July 18, 2011 7:04 AM
Poll: 71% shun GOP handling of debt crisis
No one is looking particularly good in this crisis, but the GOP is looking particularly bad.
Conservative New York Times columnist, Russ Douthat explains:
"Obama has been playing the reasonability card so successfully because his opponents won’t (or can’t) play one of their own.
It’s not that Republicans needed to tug their forelock and go along with whatever grand bargain the White House whipped up. But to win the endgame, they needed something they were willing to concede, something they could tout in public as an example of meeting the Democrats partway.
Their inability to make even symbolic concessions has turned a winning hand into a losing one. A majority of Americans want to close the deficit primarily with spending cuts — which is to say, they’re primed to side with conservatives in the debt-ceiling debate. But in trying to turn that “primarily” into a “completely,” the right has squandered this advantage. By 48 percent to 34 percent, a Quinnipiac poll found last week, Americans will blame Republicans if debt-ceiling gridlock precipitates an economic crisis.
In the end, the threat of such a backlash will probably impel Republicans to make some kind of concession anyway, if they don’t admit that’s what they’re doing. (The maneuver that Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid are working on, for instance, would reportedly cut spending by $1.5 trillion and then let the president extend the debt ceiling on his own, effectively shaving about $500 billion off the spending cuts that Republicans were originally seeking.)
By backing into a compromise and shrouding it in procedural gimmickry, Republican legislators may hope to throw the Tea Party’s watchdogs off the scent. But both the politics and the substance of such a deal would probably be worse for conservatives than the kind of bargain that might have been available otherwise — if more Republicans had only recognized that sometimes a well-chosen concession can be the better part of valor. "
"Time magazine's Joe Klein said this weekend that President Obama "is winning" the debt ceiling debate.
Klein told his fellow panelists on the syndicated 'Chris Matthews Show,' "He is coming across as the most reasonable guy in a crazy city...When he says things like 'Eat your peas,' that's language Americans can understand."
From the LATimes:
"Has President Obama seized the upper hand in the debt-limit debate? Mark Salter, for years a top advisor to Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, said Wednesday that he has, that Obama has “outmaneuvered” congressional Republicans by appearing more daring on fiscal reforms -- and that the GOP had best find another strategy."
And from a comment by CDM at Sue's blog, "Hello...Mr. President Are You Listening:
NUMBER OF TIMES REPUBLICANS VOTED TO INCREASE DEBT CEILING:
Then Obama was elected.
This debt ceiling intransigence is nothing more than political hackery on the GOP's part. The GOP is willing to create a devastating crisis here in the US and in the world to fulfill their stated goal: To make Mr. Obama a one-term president. The GOP is not acting like a responsible political party, they're acting like a political mafia: "Nice country ya got here; be a shame if somethin' bad happened to it--unless you give us everything we want."