Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

OPEN THREAD: Debt Ceiling Politics

I watched both of the speeches last night and the most stark difference was how Obama stated his case in a way that left Boehner room to maneuver, while Boehner came with personal broadsides directed squarely at the President.  He laid out two options, either accept our narrative and cave to all our demands or we will force your veto-ing hand to flush the full faith and credit of the US (God I’m sick of hearing that phrase) down the proverbial toilet.


And the so-called liberal media is failing to call this what it is in consistent fashion: a concerted attempt to bring down a sitting president no matter who and what is damaged in the process.

I’m curious why Boehner was even given time to rebut the president.  This wasn’t the state of the union.  If anything, if Boehner wanted to speak, he should have gone first.  Doesn’t the presidency count for anything anymore?  In the mean time, George Will has a disgusting piece out in the aftermath entitled “Congress Reminds Obama He’s President, Not King.”  Really?  This about a man who hasn’t mentioned the words “veto” or “fourteenth amendment,” both presidential prerogatives, in the whole freaking process?

One thing is for sure, if they do manage to beat Obama, they shouldn’t expect ANY deference to the incoming GOPresident, as they have spent the past 3 years defecating on the current office holder.  Their stink will remain all over it.  It’s simply getting to the point that 365 days a year of hardball politics isn’t the problem.  We’ve already got that and the perpetrators aren’t going to let up for a minute.  In this situation, only hardball politics can provide a solution.  There might be limits to what an aikido pres. can do in the face of non-stop automatic fire.

I say fourteenth amendment now.


  1. I keep trying to find reasonableness on the GOP side but there just isn’t any. You frame it precisely correctly: this is a matter of “agree to my demands in total or I will flush the US economy”.

    The Tea Party Congressfolks are the plug in the barrel. They have no experience and no interest in national governance. They may (and may have already) actually destroy the country.

  2. fogiv

    at the 11.999999999999 hour. atm, boehner’s between a rock, a hard place, and a streaking radioactive meteor. establisment GOP folk must be in full-on-freak-the-fuck-out mode, right? I mean, did anyone see some of the headlines today at bloomberg?

    Republican Leaders Voted for U.S. Debt Drivers

    Boehner’s Response Is Work of Political Fiction

    Americans ‘Disgusted’ as Politicians Bicker

    Tea Party Freshman Finds Voters Uneasy About Stance on Debt


    teh boner’s ‘plan’ looks to be DOA (cantor can’t even sway these frosh fools so far), and any bloc of GOP votes that peel off to allow a dem plan (of any kind really) to pass will get mangled by the lipton scented mouth-breathers in 2013.

    should be an interesting week, eh?  

  3. Thanks to a commenter at Booman Tribune, I came across this Talking Points Memo article on why Boehner’s bill must fail, and the following comment:

    My take:

    Boehners plan will likely not clear the House. If it does, it gets taken up by Reid, hallowed out and replaced by his plan via amendment. Then it gets amendments from the tree that adds in “revenue raisers” like closing loopholes, etc. GOP either filibusters and screw themselves in public, or let it go to up or down where it will pass, and goes back to the House and the entire mess is Boehner’s to do or die on.

    The nation would be behind that bill, and if it doesn’t pass, it would all be on Boehner and the GOP.

  4. Strummerson

    seem like Bruh3, changeagain2012, and ludwigvan, just coming from the right?

    It’s a damn good thing that progressives aren’t electing our most ideologically “pure” bloggers to positions of national responsibility.

  5. HappyinVT

    CC’s struck out 10 through 5 innings, including the side in the fifth!

    Spaceman, you know you want to comment.

  6. creamer

    GOP blows up the economy. Will the Koch brothers and the money behind the Tea Baggers pick up the phone and divert their unconscious horde from disaster? Would it not seem that the monied intrest the GOP really represents not have as much to lose as anyone?

     How much money can you make selling short if you can predict when the market is going to crash?

     Am I being parinoid or should I practice bending over so I’m comftrable when the time comes?

  7. Announcing a new Meetup for Freedom Watch: The Original Sarasota 9-12 Tea Party!

    What: Glenn Beck’s ‘The Challenge’ August 1- 15th

    When: Monday, August 1, 2011 7:00 PM

    Where: (A location has not been chosen yet.)

    “Glenn Beck is getting ready to announce an exciting new

    project for his listeners called “The Challenge!” RSVP for this Meetup to participate in “The Challenge” in our town.

