I read Erick Erickson's post this morning, Dear Republicans, This is "Your Time for Choosing", and unfortunately, I can't sign on for the choice he's offering.
In an earlier post from this week, I wrote, keep your eyes on 2012. THAT is of the utmost importance, not 2010. 2012 is the END GAME, and we're losing sight of that. We are in a situation now where the scare rhetoric has been so ratcheted up by Obama and his minions, aided by the media, that Joe and Jane American are having trouble discerning fact from fiction. And we need those Joes and Janes to defeat Obama in 2012.
The Republicans hold only the House. You cannot pass the debt ceiling with cuts in spending unless you have the votes in the Senate and the President. Obama's already dug in, and daring House leaders to call his bluff.
Right now, Obama owns the 9.2% unemployment, the bad economy, the Stimulus, and the trillions in deficit spending. Not the Republicans. So why should the Republicans risk losing those powerful arguments for 2012, and potentially sharing the blame for a disasterous outcome, because of an ideology-driven base of the Party that many Americans perceive is becoming more intransigent, and willing to risk sending the economy over the cliff. Remember, it's not about fact or fiction, it's about perception.
And this is where I also fault the Republicans. Their communications strategy to the American people on this most serious of issues is a joke. Obama and his machine have so out-communicated the Reps that I'm almost ready to say they deserve the fate they get, which could potentially be worse than 1995, thus handing Obama re-election in 2012.
We are in new territory here. We don't know what the Feds will do. We don't know what the markets will or won't do if there is no debt agreement reached. And I think I can say with some certainty, that if people don't get their checks, if the markets react negatively and people watch their 401(k)s plummet again, they won't be blaming only Obama.
The Republicans should send a debt ceiling bill to Obama, and say here's a $500 billion raise, now give us $500 billion in cuts. Anything to buy time to work out a deal that's not made on impulse. We already have gone down that road with Obamacare and the Stimulus.
If the Republicans are willing to show that they're ready to deal, it will break the back of the "extremism" argument that Obama's been using, and he'll have enough rope to hang himself with. Let him be the one who vetoes the Bill. Let him have sole responsibility. That was the essence behind the McConnell argument, which most people pooh-poohed.
So are you willing to risk 2012 and the re-election of Obama? Remember that Kenny Rogers' classic, "know when hold 'em, know when to fold 'em" . I applaud principle, but not when it's sacrificed on the altar of stupidity.