The House of Representatives voted yesterday to pass a debt limit increase with “no strings attached.” The agreement passed by a razor thin margin – with principally Democrat support. John Boehner led a vote where the majority of his caucus rebelled against the increase in borrowing authority for a nation that is already $17.2 trillion in debt. I wish my bank was as generous with lending authority as the GOP leadership and Democrats in Congress.
Of course, Democrats were quick to praise the John Boehner-approved credit increase. Harry Reid even made it a point to articulate his approval to the Washington Post (which was also pretty thrilled to see GOP leadership succumb to liberal tendencies). As a general rule, if someone like Harry Reid agrees with you, or praises your actions, some very serious questions should race through your mind. What did I do wrong? How did I get to this point? Do I really want to be here? Who am I? Did I just have a stroke? Am I on candid camera?
The vote has already garnered some harsh criticism from conservatives and libertarians who were optimistic that the agreement would be accompanied by some sort of spending restraints, or Democrat concessions. And while much of this anger is rightfully aimed at the “big spending” track record of Obama Inc., it is not necessarily DC as a whole that deserves scorn from fiscally minded political junkies.
The GOP establishment decided that a “controversy free” debt limit increase would somehow bolster the Party’s chances at dethroning Senator Harry Reid from his dictatorial post in the United States Senate. After all, it’s hard to make the GOP look like right wing wackos when they act just like Democrats.
Now, I understand the need to avoid a potentially devastating controversy right before midterm elections. But does that really mean we are incapable of using something like the debt ceiling negotiations as a platform to discuss our ideas? Heck, even Tip O’Neil was able to squeeze through some agenda priorities while President Regan controlled the power of the pen. As the Republican Party, have we really gotten to the point where we have abandoned all hope of winning the PR push? “Uh-oh… It’s an election year. We better act like Democrats.”
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