner theater with third tier understudies at Broadway ticket prices.
… And remember the general idea on Wall Street right now is that there will be a deal because there’s always a deal. But Wall Street works off of expectations. So if the market realizes they got this wrong, the reaction could be larger than expected. – The Tea Party and the debt ceiling, by Ezra Klein (h/t sunlight)