Monday, July 25, 2011

More Political Kabuki

Jennifer Rubin (there's that name again) has leaked details of what John Boener told the Republican Congressional caucus on a phone call this weekend.
Now, winnowing out the rhetoric and red-meat tossed about to distract the masses of morons, Boener let Eric Cantor swing in the breeze from a noose, and no one noticed.
The White House has never gotten serious about tackling the serious issues our nation faces — not without tax hikes — and I don't think they ever will. The path forward, I believe, is that we pull together as a team behind a new measure that has a shot at getting to the president's desk. It's won't be Cut, Cap & Balance as we passed it, but it should be a package that reflects the principles of Cut, Cap & Balance. We're committed to working with you — and with our Republican colleagues in the Senate — to get it done. No one is willing to default on the full faith and credit of the United States.
And I think the leaders in both parties and both houses of Congress already agree that we need significant reductions. But if we stick together, I think we can win this for the American people . . . because I do think there is a path. But it's gonna require us to stand together as a team. It's gonna require some of you to make some sacrifices. If we stand together as a team, our leverage is maximized, and they have to deal with us. If we're divided, our leverage gets minimized.
Note what I emphasized. Nowhere does Boener suggest that taxes are off the table. Nowhere does Boener say "The President will not get what he wants." Instead, he mentions sacrifices on the part of his membership.
Boener didn't get to where he is without studying the rudimentaries of diplomacy. He says what he wants to say but in a way that has you agreeing with him while he picks your pocket, all the while making you feel like you're giving him your wallet.
Cantor got where he is by being a douchebag. His response:
The president's position of forcing us to give him a debt limit increase through the election is purely political and indefensible. He cannot sustain or defend putting politics above the country's interests in this situation. Let me tell you, though, he has the microphone. The only way to overcome him is to remain united and insist that every dollar the debt limit is increased, we have equal or more dollars in spending cuts without ANY tax hikes.
All Cantor needs now is Rupert Murdoch to fly into DC and give him a "1000% vote of confidence," and he can resign from Congress.