Does this ring a bell?:
"Nobody should assume we're going to have a debt-limit extension," John Boehner warned. "If the vote were held today, it would not pass." Sound familiar? This was Boehner in November of 1995, when he was the House Republican Conference chairman and his party was refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless President Bill Clinton agreed to a package of sweeping spending cuts.
Kara Brandeisky of the New Republic takes us back today to how Bill Clinton handled the "debt crisis" of 1995:
The story begins in October 1995, when, in exchange for raising the debt limit, Republicans demanded $245 billion in tax cuts, welfare overhaul, restraints on Medicare and Medicaid growth, and a balanced budget within seven years....
Clinton would have none of it. "If they send me a budget that says simply, 'You take our cuts or we'll let the country go into default,' I will veto it," Clinton said at the time, calling Republican tactics "economic blackmail." Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin held the same firm line.
Read the full article for almost word-for-word similarities between what Bill Clinton faced in 1995 and what President Obama faced in this most recent hostage taking.
Republicans appeared to dig in their heels in early November, when the House passed a bill increasing the debt limit — but only through the next month — as well as a continuing resolution that included higher Medicare premiums and other spending cuts. Instead of attempting to negotiate over the cuts, Clinton simply vetoed both bills. "America has never liked pressure tactics, and I would be wrong to permit these kind of pressure tactics to dramatically change the course of American life," Clinton said. "I cannot do it, and I will not do it." The government shut down.
The article asserts that some believe this time the Republicans might not have folded, and that the economic conditions are different this year from Clinton's, but it is clear that whatever "strategy" the White House is currently employing is not working.
The TeaBagger Republicans will continue to hold one hostage after another because it works. I have no idea how to convince the White House they are losing ground every time they trade one hostage for another. Perhaps it's just not possible.