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mitch mcconnell
Terrorist. (Reuters/Jim Young)
Taegan Goddard's bonus quote of the day:
"I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn't think that. What we did learn is this—it's a hostage that's worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done."

—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quoted by the Washington Post, on the debt ceiling negotiations.

There's a bit of insight. McConnell isn't willing to shoot the nation's financial security, but he'll pretend that he will. And he's aware that some of his party are more than happy to do so. But it also signals what he's already promised, that from here on out the debt ceiling will be held hostage.

“Never again will any president, from either party, be allowed to raise the debt ceiling without being held accountable for it by the American people and without having to engage in the kind of debate we’ve just come through,” Mr. McConnell said moments before the Senate vote on the deal he worked out to raise the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion.

President Obama had argued repeatedly during the last several weeks that holding up a debt ceiling increase amid partisan political bickering was the equivalent of a hostage-taking, with the global economy at stake.

“The debt ceiling should not be something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people,” the president said.

But Mr. McConnell sees it differently. By his way of thinking, the risk of default was a clarifying kind of moment for lawmakers, who too often refuse to tackle hard problems. (Mr. Obama is often known to agree that lawmakers are too apt to “kick the can down the road” rather than confront difficult issues.)[...]

[I]n the long term, it may be impossible for Washington to put the debt ceiling genie back in the bottle.

Why? Because in the end, hostage-taking works.

Yes, Mitch McConnell is an economic terrorist. Rule number one for confronting terrorists: don't negotiate with them. There was an alternative in this instance, and there will be in the future, too. The 14th Amendment should not have been taken off the table this time. It has to be an option for the president next time.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  this is why we didn't end the filibuster (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rainmanjr

      because it's better to have it used to halt progress that is good because it also halts progress that is bad

      imagine if we didn't have the filibuster and in 2012 we lose the white house and the senate

      neo feudalism

      Don't just get angry. Get organized. Let's make sure the Bush tax cuts for the rich are ended.

      by Anton Bursch on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:42:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL. (15+ / 0-)

        If Mitch McConnell and the GOP win the election next year, the very first thing he's going to do is toss the filibuster. Right away.

        Etch it in stone.

        •  without thinking twice (3+ / 0-)

          and I wouldn't put it pass them to make it a temporary change and somehow hold the Senate hostage to put it back the next time the loss....

          I am not sure it will happen because may not want to give up that bullet, but if I wouldn't put it past them.

          And they do pretty well guilting Dems into not doing filibustering...

          "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

          by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:55:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Random thought... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AZphilosopher, JG in MD

            the talk of the Platinum Coin solution to Congressional gridlock will be used, eventually, by republicans, to stop a democratic House from using its position to influence policy.

            Sad but true.

            “Sometimes, the most reasonable thing in the legislative process is to be unreasonable.” Mike Pence, R-Ind., on negotiating with the democrats.

            by dclawyer06 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:01:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't even think it will get to that (0+ / 0-)

              They would just dare Democrats to trash the economy.

              You tell me who would be the first to blink.

              "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

              by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:07:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  No, the House will talk about (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              apimomfan2, blueoasis

              "Keeping our powder dry"

              Hey Speaker Boehner, do you like apples? Well, your debt ceiling proposal just failed to come to a vote after showing a Ben Affleck movie. How do you like them apples?

              by AZphilosopher on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:40:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Personally, I wouldn't touch that... (0+ / 0-)

              ...particular tactic with a ten foot pole.

              It's a disgusting, dangerous thing to do, and America deserves better from its party.

              Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

              by Stephen Daugherty on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:57:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  oops (0+ / 0-)

            without doing filibustering

            "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

            by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:06:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't believe that. (0+ / 0-)

          The filibuster has worked extremelly well for them since 2010 so I can't see them risking not having it when they lose power, again.  These things happen.

          "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

          by rainmanjr on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:57:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  then everyone should buy their tickets now (0+ / 0-)

          cause this country is going to turn into place that no one who wants freedom and economic opportunity is going to want to live

          Don't just get angry. Get organized. Let's make sure the Bush tax cuts for the rich are ended.

          by Anton Bursch on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:08:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is Why You Don't Give in to Terrorists (4+ / 0-)

        When you are rewarded for being a terrorist and taking hostages, there is no reason to stop being a terrorist and taking hostages.  This is why society punishes criminals, so they don't do it again.    

