Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Even J-Roobs Gets It

Ever since Bill Kristol stopped writing a weekly column, Jennifer Rubin has taken the title of World's Least Accurate Pundit.  She was the WaPo columnist who most consistently called the election for Romney.  She was the one for whom every exchange was a win for Mitt.

Anyway, here she is on Plan B:

Here's a nut graph:

The world of Heritage Action Network, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and the other all-or-nothing hard-liners in the conservative media have encouraged and will delight in this sort of fiasco. That said, the fault lies with the spineless members who think they’ll escape blame if they don’t vote for any measure. That is folly, not to mention political cowardice. To govern is to choose, and they apparently can do neither.
This sort of display suggests Republicans are not capable of governing. What was an argument by Democrats (They are unreasonable! They only care for the rich!) is now a political reality.

Well, yeah...  I've been saying that for years.

And now the GOP realists admit it, too.

What should Boehner and the GOP leadership do?

Well, this is obviously self-serving, but they should use the Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling to break the back of the insurgency.  Boehner needs to sit down with Pelosi and find a deal he can live with.  I would go with Bush tax cuts for everyone making under $350,000, repeal the sequester, extend UI and maybe a small infrastructure stimulus package.  That's slightly to the right of Obama's opening position, but one that is a complete non-starter for the GOP insurgents.

Then Boehner needs to find enough GOP votes to pass it with unanimous Democratic support.

And if necessary, he needs to do it again with the Debt Ceiling.

This forces the insurgents to confront their role in governing.  They can no longer disengage from the process of compromise that is a necessary part of constitutional governance.

This wouldn't work for "optional" legislation like an assault weapon ban, but both the Cliff and the Ceiling are absolutely essential pieces of governance.  They HAVE to be done.

By putting the essential functions of government above his fealty to the worst impulses of his party, Beohner could go from being a punchline to the most toasted man in Washington, a town that craves "bipartisanship".

The failure of Plan B should demonstrate that any plan that relies on unanimous GOP support is doomed to failure.

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