As negotiators reconvened at the White House on Wednesday for another round of debt talks, House Republicans appeared to dig in even deeper in their resistance to any sort of deal to raise the federal debt ceiling even as one party leader foretold disaster for the GOP if its members failed to act.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader who has proposed a fallback plan that would likely ensure the $14.3-trillion debt limit would be raised, said in a radio interview that a default by the United States could critically damage his party heading into the 2012 elections.
A default, McConnell told talk show host Laura Ingraham, “destroys your brand.”
Is this what it’s come to now? Political parties are “brands”? Does this make McConnell SVP of Product Development and Cat Juggling? Meanwhile, Harry Reid is EVP of Branded Integration and Mixed Martial Arts.
McConnell sounds like the coach of a sports team prior to the game that will determine whether they enter the playoffs. However, in that instance, if his team loses, it’s still just a game and the players can go home to their mansions, fancy cars, and dog fights. McConnell is presumably talking about the economic health of the country he was elected to serve. Unfortunately, he’s more concerned about his constituents voting him out of office rather than whether they can afford even the generic brand ramen noodles.
The Kentucky senator said the economic consequences of a default would give President Obama an opportunity to blame the GOP for the country’s economic straits. “Look, he owns the economy,” McConnell said. “He’s been in office for three years. We refuse to let him entice him into co-ownership of a bad economy.”
Really? That’s what he prioritizes as a negative of the economic collapse? Obama might blame the GOP for it? True, Obama has been president for three years and not only do I not have my Oompa Loompa but I somehow aged three years under his watch. Who knows what further aging might occur if he remains in office?
It does occur to me that McConnell has been in the Senate for 27 years. How does he manage to play hot potato with the economy? If he doesn’t co-own it, surely he’s a stakeholder. But I’ll take him at his word: He’s feckless. He shows up at work each day, has some bad coffee, and looks at photos of his grandkids on Facebook (“Why is her hair that color?” “What is that thing in his ear?”). He’s in no position to have any influence over the economy. Obama owns it completely. If that’s true, then it logically follows that it was Bush, the previous president under whose watch there was literally flood and arguably famine, who got us into this mess. Yet the GOP wants to repeat his policies.
This is best expressed as a light opera I’ve written called “America in Flames” (I have not yet composed music for it, so for now, just sing the words to the tune of “Largo al factotum” from “Barber of Seville”)
Obama discovers America, represented as a U.S. flag wrapped around a dingy futon, in flames and the GOP attempting to put it out with gasoline.
GOP: Quick, you fool! Hand us more gasoline so we can put out this fire.
Obama: Are you insane? That’s just going to make it worse.
GOP: What’s wrong with you? Don’t you want to stop this fire?
Obama: Of course, but we should use water instead.
GOP: Oh, you’d love that wouldn’t you? Wasn’t Clinton pro water? And look where that got us. Our country’s in flames! That’s why we don’t dare stop using gasoline!
Obama: You can’t claim that Clinton’s policies failed based on what happened once we abandoned them!
GOP: More gasoline!
Obama: Oh, the hell with it.
Obama dives into the flames.
The GOP has a legitimate point that the U.S. spends more money than it earns. What would an average person do in the government’s place if your expenses exceeded your income? You could ask your boss for a raise (e.g. a tax increase) but he would rightly fire you for daring to suggest he part with even a fraction of his millions. He is, after all, a job creator. Granted, most of those jobs were created overseas and eliminated here… and come to think of it, he’s actually paying you less than he did in the ’90s but why punish him for his success?
If your income remains static, you need to evaluate your expenses. You could cut back on Starbucks, boozy dinners out, or an overextended military presence abroad, including two costly wars. Eh. Better to pull your oldest out of college. He’s handsome. He’ll marry well, especially now that it’s legal in New York. Your sister was staying with you temporarily because of health issues. That deadbeat can hit the bricks. And you can really balance the books if you stop burning money on your parents’ assisted living facility — the fancy one with the three staring windows and registered nurses. There’s a perfectly good hostel down the street.
Now, excuse me while I dive into the flames.