Ugly and unpleasant as it is, I frankly don’t find much in McConnell’s analysis to disagree with. There seems to be no plan, and no hopes for a plan, that can pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate. There is no deal to be had that is a deal worth having. In light of this truth, what is to be done?
Most conservatives — including three-quarters of our readers if the current results of the homepage poll are representative — would issue McConnell a “stand or die” order. Believe me, I understand the sentiment. But again, not all retreats are capitulations. McConnell clearly thinks of this as a tactical retreat in the service of his overarching strategic objective: to make President Obama a one-term president. You can hate the McConnell plan because you don’t share his overarching strategic objective — i.e., you think it is more important to stand on conservative principles, whatever the consequences, than it is to oust President Obama — or because you share McConnell’s strategic objective but you don’t think his choice of means will serve it. But neither is the same thing as hating the plan because it’s a “surrender.”
Laura Ingraham grills Mitch McConnell on his Plan Z option, floated yesterday as a last-ditch approach to the debt ceiling issue, and McConnell argues the benefits of the plan as a defense of Republicans against getting saddled with blame for economic damage done during a potential default. Ingraham asks McConnell whether he’s positioning as a “realist,” and McConnell says that reality will be that Obama won’t compromise in this process. If not, and Republicans don’t blink, Obama will have the upper hand.
I’d say that after the 1995 standoff, McConnell might be justified in having those worries.
Under attack from the right, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defended his last-ditch plan to raise the national debt ceiling on Wednesday, arguing that Republicans could get “sucked” into President Barack Obama’s economic problems if the country went into default.
“Just like we knew shutting down the government in 1995 was not going to work for us — it helped Bill Clinton get reelected — I refuse to help Barack Obama get reelected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy,” McConnell told Laura Ingraham on Wednesday morning on her conservative talk show.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that his party is united in opposing any effort to raise the debt ceiling, even as he maintained that the country will not default on its debt obligations.
“I bet there won’t be a single Republican vote to raise the debt ceiling at the end of the day,” the Senate’s top Republican said in a radio interview Wednesday morning with conservative commentator Laura Ingraham.
McConnell’s remarks come one day after the Kentucky Republican sketched out a “back-up plan” that would shift the political burden of raising the debt ceiling to President Obama and congressional Democrats, allowing for the borrowing limit to be raised without any Republican votes.
Byron York - Chief Political Correspondent for the Washington Examiner, Fox News contributor, author
James Ostrowski - Prominent trial lawyer and author of several books including his hot new book, Progressivism
Jonah Goldberg - Syndicated columnist and editor-at-large of National Review
Bill Roggio - Senior Fellow & Editor of The Long War Journal