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Politico: Boehner’s Cave Puts Obama On The Spot

From the Politico:

John Boehner’s offer puts President Obama on the spot

By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN and JONATHAN ALLEN | October 10, 2013

President Barack Obama may get the clean debt limit extension he’s been demanding, but it wouldn’t be a clean victory.

And if Obama doesn’t get a total and complete victory, than he is a victim. By the way, watch the way the Politico twists the meaning of the word ‘clean’ in this piece. (Cf. Bill Clinton and the word ‘is.’)

By adopting the House GOP plan to raise the debt ceiling, Obama would avoid a potentially crippling blow to the economy and, in the White House’s view, finally break Republicans of their habit of seeking concessions each time the debt ceiling needs to be raised.

Politico is betraying its ignorance. The seeking concessions in debt ceiling deals has always been the norm, not the exception. The congressional record shows that more than half of the increases in the debt limit have come alongside legislation dealing with other issues.

And there has almost always been an attempt to get concessions. Even back in the days when there used to be real budgets. But maybe someday the Political will break their habit of always trying to make the Republicans look like the bad guys.

But the downsides are significant. The federal government might not immediately reopen, there’s no guarantee Republicans would stop using the debt limit as leverage in the future and Obama could find himself in the same position once the temporary extension expires.

And never mind that Obama asked for a short term extension. And that he is refusing to take ‘yes’ as an answer.

And yet, Obama may have little choice but to accept House Speaker John Boehner’s offer because it delivers what the president wanted: a debt limit hike with no ideological strings attached.

“If a clean debt limit bill is passed, he would likely sign it,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday. “The key is they don’t get anything in exchange.” …

But guess what? It turns out Obama wants something in exchange:

The White House is holding out hope that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be able to push a longer debt limit extension through his chamber with some Republican support, putting pressure on the House. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also gauging support for a variety of possible add-ons to debt limit legislation, one of which — giving the administration more flexibility to determine where sequester cuts are made — might be seen as a win for the White House.

In other words, the White House doesn’t want a ‘clean’ bill at all. They want to use it to get more power. And, for some bizarre reason, Mitch McConnell wants to give it to them.

The major upside to Thursday’s developments is that Obama would dodge economic catastrophe — for a few weeks, at least. The government shutdown is bad, but a default on U.S. debt would be so much worse.

More journalistic malpractice from the Politico.

That’s why Obama would have a hard time justifying a veto of a relatively clean debt limit increase, even if it were only for the short term, White House officials said.

The Boehner offer isn’t "relatively clean." It is entirely clean. The Politico is just trying to give their boss Obama wiggle room to refuse the deal.

But the White House would declare progress — if not an outright victory — on Obama’s broader campaign to break the GOP of its debt-limit habit.

Again, this is standard procedure. The Politico and Obama are just betraying their abject ignorance of how Congress works.

Obama has refused to negotiate around the debt limit since he agreed to do so in 2011, when his attempt to strike a grand bargain with Boehner fell short…

Because, as Bob Woodward reported, Obama blew it up. But the Politico is ignorant of that detail, too. What a surprise.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, October 11th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Politico: Boehner’s Cave Puts Obama On The Spot”

  1. captstubby

    from the soon to be corrected Wikipedia;

    United States federal government shutdown of 2013

    The United States Constitution requires government spending be approved in bills passed by the United States Congress. Some government functions such as the Federal Reserve System are completely self-funded. Others, like Social Security and Medicare are partially self-funded but may be subject to administrative shutdowns and failures of the government to meet its financial obligations. Some programs are fully or partially funded for multiple years and some are funded every year. All funding comes from the Congress expressing its will through law. This is the power of the purse given exclusively to Congress by the United States Constitution.

    The legislation that sets government spending is called appropriations legislation. Since the 1990s, Congress has often failed to pass the twelve to thirteen appropriation bills that set government-wide spending, often passing “Continuing resolutions,” to extend existing spending law at or near current levels, and “omnibus” bills that combine many appropriations bills into one. Budget negotiations can be difficult when the president is not of the party that controls one or both houses of Congress. The last budget was passed on April 29, 2009.
    Media coverage of the government shutdown has been the subject of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. Media Matters for America has stated that major media outlets have presented a “false equivalence” in their coverage of the shutdown. According to the group, media such as CNN, Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal have blamed both Democrats and Republicans for the impasse, when, the organization claims, public polls and congressional experts both hold the GOP largely responsible. Media Research Center has stated that broadcast networks ABC, NBC, and CBS have covered the shutdown with a bias against the Republican Party. According to the MRC, those networks “spent the two weeks prior to the shutdown almost universally pinning the blame on congressional Republicans, especially conservative/Tea Party House Republicans.” According to the report, the three networks ran 39 stories about the possibility of a shutdown; of those, 21 blamed Republicans, none blamed Democrats, and four placed equal blame.[

  2. What a cave might look like

    http://goo.gl/anC6bh

    Difficulty: What is Boehner thinking?




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