As Easy as ABC
Moving on from Mitch McConnell.
2:01 AM, Jul 13, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
That's easy in the Senate, where the GOP is in the minority. The 47 Senate Republicans would just vote no, and a few of them would agree not to filibuster the Democrats’ debt hike, so as not to obstruct the president and the Democrats. Nor need the Republican-controlled House stand in the way of the desire of the president and Democrats to incur more debt. House Republicans could allow Democrats to pass a no-tax-hike, no-gutting-of-defense version of a debt ceiling hike in the House. Speaker Boehner would have to round up (if I've done the math correctly) 48 Republican members who would agree to vote present on such a debt limit increase. The other 192 GOP members would vote no. The 193 Democrats would be welcome to vote yes and to pass the bill.
Such a measure wouldn’t do any policy damage, and it might even have some modest spending cuts. Obama and the Democrats would be unambiguously responsible for heaping two trillion dollars more debt on the American public—following on their unambiguous responsibility for the failed stimulus and for Obamacare. Republicans would be ready to make the case for the next year and a half for why Obama, and the Democrats, have to go.
There are of course many permutations and variations of a strategy like this for Republicans House, and I’m sure these approaches can be improved on. The ball is in the House Republicans’ court.