        Obama went to law school.  He should know this.  Shit, if I knew I wouldn't get punished for robbing banks, I'd be a bank robber.    

      •  The filibuster is anti-Democratic (0+ / 0-)

        I couldn't disagree with you more.  If it wasn't for the filibuster we would have had a public option, a MUCH larger stimulus package, and the Bush tax cuts would already have been history.  Nearly every progressive initiative passed by the Pelosi House would have found a simple majority in the Senate.

        Yes, it would also mean bad things if/when Republicans take power.  But it is not the job of internal Senate rulemakers to save the American people from themselves.

        A majority voted in by the American people has the right and should have the power to wield their mandate.  I would not deny Republicans that right, and they should not have the ability deny that right to us.  

        Regardless of which political party wins or loses, the American people ALWAYS lose when they vote for a set of values and policies that are not allowed to prevail and leaders who are not allowed to lead.

      •  Devices of Power are for Republicans only, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        and that's just pragmatism! And pragmatism IS dry powder. And if you have dry powder, someday you just might do something. Maybe.

        Imagine if we didn't have the filibuster in 2009 and 2010 and the House Legislation went through the Senate. It would be a damned different America, wouldn't it? And it'd have been a damn different Nov '10.

        Think it through, and I doubt you'd come up with one plausible scenario where Republicans won't seize power if the get a majority in the Senate.

        And certainly not the full expectation they won't.


        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:22:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  LOL! The Dems wouldn't use it! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        apimomfan2, blueoasis

        Too divisive.

        If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

        by jhannon on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:38:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope Dems play the same game when a GOPer (6+ / 0-)

    become POTUS in the future.

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:47:19 AM PDT

    •  My thought too: Mitch isn't thinking ahead (5+ / 0-)

      Holding the debt limit hostage is another nuclear option.

      But the reason nuclear options are avoided in the first place is out of fear the other side will use them. It may not be for 20 years, but we can all look back to Mitch McConnell when a Democratic minority in the senate is forcing revenue increases on a debt ceiling limit.

      "Irrelevant people trying to deal with their irrelevance led by a shrewd businesswoman trying to make it impossible for candidates to not buy ads from her."

      by NoFortunateSon on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:56:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Without knowing it, he just opened the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        crystalboy, apimomfan2, cybersaur

        Pandora Box

        Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

        by LaurenMonica on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:59:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why Democratic minority in the Senate? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gchaucer2, paradox, justmy2, TimmyB

        Why can't our current majority say to the House, next time, that we'll raise the debt ceiling and prevent default if, and only if, taxes are raised on the wealthy (or...insert any other policy goal here).

        Or, Obama could threaten to veto a debt ceiling increase in the future that is not tied to a WPA style work program.

        But, even though this game can be played by both sides - we won't do it.  And, we shouldn't.

        Join us at the Amateur Radio Group. Serving the Left Side of the Dial since 2011.

        by briefer on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:38:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they did such a swell job during 2 years (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          apimomfan2, blueoasis

          of congressional and senate majority.

          Look at all we have to show for it - why... the mind boggles at the achievements.

        •  We do a great job of imitating them. (0+ / 0-)

          BWWWWWWAAAAAAAHaHaHaHaHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  One can't keep backing down and allowing no revenues from the wealthy and expect them to take us seriously.  Nor should they.  Dem's most likely won't risk the nation's interest.

          "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

          by rainmanjr on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:00:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Debt ceiling was increased 400b. (0+ / 0-)

        Possible ceiling vote later this year. Another in before 2012 election.

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:39:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Both of which Obama can veto... (0+ / 0-)

          ...and still get the money.  Then they can try a two-thirds override.

          When that succeeds, call me.  I'll be purchasing some marvellous land in South Florida and putting my bridge from the Empire State on it.

          If we do our usual passive bullshit, it will be a missed opportunity.  But really, if you think about it, risking the nation's economy didn't turn out to be that popular.  So the Republicans are going to reiterate that PR Disaster.

          Even if its perfunctory, it's a vote against the full faith and credit of our nation and the stability of it's economy.  It's symbolic, but symbolic of something, that if literally carried out, would destroy our economy and likely our pre-eminence in the world.

          So, instead of looking at this with trepidation, we should ram those votes down their throats. The great part is, their base is going to require that they take the worst position here, strategically speaking.

          Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

          by Stephen Daugherty on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:03:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I know you don't think Republicans (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brooklynbadboy, blueoasis

        would call Dems bluff.

        They are different.  Don't believe me?  Ask yourself how Bush got his appointments approved.  They know how to punish opposition recalcitrance.

        And it is primarily because the have blue dogs to do their dirty work.  You didn't hear any elected Republicans criticizing leadership until the last minute, after they got the deal they really wanted...and then McCain et al gave them permission to fall back.

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:39:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not Every Terrorist Needs to Be Willing to Pull (0+ / 0-)

        the trigger.

        There will always be some who will and others who will coldly and calculatedly use that radical, violent extremism and their willingess to engage in acts of senseless destruction for their own ends.

        That doesn't mean every single member of the gang isn't guilty of murder and terrorism.

        Of course the gang doesn't think of itself as 'terrorists'.  They think of themselves as "fiscal freedom fighters" (probably what Rep. Joe Walsh has as a heroic image of himself and his merry band.)

        It looks and works a bit different when it plays out in the halls of Congress.

        A bit, but not too much.

        We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

        by Into The Woods on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:43:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm glad you pointed out this point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Into The Woods

          I've wanted to say that I think the term "terrorist" is a bit strong.  We don't like being called Socialists, even though we are to some degree, so that's not fair.  There are a ton of names we can think of for Mitch (greedy traitor of the middle-class springs to mind) but terrorist should not be one of them.  It will only put any Indie off.

          "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

          by rainmanjr on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:04:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok. Fiscal Suicide Bomber. Radical Extremist (0+ / 0-)

            economic hostage taker.

            Thing is, if they are threatening economic chaos which would cause destruction on a significant scale that would not just stop with destruction of wealth.

            If the "terrorist" shoe fits, we should throw it at them.

            We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

            by Into The Woods on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 10:53:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Or anytime really... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      He should also realize that a large number of Democrats are also quite willing to play chicken, the difference being that we want to see this option ended forever.  The 14th amendment should be applied no matter who is President so the American people never have to put up with this game again.  

    •  Wouldn't work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      You think that just because the Republican's assume power they will suddenly develop a conscience?  And we would lose ours?

      A Republican majority in the senate would end the filibuster without so much as a blink.  A Republican president would probably invoke the 14th Amendment to end the debt ceiling debate, as part of their inauguration speech.  

      The problem here is that Republicans are fascists and Democrats are Czechoslovakia.  Until that changes there is no political context where we win.

  •  He referred to it as "template" (12+ / 0-)

    Pat Buchanan referred to it earlier as a "perpetual budget Doomsday "Machine".

    The Democrats need to figure out a response to this BS and they need to figure it out fast.

    I would suggest that adopting Republican frames and memes regarding austerity hysteria, and deficits as well as marginalizing the role and importance of government is not the way to go.

  •  Give it a rest... (8+ / 0-)

    ... I would give my right nut to have a Democrat willing to play hardball politics like McConnell.

    I think McConnell is a reprehensible human being, & is a typical Washington D.C. misanthrope, but he is manipulating a weakness he sees in the Democrats.

    I think Obama can learn a few things from McConnell's cutthroat approach to politics.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:48:59 AM PDT

    •  President Obama needs to learn that it's NOT (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rainmanjr, blueoasis

      unseemly to fight in defense of someone smaller or weaker than you are.

      He is supposed to FIGHT for US.

      And he's not supposed to make the reelection of Democrats in Congress harder by publicly tarring them with the same brush as Republicans--as he did today regarding the FAA.

      Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

      by Catskill Julie on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:49:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama's Presidency is over, Hillary 2012 (4+ / 0-)

      When you lose respect of your opponents it is time to leave. No CEO, coach, pastor, or politician can remain once they are merely something to be mocked and ridiculed.

      I guarantee after every speech he gives from now on he will get nothing but ridicule on this site, because his action has proven his words are meaningless.

      The republicans will not give an inch until a new sheriff comes to town. Step aside Obama, Hillary 2012.

      •  he will still get support.... (0+ / 0-)

        that isn't a bad thing...keeps everyone honest, and maybe somehow the light bulb turns on in the political teams heads...

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:57:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hillary doesn't need to put up with this crap. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        She's going to be the president of the world bank or some such, soon.

