In her first show back from vacation, Rachel had an exceptional show last night. Among the topics discussed were whether we as Democrats will keep up the pressure on Republicans in the states with regards anti woman laws and the new hypocrisy of Republicans on paying for tax cut.
But the opening segment was, of course, the fiscal cliff as well as the Sandy debacle, told in the picture of the incompetence of John Boehner.
Her guest for this segment was Senator Chuck Schumer. Ostensibly, he was there to talk Sandy, but the interview went a bit further than that into politics and governance and the debt ceiling. Watch it starting at 9:40. The portion relevant to the debt ceiling starts at 14:30:
"This will be a big test. Will they--If President Obama follows through on what he says he's gonna do and--I believe he will and I think we should too--we're NOT going to negotiate on debt ceiling. You guys--if you guys want to come in the room and say "we're only going to raise the debt ceiling if you cut this this and this--" We should say "Leave the room. You want to let the debt ceiling lapse, that's on YOUR back."Now, if you have SCHUMER making this statement, things start to look a little more hopeful, right? Here you have powerful leaders on the Democratic side urging no negotiations on the debt limit.
But, we all know Schumer knows how to play the game. He's drawn to a microphone like a moth to a candle and he can tailor his message to his audience. But I do believe he's genuine in this.
But only as an opening position.
Cuts will be negotiated as part of the sequester and the CR. There's no getting around that. What is to be avoided is the double whammy on cuts--cuts for the sequester, and cuts for the debt limit. Sure, the President can say "You got your cuts in the sequester, give me my debt limit", and I think that may indeed be the plan and the reason for putting all this together at the same time.
But Senator Schumer tonight has given me a little bright spot of hope. If Democratic leaders start echoing the President on no negotiations on the debt limit and hold that line, perhaps saner heads in the House will prevail.
And this is how it should be done: They should do all the talking and all they should hear from us is silence. The only thing that needs to be said is "The debt limit is not a thing to be negotiated."
Or, Schumer can be just saying that to placate us. In which case the fix is in and it's pointless to even have these discussions.