How Low Can They Go?

Some children with cancer are now blocked from experimental trials that may have been their parents’ last hope. Nearly 9 million mothers and children under five are in danger of losing WIC vouchers they exchange for food. But the House is hysterical about the closure of … national monuments?

Today’s screaming point is that some World War II vets were barred from the World War II Memorial in Washington. Leaving aside the fact that the World War II memorial looks like something designed by Albert Speer — damn shame about that — did the baggers really think the shutdown would have no effect on real people?

Anyhoo, barricades got moved and the vets charged in. I understand some Republican House members claimed to have moved the barricades. At the very least, somebody should march them back to the mall and insist they pick up the trash and put the barricades back themselves, since there are no employees to do it.

Last night Jon Steward reminds us that awhile back the Faux Nooz crowd was screaming about closing tours of the White House. How low can they go? one cried. But, y’know, it’s possible to live a long and happy life without ever touring the White House. Letting cancer go untreated, not so much.

(Warning to my brother and sister geezers: Do not watch with full bladder.)

Sen. Ted Cruz got the bright idea of funding individual items piecemeal, so yesterday some House baggers proposed appropriations resolutions to fund the District of Columbia, veterans programs and national parks. Hungry children with cancer are not a priority, I guess. But the resolutions were shot down. Nancy Pelosi compared the resolutions to releasing one hostage at a time.

Conventional wisdom among Dems this morning is that a prolonged shutdown will give them leverage on the upcoming debt ceiling fight.

Ed Kilgore writes,

For the past several weeks, of course, John Boenher has been committed to the demand for major, disabling Obamacare changes as a price for either the CR or a debt limit increase (the identify of the hostage has changed constantly). With the president and Democrats refusing to make concessions on ACA in order to secure a CR, and refusing to negotiate over the debt limit at all, it’s not clear what the the parties would be negotiating about if they were in regular talks. It’s also not clear that Boehner has the Republican votes in the House to pursue a different strategy.

So at this point we are looking at a scenario where only a major retreat by one side or the other is going to make any difference. There are some extraordinary remedies the president could take to avoid a debt default (e.g., the one urged on him by Brookings’ Henry Aaron just yesterday). And presumably Wall Street will weigh in with pressure on Boehner and company to the effect that stupid gesturing on Obamacare isn’t worth a major risk to the national and global economies. But I suspect we’ll have to experience a staring match until the Big Blink becomes possible.

5 thoughts on “How Low Can They Go?

  1. On October 16th, the day before we hit the debt ceiling, the US Treasury ought to mint that “Trillion Dollar Coin.”

    It can have Reagan’s addled, and Bush’s moronic, puss on one side, and Boner’s drunken visage on the other.

    And then, President Obama can hand that coin to Boner, and tell him to shove it where the sun don’t shine – but up the same well-worn path that Ted Cruz keeps taking, whenever he’s in the mood for drunken man-butt.

  2. From Greg Sargent – this may be the other shoe, to hit the floor next.

    In another sign Dems may well hold firm and not let Republicans escape from this predicament on terms more favorable to them, there’s now serious talk among Democrats of not accepting a GOP budget offering unless it also includes a debt limit hike if this shutdown crisis drags on.

    Several Senate Democratic aides told me this morning that this is seriously being considered, confirming a report in Politico. As one put it to me: ”We are less than two weeks away from the deadline. If we were not having this shutdown fight, this is the week we would be moving a debt ceiling bill.” A second said: “It doesn’t make much sense to do a short term CR only to have to turn around and do it again with the debt ceiling.”

    Needless to say, if it comes to this, the stakes in this battle will escalate dramatically — and the pressure on Republicans will intensify. This also comes as two new polls show Dems with an advantage in the overall battle.

    Quite possibly, the Tea Party was planning a one-two punch, where any resolution to the shutdown would be followed by taking the debt ceiling hostage. The Senate may have decided that they don’t WANT a resolution to the first manufactured crisis without a resolution to the second crisis as part of the package. I predict it will take a default and credit downgrade to break the stalemate. (Is there a pool in Vegas for how long the shutdown will last? I predict 29 days.)

    Boehner will have to break the Hassert rule, bring up a clean CR with a debt ceiling hike when there are enough GOP defectors to join with democrats and pass a bill the Senate will approve. This will cost JB his job, but that’s the price he pays for turning the Frankenstein monster that is the Tea Party loose on America. It was his job to keep them on a leash, but he’s on their leash until he’s willing to fall on his sword.

Comments are closed.