Random Observations Regarding the Debt Deal (Which May or May Not Become Law):
1. Refusal to isolate Republicans has become a kind of mania, a self-immolating sickness for President Obama. Every now and then, he'll slip up and blame Republicans for their intransigence. But then that's generally undermined by his saying that Democrats need to give up on their sacred cows (like, you know, Medicare and Social Security, which seem more like life-giving dairy cows). Last night, announcing a deal with Republicans on raising the debt ceiling, Obama said it will "end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America."
That one line is so goddamned aggravating. First off, it wasn't "Washington." Most of the people who run "Washington" wanted a clean debt ceiling vote. It was House Republicans, especially, but not exclusively, the teabaggers. They are the ones who brought the nation to a crisis. It's like saying that you need to burn down your home because you've got mice. No, you get mad at the mice for dropping turds and then you trap those fuckers.
The other thing about that line is that it buys into Republican rhetoric that government is the problem. By not calling out Republicans for their bullshit, Obama is, in fact, being even more Reaganesque: "Hey, we're just a bunch of assholes here. Sorry for stressing you out." Washington is not hurting us. It will when it takes a shitload of money out of the economy and ends stimulus spending. But not right now.
2. Here's what Obama said at his July 15 press conference: "But if you’re trying to get to $2.4 trillion without any revenue, then you are effectively gutting a whole bunch of domestic spending that is going to be too burdensome and is not going to be something that I would support."
At his July 11 press conference, he said, "I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing, in fact, I’m able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds that they’ve got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans."
But he is accepting and supporting this deal, which doesn't do a thing to increase revenue. Instead, the White House put out this statement regarding a failure for the proposed Super Congress to reach a deal on future spending cuts and revenue, which would trigger a sequestering of spending: "The Bush tax cuts expire as of 1/1/2013, the same date that the spending sequester would go into effect. These two events together will force balanced deficit reduction. Absent a balanced deal, it would enable the President to use his veto pen to ensure nearly $1 trillion in additional deficit reduction by not extending the high-income tax cuts."
You get that? The White House is saying that Obama has a bottom line or he'll veto it. And that he'll allow the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy expire. Like he did last time. Oh, wait...
Why the fuck should we believe him? First off, he'd have to get the tax cuts on the wealthy decoupled from the larger tax cuts, which won't happen. (And the Rude Pundit believes that all the tax cuts should expire.) And, mostly, he just fucking spent weeks telling us that he wouldn't accept a deal without revenue increases, and then did the opposite. If you don't wanna get fucked in the ass and the dude you're fucking keeps saying, "Don't worry, I'm not gonna fuck your ass" and then he fucks your ass on three different occasions, are you gonna believe him when he says, "No, really, this time I'm not gonna fuck your ass"? (Note: We're all gonna have sore assholes when this is over.)
3. Advice to the mass circle-jerk of punditry: you can't predict what is going to happen if this passes and that bipartisan committee goes to work. Shit changes, radically, and don't be shocked if Social Security and Medicare are on the table. And, yes, there are people on the right who hate this deal, but that's because they're the fucking insanitoids who got us into this mud pit to begin with.
4. And the Rude Pundit calls "Bullshit" on anyone who says that Obama had his hand forced. He did what he has always done: taken the toughest negotiating tool off the table. He did it when he took a national health care system out of the debate. He did it again here when he said that he wasn't considering the 14th Amendment option. Imagine if that had been hanging over the negotiations: you guys can go fuck yourselves if you don't bargain fairly.
Would it have forced a constitutional crisis? Who knows. We're sure as fuck in a crisis now, having our country run by a small cabal of people who hate the very entity they work for. It's like having a company that makes Magic Sex Machines but you hire someone who hates sex, machines, and magic to help you market it.
5. So let's not forget: these are crazy people. Right now, they're gathering in a cave under the Capitol, smearing themselves with each other's shit and casting chicken bones on the ground to decide how they should vote. But, hell, it's as good a way to run a country as we've got now.
6. One thing the Rude Pundit can't get his mind around is that the wars continue. Aren't they the vestiges of a fallen empire, attempting to remain relevant in a world that wants to move on? That we prefer war to roads and health care and education here is unfathomably depressing.