        "Look out, Britishans! I got bells an' I'm shootin' em, you betcha! Tort reform or I'll sue!" ---Paul Revere

        by The Gryffin on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:58:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting thought. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jeremimi

        I didn't believe Hillary could win in 2008 and never thought she'd be our nominee.  But this is an interesting possibility.  We'll see how far down Obama's popularity rating goes before saying she'll make this kind of leap.  She likes being SoS, after all.  But I'd vote for her this time.

        "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

        by rainmanjr on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:11:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd vote for Hillary over a Rep... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rainmanjr, apimomfan2

          ...anytime.

          But her primary campaign permanently turned me off on her. It was easily the most vicious primary I'd ever seen—essentially running against Obama from the right and using a healthy dose of Republican memes and innuendo, which were then (not-so-surprisingly) picked up by the Republicans immediately afterward.
          One could argue that Hillary performed a useful service, strengthening Obama for the Republican attacks to come; but in retrospect, it's more like she simply gave the Republicans a bunch of ammunition. Her attacks became theirs, and eventually the Tea Party's.

          Again, she could yet win back my respect (it's hard to lose more of my respect than Obama has, unfortunately), but she ran an incredibly irresponsible campaign.

    •  hahahahahahaha!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2

      have you ever heard the saying 'it takes two to tango'?  well, it applies to the game of default chicken that we just saw played.

      Don't just get angry. Get organized. Let's make sure the Bush tax cuts for the rich are ended.

      by Anton Bursch on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:02:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, what we need to do is make the use... (0+ / 0-)

      ...of such politics such a fucking disaster in the elections that they nuke the tactic from orbit, just to be sure.

      We don't need to be escalating tactics that will prove harmful to this country.  We need to be successfully vilifying those who engage in them.

      Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

      by Stephen Daugherty on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:05:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The next crisis is the budget. It will be SLASHED (5+ / 0-)

    to the point that the 14th is irrelevant.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:49:25 AM PDT

  •  We need the political equivalent of (9+ / 0-)

    Seal Team Six to deal with Republicans.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 10:53:33 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like we need to amend the Constitution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    I can think of no better contrast, at this particular point in time, to a BBA than an amendment to never question the payment of lawful obligations.

    Here is a perfect opportunity for Progressives to counter all the BBA b.s., will we take advantage? We don't need D.C.'s permission to do so. How about the congressional Progressives, here is an opportunity to pushback while the public is probably going to be very receptive.

    Are we even capable of doing something big like this on our own?

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:04:32 AM PDT

  •  It's not going to be exclusive to the (5+ / 0-)

    debt ceiling either.  Every appropriations bill will become subject to this approach unless it's something that these terrorists approve of or have introduced.

    This is what their intentions are to dismantle HCR, refuse to fund a single dollar for it.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:57:21 PM PDT

  •  They do this for a reason (4+ / 0-)

    The have found out that the incumbent in the WH is a pushover. He does not know how to negotiate. He has no core convictions or moral standings.

  •  Mark my words....hotlist it...make a note (11+ / 0-)

    Democrats will find out how to negotiate with a clean debt ceiling bill during the very next Republican Presidency...

    I guarantee it...

    Just like they got their judges approved...


    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:36:00 PM PDT

  •  Can we take some comfort (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    that this makes great video for a DNC ad for 2012

    We agree our hair is on fire, we disagree with Paul Ryan's plan to use a sledgehammer to put out the fire

    by JML9999 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:36:04 PM PDT

  •  Didn't this work out swell! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr, vigilant meerkat
  •  Time to pressure Congress to cut the Hostile (0+ / 0-)

    retoric re: Debt Ceiling.

    •  only on the fish (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brooklynbadboy, nicethugbert

      and Republicans have found a pondful...

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:41:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  pond full (0+ / 0-)

        wtf iPhone?

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:42:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He just admitted the GOP was bluffing all along, (4+ / 0-)

        as so many of us repeatedly tried to point out.

        (sigh)

        •  Here is the thing (4+ / 0-)

          McConnell and Boehner were not even actually bluffing.

          They said over and over for six months that they would pass a bill!!  But for some reason so many people didn't want to actually believe the words coming out of their mouth.  I didn't get it then, and I don't get it now.  

          Buchanan said last night the President fell for the tea party's bluff trying to antagonize Al Sharpton.  After he spent 4 weeks saying they weren't playing.  

          I am preaching to the choir.  But the first time they came at me with that nonsense, I would have basically told them...

