Sunday, September 29, 2013

The GOP is drunk on the proven power of extortion | xpostfactoid

I will not negotiate over Congress’s responsibility to pay the bills that have already been racked up. Voting for the Treasury to pay America’s bills is not a concession to me. That’s not doing me a favor. That’s simply carrying out the solemn responsibilities that come with holding office up there. I don’t know how I can be more clear about this. Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States just to extract political concessions. No one gets to hurt our economy and millions of innocent people just because there are a couple of laws that you do not like.
- President Barack Obama - Friday, September 27, 2013
The GOP is drunk on the proven power of extortion | xpostfactoid:
by Andrew Sprung
I think it might be salutary if Obama himself acknowledged that [his prior negotiating with Republicans over the debt limit] has played a role [in enabling the current GOP ransom note strategy].  [He could say] something like the Prince in Romeo and Juliet: "And I for winking at your discords too/Have lost a brace of kinsmen; all are punish'd." A mea culpa for negotiating under threat of debt default would give him the opportunity to walk back another error of the summer of 2011: renouncing the 14th Amendment option - that is, invoking the 14th Amendment to issue new debt without Congressional authorization, under authority of the Amendment's assertion that ""The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." Bill Clinton has said, and last week reiterated, that he would do so; [Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi too recently chastised Obama for renouncing it.

It would be hard to be more invested in Obama's success as president than I am. I want to believe that he will ultimately prove to have been a good and possibly a great president. If the Affordable Care Act does bend the healthcare cost curve, or catalyzes further changes that bend it, that one landmark accomplishment may secure the country's fiscal future and win him massive credit with historians. But I do think that he has in various ways been too cautious, and too risk averse, too prone to splitting differences -- and catastrophically naive in the face of manifest Republican determination to sabotage his presidency, and the economy for which he is held responsible, at any cost. Now must take a heavy risk to redress past errors in his budget negotiations with Republicans. And he needs to amass and be willing to deploy every tool available to him if he is to prevail.
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