Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sen. McConnell's Theater of the Absurd

Senate Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell, started the day criticizing President Obama's "smoke and mirrors" deficit reduction plans. Recall that Republicans have been holding a vote to raise the debt ceiling hostage to a larger deficit reduction plan.

A few hours later, Sen. McConnell came out with this doozy of a proposal.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a “last choice option” to avoid a default on U.S. debt obligations that effectively would grant President Barack Obama power to unilaterally raise the debt limit in installments.

McConnell’s plan would let the president raise the limit in three stages unless Congress disapproves by a two-thirds majority, while Obama would also be required to propose offsetting spending cuts. The spending reductions would be advisory, and the debt-ceiling increase would occur regardless of whether lawmakers enact the cuts, McConnell said.
In other words, the Republicans are willing to cede their precondition that meaningful action be taken about the deficit in return for three meaningless, "smoke and mirror" no votes against the debt limit that they would effectively be agreeing to raise.

Talk about the "Party of No." Republicans are willing to give up all responsibility for this issue and let $4 trillion in proposed deficit reduction slip through their fingers just so they vote no three times (after voting yes).

Sen. McConnell and other Republicans are hoping that the Tea Partiers won't notice that they've just been sold out. However, that "smoke and mirrors" with the Republicans' base seems to be easier than actually governing.

If the Tea Partiers have any rationality at all, they'll recognize that Sen. McConnell is not only selling them out but also insulting their intelligence.

Update (5:30 p.m., 7/12): It didn't take long for some in the Tea Party to see through this. Freedom Works tweets
Sen. McConnell thinks cutting spending is too hard. Help him find his spine! Call him at 202-224-2541