          "We don't believe you, you need more people"...

          The entire thing was a tanker full of fail from the day they steppe back from the clean bill demand, one after they made it.  We all knew where it was headed then.  I just didn't imagine they wouldn't get ANYTHING!!...

          oh well...I reached the acceptance phase a long time ago...

          "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

          by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:52:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a contact at the DNC staff... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            apimomfan2

            and basically I just kept asking him throughout the debate "Are the people in the White House really this stupid?" And his basic answer was that they just don't see the world they way we do. Their whole prism by which they look at that things are just divorced from outside perspectives. He was telling the White House is a bunker. You get in there and you just....change.

            All they look at is vote counts, and they never know where the numbers are. "So what do have to give up to get (4) votes? Whats it take to get (18) votes?" That's how they think.

            Mind boggling.

            •  Someone needs to give them an intervention (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              brooklynbadboy, apimomfan2

              Someone needs to read someone like Valerie Jarrett the riot act, or even Axelrod and maybe he will send the message.  Tell them to snap out of it!!!  Someone they really trust....

              But that power is intoxicating...not doubt about it...

              And it will take a loss for them to actually reflect, and then it will be too late...

              Watch this FAA thing....I would not be surprised if they actually give in.  Remember, LaHood is a Republican...which means Obama seems uninclined to even blame the GOP.

              Some of the worst politics I have seen in my lifetime, and we have 14 months to go...

              "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

              by justmy2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:05:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  indeed. I was already saying weeks ago that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brooklynbadboy, apimomfan2, blueoasis

          neither party leadership wants a default and neither party leadership will allow one to happen, and anything else is pure theater.

          There never was any real hostage. The Dem and Repug leadership doesn't want a default---the Baggers who DO want ti don't have enough votes to make it happen.

          We gave away the farm to bribe Repugs to vote for a debt limit increase that, in the end, they would have voted for anyway.  They have no choice.

          Alas, we missed a wonderful opportunity to ignite a bloody civil war within the Repug Party between the establishment Repug corporatists and the libertarian nutball Teabaggers.

  •  Shoulda, woulda, coulda (4+ / 0-)
    The 14th Amendment should not have been taken off the table this time. It has to be an option for the president next time.

    It won't be, though, because he is a wimp.

    Sue me.

  •  Re (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr, apimomfan2
    There's a bit of insight. McConnell isn't willing to shoot the nation's financial security, but he'll pretend that he will. And he's aware that some of his party are more than happy to do so. But it also signals what he's already promised, that from here on out the debt ceiling will be held hostage.

    When we inevitably collapse into a Greek style collapse due to massive over indebtedness, the nation's financial security will be shot anyway. Not that I don't think McConnell is an idiot.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:41:19 PM PDT

    •  Yes, debt is an important issue. (0+ / 0-)

      If it causes Moody's and S&P ratings to fall, as they threaten it will (illigitamtely but they control the game), then the debt and cuts were major issues and GOP was right to bring it up.  Dem's, however, were wrong in letting the talking points become about the debt.  We should have kept reading out how many jobs would be lost from each cut and kept the conversation on jobs.  We lost this battle all the way around (when it looked like Obama had great popular support) and I doubt we'll keep the WH if he's our nominee.

      "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

      by rainmanjr on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:19:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The President should promise to veto any (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicethugbert, wsexson

    future budget that doesn't include a sufficient debt ceiling increase to cover it.

    "every time we start a pie fight a wingnut gets his wings"- MinistryofTruth -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:41:45 PM PDT

  •  And yes, President Obama is a capitulator. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2

    Thank you Joan for yet another poignant and insightful diary.  

  •  After reading everything (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonevent

    I could find on the 14th amendment argument -- I have come to the conclusion that it is both a facile interpretation and dangerous.  Laurence Tribe -- a great Constitutional scholar whose Constitutional Law texts are used in practically every law school said this:

    The Constitution grants only Congress — not the president — the power “to borrow money on the credit of the United States.” Nothing in the 14th Amendment or in any other constitutional provision suggests that the president may usurp legislative power to prevent a violation of the Constitution. Moreover, it is well established that the president’s power drops to what Justice Robert H. Jackson called its “lowest ebb” when exercised against the express will of Congress.