    More details will be added to the Meetup after Glenn announces our first Challenge on his show!”

    Check it out!


    Good thing He is here to Challenge us!  Glenn is going to announce our first Challenge on his show!

    I’m just giddy with excitement!  

  8. What if no deal of any kind can be struck for a cut-containing measure that will pass both houses?

    What if it’s the eleventy-59th minute on August 1 with no other legislative solution in sight?

    What if Boehner, in a fog of funk and Jim Beam, calls for a voice vote on a simple up-or-down clean raising, sits through the bellowing uproar, and declares it passed whether or not it really does?  Then it’s off to the Senate, they ram it through on another voice vote, and Obama signs it?

    Would that work?

  9. fogiv

    At a time when Obama’s standing might be expected to be sagging as economic doldrums persist, Republicans have handed him a boost. Over the past several months, Obama received more credit for behaving responsibly on the budget, rising from 46% to 52%, while the GOP’s already poor standing for fiscal irresponsibility inched up from 60% to 63%.

    Just over a half of the country is ready to blame the GOP for failing to raise the debt ceiling as compared with 30% who would blame Obama.

    lots more to consider at the linky:

  10. fogiv

    Tea party leader Mark Meckler issued a blunt warning to members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, saying “2012 is going to be extraordinarily different” than 2010, and that his group is “going to be dramatically engaged in the primaries – on both sides of the aisle,” next year.

    Tea party groups played a significant role in Republicans taking control of the House in 2010. Many of the 87-member GOP freshman class, who will stand for re-election for the first time in 2012, came to Congress with tea party support. Even greater tea party participation, if it actually materializes, could be be an important factor in determining which party controls Congress after 2012.

  11. Shaun Appleby

    But I think Nate has cut through the miasma of pundit opinion with clarity:

    A number of Republicans will vote no on Mr. Boehner’s bill – perhaps enough to kill it. The critical fact, however, is that most will vote yes – like including some who had earlier claimed that they would not raise the debt limit under any circumstances. The bottom has not fallen out from under Mr. Boehner, as had seemed possible before. Meanwhile, there have been few Democratic objections to Mr. Reid’s approach.

    What that means is that a very large majority of Congress would be willing to vote for either Mr. Reid’s bill or Mr. Boehner’s.

    Nate Silver – It’s All Over but the Face-Saving? NYT 27 Jul 11

    We can spend the next few months arguing over who won after default is averted, and we will.

  12. HappyinVT

    (temporarily) resolve this issue.  Steve Benen linked to a piece by Laurence Tribe, who does not support this position, ends thusly:

    …the arguments for ignoring the debt ceiling are unpersuasive. But even if they were persuasive, they would not resolve the crisis. Once the debt ceiling is breached, a legal cloud would hang over any newly issued bonds, because of the risk that the government might refuse to honor those debts as legitimate. This risk, in turn, would result in a steep increase in interest rates because investors would lose confidence – a fiscal disaster that would cost the nation tens of billions of dollars.

    Although an authoritative judicial declaration authorizing borrowing above the debt ceiling might alleviate investors’ fears, obtaining such a declaration is no easy task. Only someone who has suffered a “particularized” harm – not one shared with the public at large – is entitled to sue. It would be difficult to conjure up a plaintiff who has suffered such specific harm from an issuance of debt beyond the ceiling. And even if such a plaintiff could be found, increased interest rates would have already inflicted terrible damage by the time the Supreme Court ruled on the matter.

    A core function of the Constitution is to “force us into a conversation” about our future, Mr. Obama once wrote. Sometimes, it does this by establishing principles citizens can invoke when they believe the government has overreached. At other times, it does so by directing us back to the political drawing board.

    It is this second message the Constitution is sending at this moment. As Justice John Marshall Harlan II presciently warned, “the Constitution is not a panacea for every blot upon the public welfare.” Only political courage and compromise, coupled with adherence to traditions that call upon Congress to fulfill its unique constitutional duty, can avert an impending crisis.

  13. Stone Kettle Station’s Jim Wright tells a long, horrifying, magnificently written story of destruction and death that shouldn’t have happened, and yes, the looming disaster over the debt ceiling is exactly what he’s talking about:

    If you read nothing else today, read this.  

  14. BobL

    Interesting comment from a UK observer this morning:  “The U.S. is experiencing an ‘end of empire’ moment…” (did he mean to say senior moment?).  Britain tends to have more experience with crumbling empires than we have so perhaps speaks more credibly.  Deffo not wishful thinking in Merry Olde.  Are the patriots sinking the whole boat?

