The Debt Ceiling Deal

Posted on June 28, 2011 by

Don’t expect much from Barack Obama on the debt ceiling “crisis.” 

This way you won’t be too disappointed. 

The republicans are clearly ready to take him on.  Progressives are worried that he’ll give away the store.  What else is new? 

This creates a problem for those of us who admire and support President Obama. 

We think he shares our values but we don’t trust his skills as a negotiator. 

So here’s the plan: 

Count on severe cuts in environmental, consumer, and workplace protections along with entitlement “reforms.” In return, look for the elimination of a few tax loopholes affecting big corporations and the wealthy and a handful of marginal pentagon cuts. 

Then prepare to watch the president tell us that he fought as hard as he could and this was the best he – and we – could get. 

By keeping expectations low we’ll be better able to tolerate the likely results. 

Of course the downside of conceding so early is that we forfeit our leverage.

Just like the president does with his own self-defeating style of deal making.

Comments (5)


  1. John Connolly says:

    Is “Don’t Expect Much” becoming the Official Litany of the Obama Administration? What happened to “HOPE”?

    I suppose the current Presidential strategy (and that of the parliamentary Democratic Party for that matter) can be framed as tactical response to yet another “New and Permanent Truth-in-Governing Paradigm” (the NEWEST, FRESHEST Paradigm in a long tired line of Democrat-ish Newly Prevaricatin’ Pair-o’-Dimes), which kinda goes like:

    “Because of the success of the long-term right-wing strategy to demonize and defund government, (almost completely unchallenged by us) our string of broke-ass, miserable, surrender-first-then-compromise is the Pavlovian best we can do IN A FIRST-TERM PRESIDENCY.

    “FIRST Term … GET IT?”

    “That is why you must all hold your fire (and breath) for now, and then in 2012 exhaust yourselves mentally, physically, financially, and spiritually in a near Sisyphean Re-Elect-Our-President Campaign … so we can do all the good stuff in THE REALLY-GREAT-SECOND-TERM!

    (If we keep the Senate and retake the House).

    “Now…what about this REALLY CLEVER, NOT-TO-SAY-MASTERFUL, STRATEGY don’t you understand?

    “DISCLAIMER: No guarantees that this strategy will work under any circumstances are offered or implied. Any resemblance between this fairy tale and an actual ability to govern is completely coincidental. Member, FDIC”

    Cynical? Realistic? Fearful? Furious? Heartbroken.

    All of the above.

    John Connolly

  2. Salvador Sanchez says:

    “Don’t expect much,” How about if we, as people fucking organize ourselves and stop this madness….

  3. Bill Thomas says:

    Lou, well said, and at the same time maddening in the extreme. As much as I admire and support President Obama, I find myself so let down by his lack of engagement, his failure to use the bully pulpit, and his total unwillingness to show some fire.

    What I would give for a Democrat with some balls (or ovaries– this is definitely not a guy thing.) I miss Democrats who fight for what they believe in. The Republicans are standing on quicksand– one failed policy after another, and not a fresh idea among the whole lot– and all the Dems have to do is point that out, show the country they have a vision for the future, and move this nation forward.

    This debt ceiling “negotiation” is a joke. President Obama is a world-class communicator who often fails to communicate just how ludicrous and out of touch the Republicans really are these days. Mr. President, let them have it!

  4. Greg II says:

    This is a participatory Democracy, And participating means a lot more than voting. When are we going to do our part. Certainly the Republicans in the name of the Tea Party have done their part. What about us? Besides complain, what else have we done?

  5. Ron Auer says:

    Cross that line in the sand! (erase with foot once crossed). OK, now cross this next line..

    Giving up ground and calling it compromise is a sadly accomodating and misguided political strategy, with far too much at stake to hope to regain IF the House is regained and second term prevails. Define the debate, stand ground and press the message and the policy.

    When, and where, is the line drawn by the Dems made of the steel of right policy rather than sand?

    Ron Auer

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