    Worse, the argument that the president may do whatever is necessary to avoid default has no logical stopping point. In theory, Congress could pay debts not only by borrowing more money, but also by exercising its powers to impose taxes, to coin money or to sell federal property. If the president could usurp the congressional power to borrow, what would stop him from taking over all these other powers, as well?

    NYT's op-ed

    I know there are many lawyers here -- and many intelligent people -- but no one of this caliber when it comes to understanding Constitutional law -- and the consequences of using it for the first time under these circumstances.  A very bad precedent.  

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:43:56 PM PDT

    •  there was no need for any "14th Amendment solution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2

      If Obama had simply declared that he would veto anything other than a clean bill to raise the debt limit, the Repugs would have screamed and yelled and waved their fist in the air, but in the end they would have voted a clean bill (even if every single Teabagger voted unanimously against it). They didn't want a default any more than the Dems did.

      The resulting bloodbath between the corporatist Repug leadership and the anarchist Teabaggers would have been awfully entertaining to watch.  Sadly, though, the unnecessary Dem surrender deprived us of that opportunity.

    •  Yes, he would have faced impeachment. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2

      Just like BC.  Helluva thing to be fighting during a campaign.  I would have allowed them to crash it.  I would have vetoes that bill and gone directly to the American people.  The insuing calamity might well have led to a mass expulsion of Tpubs from Congress and the ability to push through job creating programs like infrastructure, energy and transportation.  But not now.  Americans hate a loser and that's how they now see him.

      "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

      by rainmanjr on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:24:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Republicans tried to do the same thing... (0+ / 0-)

        ...They though that if they let the banks fail, that if they let Lehman Brothers fail, that the system would correct itself, and all would be well.

        In the end, it was a political disaster, they lost the election, and they ended up voting for the bailout anyways.

        We can always say something like "The ensuing calamity would be good for us.", but in my mind, the President would have likely taken the blame as well as the Republicans.

        It's always dangerous to substitute your own thinking for that of the public, and to assume that they wil correspond.  There was no upside to letting the default occur.

        As far as I'm concerned, dwelling on a political defeat like this is foolish.  We need to recognize that this is what comes of giving the keys back to the assholes who ran us into the ditch.

        Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

        by Stephen Daugherty on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:14:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My mind's been changed. (0+ / 0-)

          I've read some articles about what we got out of the debt compromise and we seem to have done pretty well.  This has changed my view and I'm back in support of Obama.  You also make a good point, however, and I want you 2 know that I don't discard a good point.

          "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

          by rainmanjr on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:35:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "Has to" only if you can force that issue. (0+ / 0-)

    Otherwise, you wish.  And that's as much as you can say.

    "It is an unhappy fact of politics that victory goes to the pressure that will not let up." David Bromwich

    by CarolinNJ on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:44:14 PM PDT

  •  OK, so let's say you don't negotiate with them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonevent, rainmanjr

    (which by the way is the same position you are criticizing them for taking -- not negotiating).  The GOP controls the House.  The Dems control the Senate (sort of).  And the Dems control the executive branch.  If you don't negotiate with the GOP, then you get nothing because you can't get legislation without it passing the House.  If they don't negotiate with the Dems, they get nothing because you can't get legislation to pass the Senate or be signed by the president.  

    Frankly, all of this discussion makes no sense to me.  In the end, both sides negotiated.  Maybe one side wasn't a very good negotiator (the Pres) and the outcome wasn't so hot but the two sides still negotiated.

    •  Yes, this is how the process looks. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Support Civil Liberty

      They won because we believed in their inflexibility so they used that to their advantage.  It's the unknown that's scary.  That doesn't mean they didn't play.

      "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

      by rainmanjr on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:26:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  there was no negotiation because both sides (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      already agreed.  Neither the Dem leadership nor the Repug leadership wanted a default, and both would have done whatever it took to prevent it.

      The only ones who DID want a default--the Bagger nutballs--simply don't have enough votes to bring it about.  They can neither pass a bill of their own nor prevent anyone else from passing a bill. In terms of sheer numbers, the 60-person Teabagger Caucus doesn't mean jackshit--it has fewer members than the Progressive Caucus does.

      There never was any hostage. If Obama had stuck to his guns and refused anything other than a clean bill, he'd inevitably have gotten it. The Repugs have passed the same thing before, without complaint, dozens of times. They have no choice--they know what the consequences would be if they didn't.

