What to say of these GOP presidential candidates?
Sure, the debt ceiling deal is a travesty, but it does at least reduce spending, and any tax increases that may get included by the “joint committee” – which will outline the next tranche of cuts – will be limited.
It’s not perfect for conservatives, but Republicans aren’t going to get perfect, because they only control the House. That’s reality. The alternative is to destroy the American economy by allowing a default.
The Republican version of “What would Jesus do?” is “What would Reagan do?”
I believe Reagan succeeded because he was a take-no-prisoners ideologue who was also a mature and responsible leader. I believe he would have reluctantly accepted the deal and vowed to turn Washington on its head the minute he got there.
But as for this current group . . . to paraphrase comedian Henny Youngman whose signature line was – “take my wife . . . please” – I ask that someone take these Republican presidential candidates from my view and put them in the open GOP slots in dog catcher races around the country.
Take Michele Bachmann, please.
Here’s her false bravado from the well of the House:
Throughout this process the President has failed to lead and failed to provide a plan. The ‘deal’ he announced spends too much and doesn’t cut enough. This isn’t the deal the American people ‘preferred’ either, Mr. President. Someone has to say no. I will.
How very easy, Michele. You will say “no.” Only brave, principled you. I’d say at least you have the courage of your convictions, except your convictions are in this case so wrong. Please give all those whose lives are wrecked by the subsequent economic meltdown coupons for discounts at your husband therapy shop.
Take Mitt Romney, please.
Boy, I really never thought I’d be letting Bill Burton, the former White House flack who now works at some outside pro-Obama group, speak for me on this website. But now that Mitt Romney has taken his finger out of the wind, decided he couldn’t let Michele Bachmann get too far to the right of him, and opposed the deal, I think Mr. Burton has it about right.
At a moment that calls for courage and leadership, Romney has buckled to the furthest right wing of the Republican Party, undermined John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and given aid and comfort to those who prefer default over compromise.
A man who claims strength in his ability to lead our nation’s economy would let it default for the first time in its history. Do his supporters on Wall Street and at Bain Capital know that their candidate would allow the United States of America to stop paying its obligations?
At best his capitulation is a phony concession to extremist members of the Republican Party. At worst it is proof positive that Mitt Romney will say or do anything to win this nomination despite the consequences for the country he is running to lead.
Though he claims to support cut, cap and balance, Romney’s real position is better described as wait, waffle and wimp-out.
Or take Sarah Palin.
She’s gotten herself neatly on both sides of the issue, not expressing support or opposition but reminding Republicans how important it is to reduce spending. How inspiring.
Take Tim Pawlenty.
The former Minnesota governor, who is aggressively seizing the “wimp” mantle once bestowed on George H.W. Bush, says merely that the deal is “nothing to celebrate.” So he doesn’t like it but won’t really say he’s against it. Tim, YOU are nothing to celebrate.
Take Newt Gingrich.
If the ultimate result of this deal is a tax increase and/or debilitative cuts in our investment in national security, it will be a destructive failure.
Another criticism without exactly opposing the measure. And you, hypocrite, who struck the 1997 Balanced Budget agreement with Bill Clinton.
Take Ron Paul, please.
I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling, and I never will.
Then you too would consign the economy to the garbage heap, just more frequently than the others.
Take Jon Huntsman too, even though he backed the deal, because he’s a former employee of Obama’s who should be running in the Democratic primary in 2016.
Take them all, please, and give us . . . give us a man or a woman with principles, courage, and common sense. Is that so hard to find in this great country?