President Barack Obama has said the debt ceiling is not up for negotiations. But when asked at today's White House press briefing how much the debt ceiling should be increased, press secretary Jay Carney refused to say:
Republicans have indicated that they believe the debt ceiling should only be increased if big spending cuts are put in place.
Tom Cole is the kind of Republican that President Obama will need to help raise the debt ceiling. The Oklahoma congressman is a conservative, but he’s also a pragmatist and a realist who urged Republicans early on to lock in income tax rates for almost all Americans, rather than risk the possibility of income taxes automatically
At his press conference today, President Obama showed that he either thinks he can pull the wool over Americans’ eyes through the sheer force of his own outrageous rhetoric, or else he really believes his own rhetoric and is living in a fantasyland. The guess here is that it’s a roughly even mix of the two.
I have been reading A Time for Choosing, the wonderful new e-book from RCP’s Carl Cannon and Tom Bevan about the 2012 campaign, and was really struck by this passage about the Democratic counter-punch to Team Romney. Cannon and Bevan note how Democrats decided to attack Romney as:
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi announced on Twitter that she has selected James Clyburn of South Carolina, Xavier Becerra of California, and Chris van Hollen of Maryland to serve on the joint select committee on deficit reduction (aka the supercommittee).
There's a fascinating story over at The Hill that was published yesterday, "How John Boehner escaped disaster." I don't think we should get ahead of ourselves here, but certainly there's a storyline emerging here that when it comes to the art of the deal, Boehner is one of the more capable politicians of the era.
With the debt ceiling thing done, the scribes are now straining for the illuminating metaphor and “terrorism,” it seems, is the preferred choice. One New York Times columnist writes that “the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people,” and you had to wonder if he would have accused even Osama bin Laden of that. Another Times columnist describes the Tea Party as “the Hezbollah faction” of the Republican Party. Maureen Dowd, the Times’s diva columnist went with a different, idiosyncratic metaphor. The whole thing, she writes, was like a horror movie, a “gory, Gothic melodrama on the Potomac … without the catharsis.”
Now that the Great Debt Ceiling Deal has become the law of the land, it’s time to consider what just happened to America, and in particular to America’s armed forces. On the one hand, it’s complicated. On the other hand, it’s ugly.