      Despite all the arm-waving, the "negotiation" that took place was simply not about the debt limit. It was about dragging in all sorts of other things that the Repugs can't win by vote, but can win by bluffing. Especially when the Dems are always so eager to throw in their winning hand.

  •  Agreed, the blackmail can't be repeated. (0+ / 0-)

    I'd imagine others are thinking this, too.  Good luck to all of us.

    Next round, the commission.  Then on to 2012.

  •  That's A Right Wing Meme: "You Don't Negotiate W/ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beelzebud, anonevent, rainmanjr

    Terrorists".

    Rightwing nonsensical claptrap. You have three options; negotiate, let 'em kill the hostage, take 'em out.

    Of course you negotiate. You keep them negotiating long enough so that you get them in a position where you can take them out with minimal harm to the hostages.  From a political standpoint, that means an election and you vote them out.

    Until that point, when we can vote them out, we keep 'em occupied and do the best we can to protect the hostages, and that takes negotiation.

    Dig?

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher

    by Beetwasher on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:44:55 PM PDT

  •  When does McConnell's term end? (0+ / 0-)

    He should get nailed.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:45:08 PM PDT

  •  No, the alternative (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2, blueoasis

    is for the freakin' congress, senate and WH to do their damned jobs. Which they totally did not do- and I am talking 2006-2011.

  •  This is why we need to vote in 2012 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonevent, leftalone

    We can prevent this from happening again with the right legislation. The GOP is operating completely in the open right now. Time to get loud!

  •  The President dodged the 14th. Three words: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phrogge prince, rainmanjr, The Raven

    Black
    Dictatorship
    Impeachment
    The mist of unspoken racism is alive and well in this country. It could have become a fog. They are just begging for the chance to resurrect the ghost of the South and play the, "Who me?" card.
    I say he is WAY up on a tightrope when it comes to any precedent whatsoever.

  •  Obama needs to call the Repugs "mofos". They are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phrogge prince, rainmanjr

    shameless pols willing to villify him at every turn. He needs to start fighting in the gutter with these assholes.

    Republicans only care about themselves, their money, & their power.

    by jdmorg on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 07:49:18 PM PDT

    •  You damned right! Republicans are not (0+ / 0-)

      going to cooperate with Obama or even come close to behaving decently:  they are pure assholes of the first order and Obama might as well roll up his sleeves and slap the shit out of several of them.  I can hardly stand to look at Mitch M.:  he's so proud of himself he's puffed up like a fucking toad.

  •  Next time the Rethugs even start in the (0+ / 0-)

    same direction, Obama should pull the 14th Amendment off the shelf, raise the debt limit himself, and say, "Fuck you, Mitch!  Move on, there's nothing to see here."

  •  Can we please stop pretending that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonevent, The Raven

    invoking the 14th Amendment was some kinda no-brainer.

    The General Counsel of the Treasury disputes the claim that it could've been invoked, besides which, had Obama invoked it (aside from him being impeached) the US's credit rating would've almost certainly been downgraded because the ratings agencies were interested in seeing deficit reduction, which that wouldn't have dealt with.

    To say nothing of what would've happened when a GOP Congressperson found a friendly judge to issue an injunction.

  •  Joan, are you qualified... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonevent, The Raven

    ...to say definitively that "the 14th Amendment Option" had a chance? Because pretty much all the Constitutional lawyers/scholars that have weighed in on it say it didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of surviving a SCOTUS review. The President is one of them.

    I'm not so my question is honest and legit.

    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
    -- Dr. Peter Venkman

    by Eclectablog on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:00:54 PM PDT

  •  Fuck you Mitch! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2

    Look at that face!  

    Gandhi himself would have wanted to punch his lights out.

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    by lastman on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:01:31 PM PDT

  •  McConnell needs to be shocked and awed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2

    Obama needs to send some planes over to "shock and awe" McConnell. Thats how we've been dealing with terrorists. Bomb first, ask questions later.

  •  The 14th amendment is not an option (0+ / 0-)

    The only option that it is is that it forces the US to pay its creditors first, before anyone else.  Otherwise, it's a great dream, cause it sounds like the President can do the job of Congress.  But it doesn't give him that power.

    You get into debt with the Congress you have, not the one you you had back in 2009.

    I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

    by anonevent on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:05:17 PM PDT

  •  Nobody could have foreseen... (0+ / 0-)

    Is there any way to trick the Republicans into offering a compromise which would permit the President to use the 14th Amendment?

