Anyone considering opposing the debt ceiling deal will be accused of being ... not just a hobbit (!), but also a totally irresponsible full-faith-and-credit-of-the-U.S.-government defaulter. Not so—if the anti-deal position is not pro-default.
I’m pretty much where Mitt Romney is on the deal to raise the debt ceiling: On the one hand, it “opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table.” On the other hand, “I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama’s lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in.” Net: “I personally cannot support this deal”—but, as is implied by the tone and brevity of Romney’s statement, I wouldn’t denounce members of Congress who support it.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has just issued a statement on the debt ceiling deal, saying that he "personally cannot support the deal." Instead, Romney says, his "plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced – not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table." Romney's hesitation of supporting a deal with defense cuts puts him in line with John Bolton's criticism of the proposed debt ceiling deal.
John Bolton has just issued a thoughtful statement raising “serious questions ... about the national-security implications of the proposed deal to raise the Federal debt ceiling.” Bolton calls attention to the worrisome short-term defense cuts that the deal makes likely, and to the huge medium- and long-term cuts that the deal’s triggering mechanism makes possible.
Members of Congress and their staff who know and care about defense are somewhere between alarmed and panicked at the emerging shape of the debt ceiling deal. (Consider this amazing on-the-record statement by Senator Joe Lieberman’s communications director to Jennifer Rubin just a few minutes ago: “Senator Lieberman is very concerned about rumors that the d