Dispatches from the Creation Wars

One thing that has become crystal clear during this standoff over raising the debt ceiling is that the grownups in the Republican party are struggling mightily to control the far right whackos. In the House, John Boehner has admitted that the Tea Partiers in that chamber are deliberately trying to provoke financial chaos:

BOEHNER: Well, first they want more. And my goodness, I want more too. And secondly, a lot of them believe that if we get past August the second and we have enough chaos, we could force the Senate and the White House to accept a balanced budget amendment. I’m not sure that that — I don’t think that that strategy works. Because I think the closer we get to August the second, frankly, the less leverage we have vis a vis our colleagues in the Senate and the White House.

And in the Senate, John McCain is blasting the more extreme members of that chamber for being wildly unrealistic:

DeMint, Lee, Paul and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wrote a letter to colleagues Tuesday urging them to oppose a fallback plan drafted by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that would cut the deficit by $850 billion and require Congress to pass a $1.8 trillion deficit-reduction package before the election.

These lawmakers want colleagues to make another effort to pass the “Cut, Cap and Balance” act, which requires congressional passage of a balanced-budget amendment before raising the debt limit.

McCain said this goal is utterly unrealistic given Democratic control of the Senate. A balanced-budget amendment would need the support of 20 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus to pass.

“What is really amazing about this is that some members are believing that we can pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation — and that is foolish,” he said. “That is worse than foolish. That is deceiving many of our constituents.”

McCain said he supports a balanced-budget amendment and voted for one 13 times but thinks its unrealistic to demand one now with a potential national default only six days away.

He implied that conservative freshmen who think it’s possible to sway enough Democrats are na├»ve.

“That is not fair to the American people, to hold out and say we won’t agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution,” McCain said. “It’s unfair, it’s bizarre. And maybe some people [who] have only been in this body for six or seven months or so really believe it.”

And the Wall Street Journal is getting in on the act too:

McCain cited the Wall Street Journal’s editorial to back up his argument.

“The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against … Barack Obama,” he said, quoting the paper. “The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the Tea Party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.”

McCain warned that House Tea Party conservatives would give President Obama a major political victory by rejecting Boehner’s plan to increase the debt limit.

Quoting the Journal again, McCain said: “If conservatives defeat the Boehner plan they will not only undermine their House majority, they will go far [toward] reelecting Mr. Obama and making entitlements that much harder to reform.”

The WSJ adds, “This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.” It’s a battle between pragmatists and zealots. And zealots rarely give in because purity is the only currency they have.


  1. #1 Modusoperandi
    July 30, 2011

    Michael Heath “I live in a rural area. Here’s a recent article, Half of all births are Medicaid funded. Cite: http://goo.gl/M6GfX .”
    Yes, but they earned that. It’s those other people who are the problem. You know…the urban thugs, dogwhistle dogwhistle.

    “And let’s not forget massive farm subsidies and trade policies that create artificially high prices for domestically grown agricultural products.”
    And they earned those too. Why do you hate little mom ‘n’ pop farming operations like Monsanto and Tyson?

    Chiroptera “Well, having grown up in a rural area and presently living in a small town in a different rural area, I can say that people in the rural areas historically lived under the myth of self-reliance. A myth that certainly colors their self-perception.”
    Lots of people don’t think they use the government programs they use. Also, [link to a Teabagger holding a “Keep government out of my Medicare” sign].

    Leni “Could you imagine the bitching we’d hear from people like her if restaurants* (for example) actually insured their staff and raised the prices accordingly?”
    Pah! You obviously haven’t seen the enormous power wielded by the SEIU. They, with their McSafety standards and McJob-killing wages, lord over the McAdminstrators of McJobs like they’re the McKing! Why just look how they got a temporary exemption from ObamaCare!

    “*Yes, I know some restaurants provide insurance.”
    If it’s anything like the “minimeds”, it doesn’t cover what you need, has an annual limit too low to pay for any real problems, has too high a copay to use, and relative to wages costs too much to have in the first place.

    Tamakazura “I grew up in a small town. Everyone could pretty much agree that californians were evil and destroying the community. Now I’m a Californian and when I go home my relatives are like…’well, you aren’t a REAL californian!'”
    Well, it’s obvious that you’re one of the good ones. If you knew the real Califorians like the people who’ve never met them do, then you’d change your mind.

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