Monday, September 23, 2013

The End Game

What a Monday. We've seen plenty of drama from the usual suspects. And of course, they're demanding the same old disgusting ransom as they threaten to hold the nation hostage.

Of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) is over the ridiculous G-O-TEA drama. However, there was an interesting twist today. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is also over the ridiculous G-O-TEA drama. Pay very close attention to what's said below... And what's not said.

"Senator McConnell supports the House Republicans' bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny," McConnell spokesman Don Stewart told TPM in an email Monday. "He will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans' bill."

The decision clears a path for Democrats to pass a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare. Procedurally, Democrats need 60 votes (they have 54 members) to advance the House-passed continuing resolution. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) can strike the language defunding Obamacare with 51 votes, which frees up McConnell and every other Republican to vote against such an amendment. This way he never has to actually vote to fund Obamacare but doesn't force a shutdown over an unachievable goal.

Because Senator McConnell is facing a "TEA" fueled primary challenge, he has to sound "severely conservative". But in failing to say "The [Other] F Word", Senator Reid should be able to proceed in crafting a budget agreement that all sides can live with.

And that's not all. Former Senator Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire) couldn't stay silent as some in his party continue promoting economic destruction.

The self-promotional babble of a few has become the mainstream of Republican political thought. It has marginalized the influence of the party to an appalling degree. 

An approach to the debt ceiling that says one will not vote for its extension unless ObamaCare is defunded is the political equivalent of playing Russian roulette with all the chambers of the gun loaded. It is the ultimate no-win strategy. 

You cannot in politics take a hostage you cannot shoot. That is what the debt ceiling is. At some point, the debt ceiling will have to be increased not because it is a good idea but because it is the only idea. 

As we've discussed here many times before, there's no realistic way for the G-O-TEA gang to succeed. Obamacare is law. A budget must signed into law in a week. And the debt ceiling is not something to mess around with.

Even as the media pundits are setting each other's hair on fire, the end game is now in sight. Senator McConnell is now deferring to Senator Reid, and to the Republicans willing to negotiate with him. And sooner or later, G-O-TEA "leaders" will blink.

This week should be interesting...

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