    Personally, I favor, metaphorically, the Entebbe Option the next time the Republicans try hostage-taking.

    It's not like they haven't created tons of video of them apologizing to BP, talking about "the little people" and much worse we could string together, slap a "Republicans Don't Care About You" slogan on it, and get it on the air.


    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:08:40 PM PDT

    •  Yes, we would have to propose an amendment (0+ / 0-)

      to the Constitution, since the power to get money lies with Congress.

      I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

      by anonevent on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:23:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Power to Execute the Laws (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        apimomfan2, blueoasis

        of the United States lies with the President.

        The 14th Amendment is precisely the thing the President swears to uphold.

        The President is not the weakest person in our political system. Well, at least, not by design.


        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:58:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  PS The passed-by-Congress, and signed by (0+ / 0-)

          the President, Budget is the Law at the moment. Just so we are all clear on the situation.


          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 09:01:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  When you get out-slicked by McConnell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2

    you KNOW you're a rookie.

    If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

    by jhannon on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 08:39:48 PM PDT

  •  So no more unpaid for tax cuts for the wealthy? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2

    What a relief!

  •  I'm thinking (0+ / 0-)

    if you were bluffing, it might not be a smart thing to say, "I was bluffing and I'm going to do it again next time." That kind of blows your game.

    There's a reason Democrats won massively the last two cycles, and it wasn't because people were desperate for "bipartisanship". --kos

    by Debby on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 09:07:02 PM PDT

  •  Just wait until they discover that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2, blueoasis

    you can use the debt ceiling as leverage on social issues as well.

    Also wait until they say "The bargain has been altered, pray that we don't alter it any more." during the CR debate.

    Hey Speaker Boehner, do you like apples? Well, your debt ceiling proposal just failed to come to a vote after showing a Ben Affleck movie. How do you like them apples?

    by AZphilosopher on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 11:39:35 PM PDT

  •  Perhaps another master stroke... (0+ / 0-)

    ...of brilliant forethought: when the proverbial can is ready to be kicked 6 months down the road and palpably much more within the context of the 2012 presidential election, Bambam will utilize the powers afforded him in the 14th in a demonstration of might for the right(again, proverbial...ie the left) and take the wind out from under terrorist wings- I can just see Boehner's boneheads and McConnell's moran brigade tucking feathers in their caps and snickering snickers of victorious condescension from this momentary victory.  We'll see what those snickers sound like, oh, idk, right around Super Tuesday, maybe?  The theme song for this post is "Can't stop believin'" by Foreigner.  Won't you all believe with me?

  •  The Public Debt Act of 1941 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    The Public Debt Act of 1941 was codified into law.  The President "shall faithfully execute the law."  (Article Two)

    31 USC 3102 [Bonds] "With the approval of the President, the Secretary of the Treasury may borrow on the credit of the United States Government amounts necessary for expenditures authorized by law . . . "

    The president already has plenary power, granted by Congress, to authorize the borrowing.  Debt Ceiling?  A FRAUD!

    Expenditures authorized by law are those things that Congress has voted AYE and spent the money.  They already authorized spending the money, so this phony song and dance is just a ruse to do what?  Figure it out.  

    Before Reagan, Social Security was a pay-as-you-go plan.  But Reagan cried, "The sky is falling" and began taking extra money out of all our paychecks over and above the normal Pay-as-you-go. Promising "So that money will be there for you when you retire." Creating a huge surplus every year that he promptly spent.  And GHW Bush spent.  And Clinton started paying back, and GW Bush spent.  "Lucky me, I hit the trifecta."

    Now that that (Idon't know but it must be more than 20 Trillion dollars by now) surplus is coming to the time when "that money has to be there when we retire" they don't want to pay it back.

    Question: Is stealing $20 Trillion a felony?
    Answer: Not when Uncle Sam does it.

  •  sleep of reason... (0+ / 0-)

    with a little luck he will become the most hated man in America

  •  The 14th Amendment is a non-starter (0+ / 0-)

    It may have been a useful tool to use in a rhetorical context but it simply won't pass Constitutional muster.  Section 5 of the Amendment clearly vests Congress, and not the President, with the authority to control the debt.

    Section. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    The meaning of that section is pretty clear.  The President has no role other than to enforce the laws enacted by Congress with respect to the public debt.

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