As you may recall, the Great Obama Meltdown during budget negotiations on Wednesday was prompted by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s suggestion of a short-term budget resolution, to give Washington a few more months to work on the problem without the looming threat of… well, whatever happens on August 2, if no deal is reached.
Jake Tapper of ABC News made a little history by asking White House spokesman Jay Carney why this was such a horrible non-starter of a suggestion. After all, Senate Democrats have been comfortable without a budget for over 800 days, and the approach of the debt ceiling was clearly anticipated throughout that entire period. Why not push doomsday back another few months, and give ourselves some breathing room for a rational discussion?
The resulting conversation reveals the utter intellectual bankruptcy of the White House position, and therefore belongs in the Library of Congress, if not playing on a giant video screen on the side of Mount Rushmore.
One of the many odd things about this performance is that Carney came prepared with notes to push his talking point about how often various Republican leaders have voted to raise the debt ceiling. Not only does Tapper brutally shut this nonsense down by pointing out that Obama voted against it, making arguments that carry even more weight today, but it’s a bizarre non-sequitur to begin with. Voting to raise the debt ceiling once, years ago, means you must support the infinite and limitless expansion of government debt forever?
Really? Were our representatives, and their constituents, told this before they cast those earlier votes? Isn’t that how they do things in a banana republic: one man, one vote, one time? What a perfect illustration of the brain-dead statism that has brought us to this precipice.
It’s obvious why Obama refuses to go along with a short-term plan: because he doesn’t want to have the debt ceiling argument again, during the height of his re-election campaign, where his scare tactics and childish behavior will absolutely destroy him. He’s foolish to think that won’t happen anyway, but he’s obviously banking on the public having a much shorter attention span than the Internet does.
Obama is also panicking because of what a real debt limit, imposed right now, would do to him. Conventional wisdom says Republicans are quaking in their boots because they know they’ll be blamed for everything bad that happens if Washington must start living within its means. The hysterical threats top Democrats are leveling against Social Security, military funding, and even schools tell a different story.
What happens if the debt ceiling stays put? Washington would be compelled to do some real budgeting for the first time in recent memory. The smokescreen of Democrat threats will evaporate into the hard, cold reality of Obama telling America that his disastrous health care plan, stimulus cash hoard, and high-speed rail are more important than Uncle Sam’s financial obligations, Social Security, Medicare, and the military. In other words, at long last, actual spending priorities would be revealed, instead of wish lists fueled by deficit spending.
Of course Obama won’t actually stop paying Social Security checks. There’s no way he can spin that as some kind of a slam at the mean Republicans who won’t give him any more pretend money to spend. All that would be necessary is to look at what he does choose to fund. He’ll be a fish flopping around in a very solid budget barrel.
What Obama would be obliged to do is begin defunding the stupid crap that feeds vital Democrat constituencies. Public union workers would be laid off, or compelled to agree to benefit cuts. Agencies would be scaled back or shut down… and by the time the 2012 elections rolled around, Americans will have had time to digest the minimal effect of their absence.
Do you really believe a government that becomes 40% smaller will be bad for America? Not if you’re a conservative. On the contrary, I believe it would be the final and enduring defeat of liberalism. Once we demonstrate that a leaner government can do its job more efficiently, Americans will be less willing to tolerate the huge taxes and spending necessary to fund Washington bloat. Let’s find out. Bring it on.
Of course Democrats will try to make things as painful as possible for the American middle class, which is their true enemy – the foe that must submit to their agenda, because they have always held the voting power needed to shut it down. It should be easy for any GOP candidate worth his or her salt to throw that strategy right back into their faces. Every vital service Obama threatens to fund can be portrayed as a hostage to the stuff he insists is “off the table.”
He knows that. That’s why Democrats are acting like they’re scared to death, and that’s why Jake Tapper was able to completely short-circuit the White House’s top spokesman with a simple question.