    DC paybacks are hell.  I wonder who the Tea Party expects will support any of their bills in Congress…  if any of them ever bothers to author one.

  15. fogiv

    A Republican demand for $16 million in cuts from the FAA budget (plus some anti-union provisions) has led to an FAA shutdown that has in turn, as the NY Times reports, led to a $25 million per day loss in fees the airlines paid to the FAA. That is, Zealotry on this point has already cost the government more than ten times as much as the cuts would have saved.

    ’cause there’s no revenue problem, there’s a spending problem dontcha know.

  16. Shaun Appleby

    Drama in the House:

    WASHINGTON — House GOP leadership announced abruptly on Thursday evening that they were suspending a vote on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) debt ceiling proposal, signaling in the process that the GOP lacked the votes to pass the package.

    The news came just minutes before party leadership was set to hold a 5:30 p.m. vote on the proposal…

    Sam Stein – John Boehner Yanks Debt Ceiling Bill, House Vote Postponed Huffington Post 28 Jul 11

    They claim they will vote later this evening.

  17. Shaun Appleby

    @ jbendery : House GOP Whip just sent alert: “Thank you for your patience. We hope to reach a decision soon on the schedule for the rest of night.”

    Yeah…  Right.  So nobody has a clue, apparently?

  18. HappyinVT

    about the debt ceiling by rickrolling folks.  I’m on my phone and copy/paste challenged but wonkette and the BBC have the details.  

  19. DTOzone

    I sense that invoking the Fourteenth Amendment is indeed illegal because Perry v. United States says only Congress can borrow money on the credit of the US, and they decide the debt ceiling is the level at which they choose not to borrow any more. The President cannot legally ignore that.

    I think the administration will have to challenge the constitutionality of the debt ceiling on the argument that it violates the Fourteenth, but ignoring the debt ceiling is in all likelihood an impeachable offense.

    It would be painfully ironic, yet unsurprising, if Obama commits an impeachable offense for the good of the country.  

  20. Shaun Appleby

    I have never more clearly seen three parties in US politics; we’ve done it before but in recent memory it has always been a doomed presidential challenge.  This time it has divided a major party in the House with a failure which would have brought down an entire Westminster government.

    Also, can’t imagine Wall Street not fleeing to stability.  Saw the first signs in the late stages of the 2008 campaign.  It’s been a wash since but watch if this doesn’t renew the trend; anyone who thought Boehner had an ace up his sleeve is now disabused of that fantasy.

    Maybe we just made a historic bargain along the lines of Nixon’s southern strategy but with Wall Street.  They can’t be happy sharing their traditional political party with a bunch of radicalised Huey Long Democrats.  Seriously, these things take time but they are tectonic.  Obama’s corporate-friendly centrism has got to look like a better deal than this.  No wonder he has endured the raging Left, eh?  He is after bigger game maybe.

  21. Shaun Appleby

    Has the ring of truth to it:

    “If he can’t get the votes tonight he’ll never get them. You can’t put this toothpaste back in the tube,” one Senate leadership aide said.

    Michael McAuliff and Sam Stein – John Boehner’s Debt Ceiling Bill Stalls In House Huffington Post 28 Jul 11

    Can Reid act unilaterally and gut some tabled budget item to insert his proposal, pass it, and then send it down to the House?  We need the adults in the room at this point.

  22. Shaun Appleby

    It’s been a busy night:

    Obama administration officials are to brief the public no earlier than after financial markets close today on priorities for paying the nation’s bills if the debt limit isn’t raised, a Democratic official said.

    Bankers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief Jamie Dimon called on Obama and Congress to raise the federal debt limit to steer the U.S. government away from the threat of default.

    Julie Hirschfeld Davis and James Rowley – House Bids to Salvage Boehner Debt Bill as Democrats Eye Endgame Business Week 29 Jul 11

    And it’s not often we hear from this precinct:

    A White House adviser, David Plouffe, in an interview with MSNBC, suggested one way out of the impasse would be to amalgamate the House and Senate bills.

    “What you’re going to have to do is reconcile what’s in Reid and Boehner, which is a lot of the things the president has talked about in terms of spending cuts he’d be willing to accept. And that’s where the compromise is,” Plouffe said.

    Ewen MacAskill – US debt crisis: Speaker delays vote as Republicans fight over spending bill Guardian 29 Jul 11

    A compromise that plunks us past November 2012 too, I’m guessing.

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