The Politics of Dopes
Here is the way things work in Washington.One group in Congress comes up with a bold plan to save the country. Let’s call it Cut, Cap, and Balance.Everyone else sets out to undermine their plan. Heck, most of the rest of Congress doesn’t have a plan at all — they just want to dump on the group that comes up with the plan.Then, when the group with the plan gets close to a vote and it looks like it is going to pass, the naysayers come out with their own plan. Everyone, leadership included, says nice things about it and they all hope the group with the plan to save the country sees its momentum sucked away.But on occasion the group with the plan succeeds in getting not just a vote, but passage.So the plan goes to the Senate, it doesn’t make it past a filibuster, and all the people who’d been piling on and trying to undermine the group says, “Well, see, you failed. Let’s do our idea now.”Friends, that is how Washington works. That is how Washington has gotten us $14 trillion in debt.See, the fault ultimately lies with the first group. “What?” you say. “But they came up with the plan. How can it be their fault?”It is their fault because when the cards are on the table and bluffs are being called, they gave up. They decided to play politics the way Washington always plays politics. They didn’t hold the line. They caved.And that is what I expect will happen. We’re hearing rumblings of it now. Even Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) on CNN last night suggested if Cut, Cap, and Balanced failed, they’ll probably have a deal of some sort. (Editor’s Note: the Congressman’s office called and said they didn’t feel like he said that, or at least did not mean to suggest he’s for a deal. His Chief of Staff tells the Congressman is for Cut, Cap, and Balance and that remains the only deal he supports.)The House Republicans should not deal. They should demand their plan. They are the only ones with a plan. Everyone else has dumped on their plan. Now they should force their plan. It is the only plan that can turn the tide. I know “that’s not how Washington works,” but doggone, the way Washington works got us into this mess. Hold the freaking line!But even House leaders are undermining them. Don’t believe me?Republicans were sent to Washington to do two things: (1) end Obamacare and (2) reduce spending. Not only have they failed at the first, the Speaker just might be rendering a Supreme Court decision moot on the constitutionality of Obamacare.On the second, John Boeher and Eric Cantor to send the Gowdy-Southerland prioritization bill to the floor for a vote. That legislation would specify how the Treasury Secretary must prioritize payments if we reach August 2nd with no deal. It would prevent Timmy Geithner from holding grandma hostage without a social security check. It would force him to pay our national debt payments and not default.But Boehner and Cantor won’t send Gowdy-Southerland to the floor. Why? Well it seems obvious to me. It gives them added leverage against their own House Republicans. When Cut, Cap, and Balance fails in the Senate, they can say, “Well boys, we tried. Let’s make a deal now.”And the politics of dopes perpetuating out of control Washington spending keeps going on. The only way this will stop is if House Republicans hold the line and fight for Cut, Cap, and Balance. Unless they are willing to embrace brinksmanship and maybe even go over the brink, don’t fool yourself — spending will not go down.