Catching hell from his Tea Party constituency over his debt ceiling plan, Senator Mitch McConnell goes about explaining his politically expedient escape hatch with more political expedience:
To recap, Mitch McConnell yesterday suggested that the Republicans in the Senate would be willing to offer the President a debt ceiling raising unfettered by the massive spending cuts that have been the subject of such debate leading up to this point. The idea of course being that raising the debt ceiling is such an onerously bad political move that Obama would surely be destroyed politically for doing so.
Thing is: I’m having a hard time believing that something as esoteric as raising the debt ceiling – which is, after all, only an arbitrary rule imposed by the labyrinthine and painfully dull machinations of Congress – will excite the kind of popular outrage needed to elect one of the buffoons the Republican Party is currently hanging its hat on.
But there was no winning this fight on the Republican side without tax increases, and that was obvious. They couldn’t even come up with a list of politically-palatable cuts that would have gotten them where they initially insisted they wanted to go, fiscally speaking. So, if the choice is between an agreement that includes tax increases and a debt ceiling increase, or just the debt increase that the Republicans can attempt to wash their hands of, I guess the latter is the better choice.
This is a win-win for the President if he’s willing to take it. He doesn’t even have to try to explain why he cut Social Security, because he won’t have to.