As we draw nearer and nearer to ArmaDebton (I think I stole that from The Daily Show), there’s a lot of pressure on the Republicans to take the blame. The liberals are going full-bore into attacking the House GOP members, accusing Speaker Boehner of not being able to wrangle his own members into accepting “serious,” “reasonable,” “realistic” concessions to keep the US from going into default. Or maybe not.
But what, exactly, are those concessions they should be buying into? What plan should Boehner push his colleagues into supporting?
In the past 2 years plus, there has been exactly one actual budget proposal put forth by the Democrats, and that was President Obama’s plan — which was rejected, 97-0, by the Senate. Not a single Democrat would vote for it. Further, I wasn’t paying that close attention, but I think there was a serious Constitutional flaw with that plan — according to the Constitution, all budget bills have to originate in the House. To have a Senate vote on the matter before the House does raises some significant questions.
On the other hand, the House’s “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan came within seven people of becoming law. It passed the House, then failed by six votes in the Senate. All the Republicans had to do was to persuade six Democratic Senators to switch over, and then twist President Obama’s arm into signing it.
Seven people. That’s all that stand between a budget solution and failure.
And there really isn’t much point in debating the merits of Cut, Cap, and Balance. No matter what may be wrong with it (and I’d have to say, overall, it’s not too bad), it’s far, far superior to nothing — which is precisely the alternative the Democrats are putting forward. They have pretty speeches and flowery promises and general guidelines, but absolutely nothing concrete, not a single plan that can be actually looked at and studied and measured and debated.
Seven people. Six Senators, and one president who has shown that he really doesn’t have any defining principles above promoting himself.
Getting Obama to sign on shouldn’t be too difficult. Just tell him that he can take as much credit as he likes, and can give long speeches about how awesome he is in getting the deal.
That just leaves six Democratic Senators to entice. Six Senators, who can be told how they will be hailed as heroes by President Obama for their courage. Six Senators, who can be offered some covert under-the-table concessions as the Republicans in Congress saying they won’t put any money or effort into challenging them in 2012 (there are 17 that are up for re-election next year, counting Bernie Sanders as a Democrat), leaving them to fend off their challengers who will not have much national support. Or maybe a choice bit of pork or two.
No, it ain’t pretty. But that’s how politics is played.
Six Democratic Senators. That’s all that’s standing between a budget plan and nothing.
Can we do it?
Yes, we can!