Sunday, July 17, 2011
I've been closely following the political back-and-forth regarding increasing the U.S. "debt limit", and I can't say I'm too happy with how the democrats are moving toward getting our nation's financial house in order. However, I'm downright angry about the conduct of the more radical republicans in the house of representatives, for two reasons.
First, it's absurd for them to refuse substantive compromise when they don't have control of the senate or the presidency. Second, since it is the duty of the house (majority party) to initiate all taxing/spending bills, the radicals' failure to define and pass a "debt limit" increase bill including their specific spending cuts is gutless.
In my view, the republican party knows that following through on their Tea Party bluster - putting their cards on the table - would cost them the 2012 presidential election and some of their own seats in congress. That's why they continue to call for the president to "lead" on the spending cuts and "no new taxes" - they don't have the guts to put their conservative prescription for America on paper, and then vote on it. They know their bill would not pass the senate, survive a presidential veto, or keep many independents in their corner. This sort of "stake in the ground" would become their own stake in the heart.
The simple truth is that America's financial woes are so dire that only a bipartisan solution has the chance to reverse our inexorable march to insolvency. All citizens must feel the pain, and all politicians need to take the grief. Anything less is gutless posturing, which is the hallmark of the current republican right.