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Over the Cliff We Go

In the Senate today–as I write this, it’s still Wednesday here in California–Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader, did something remarkable: He invited Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, to permit the chamber to vote on the administration’s current budget proposal.  

No filibuster.  No objections of any kind.  To the contrary.  Sen. McConnell–I repeat–invited Sen. Reid to schedule a vote on the administration’s budget–a vote that the Democrats, who control the chamber by 53 to 47, would have won.

Sen. Reid refused.

Sen. McConnell then delivered a remarkable speech.  All eight minutes are worth watching, but just look at the way he begins:

When the two parties first sat down to discuss the so-called “fiscal cliff,” it was widely assumed among Republicans that President Obama and Democrats actually wanted to avoid it.  That was the premise that any possible agreement hinged on.  That was the common goal—or so we thought. 

But over the past couple of weeks it’s become increasingly clear to many of us that we were simply wrong about that.

images-1.jpgIf the administration finally chose to negotiate in good faith, no doubt Sen. McConnell would still prove more than willing to do so.  But if instead the administration insists on taking us over the cliff, Sen. McConnell wants us to know, the catastrophe will have taken place for that very reason:  the President–not the Republicans but the President–will have insisted upon it.

Sen. McConnell can be saying this for only one reason:  He has concluded that it may very well happen.

(With a nod to Conservative Wanderer, who put up a fine post on this event hours before I got to it myself.)

  1. CoolHand
    Larry Koler: Cool Hand, it’s not that these people are stupid. They are simply trusting the media to be reasonably reliable.

    Oh, I see.  So not stupid, just more gullible than a 12 yr old girl from rural Utah.

    IMO, anyone who trusts the media (pretty much any media anymore) IS stupid.

    I’m tired of uninformed people steering the course of our nation and then being given a pass for idiotic judgement because they were too lazy or mentally inadequate to inform themselves before making their choice.

    I may have to go down on the same ship as the fools who hit the giant island that could have easily been steered around, but I’ll be damned if I’ll coddle their feelings by not laying the blame at their feet (where it rightly belongs) while we do so.

  2. CoolHand
    James Lileks: That guy in Red October: · 1 hour ago

    You’ve had that picture on stand-by for a while now, haven’t you James?

    Good ‘ol Fred.

    “Your average Ruskie doesn’t take a dump without a plan.”

    Truer words were never spoken.

    Myself?  I never make a plan without taking a dump.

  3. Crow
    Peter Robinson

    If the administration finally chose to negotiate in good faith, no doubt Sen. McConnell would still prove more than willing to do so.  But if we go over the cliff, Sen. McConnell wants us to know, the President–not the Republicans but the President–will have taken us over.

    Sen. McConnell can be saying this for only one reason:  He has concluded that it may very well happen. · · 2 hours ago

    Somehow Republican “intransigence and brinksmanship” will still be blamed, just as it has been over the last four years.

    But good for Mitch McConnell: if the President’s plan is such a good one, let’s bring it to the floor and vote. Your move, Harry Reid. Silence.

    …..And so over the cliff we go. And its going to get a lot worse before it starts getting better…

  4. Donald Todd

    If it is the purpose of the Dems is to destroy this country, why would anyone be surprised that the president’s recommendation would not get a vote in a Democrat-controlled Senate?  There is what O says and what O does.  Those things do not match up.  Get ready for the next ride into fiscal madness.

  5. Mama Toad

    Peter, I respectfully request that you find a different picture of Mitch McConnell at the end of this piece. The watery blue eyes and weak chin on display there do not show the Senator at his best… But the video clip is pretty good…

  6. ConservativeWanderer

    Monsieur Robinson,

    It would be great if you’d check the Member Feed from time to time.

  7. Keith Preston

    When you see our elected officials treating the taxpayers this way (versus their voters), it explains why gun sales are through the roof.  Expect that trend to accelerate as we watch this slow-motion disaster in real time.

  8. Sandy

    Krauthammer suggested last night that the President does not want to go over the cliff, at least in part because the Sec Def has threatened to resign if the severe defense cuts begin, and becauase the President will then own the problem. I don’t know, but I do like seeing the GOP stand up, even if they do take the blame.

  9. Jeff Schulte

    My problem with this entire situation is how did we end up with this rotten deal that created the cliff in the first place?  Apparently when Boehner negotiated it last year he didn’t make the cliff steep enough.  Whatever the Dems gave up, it is apparently more than worth it in order to get the taxes hikes and defense cuts they want in any case.

  10. ConservativeWanderer
    Sandy: Krauthammer suggested last night that the President does not want to go over the cliff, at least in part because the Sec Def has threatened to resign if the severe defense cuts begin, and becauase the President will then own the problem. I don’t know, but I do like seeing the GOP stand up, even if they do take the blame. · 0 minutes ago

    Edited 0 minutes ago

    All due respect to the esteemed Doctor Krauthammer, but he’s dead wrong.

    All signs point to Obama wanting to go over the cliff. Even his planned Hawaiian vacation during the negotiations.

  11. Anne R. Pierce
    C

    Mitch McConnell seems a man of principle and very intelligent. Unfortunately, as I discuss in my post just below, Obama Labels Others With His Own Traits,  the Obama team and their media manage to define “Republicans in Congress” as not only uncompromising and unreasonable, but radical. They have used the labeling and defaming tactic successfully for years to distort the Budget process.

  12. Blue State Curmudgeon

    Peter; I’m afraid I have to add my voice to the Greek chorus.  Of course McConnell’s position was laudable and his tactics astute but in the final analysis it will mean exactly nothing.  If there is a deal, Obama will get the credit for saving the country and if there isn’t, Republicans will be blamed for the failure.

  13. mask

    Going over the fiscal cliff is a win-win for Obama and Democrats.  They get cuts to the military.  Tax increases on everyone (that they can also successfully blame on Republicans).  Why wouldn’t they want to go over the cliff?

    This whole discussion is a joke anyway.  The GOP is ceding the fundamental arguments to the progressives and we’re just shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  14. The Mugwump

    Forward!  Over the cliff to a more just society!  

  15. liberal jim

    The current law was debated and approved by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President.  This all happened in the last 18 months.  Now the same group wants to change it and the media both on the left and right treat them once again as serious people.   

    Seventy percent of the American people are unconcerned and realize this is just one more DC farce.  The American people are correct.

    While the country has approximately 70 – 100 T. in unfunded liabilities the ruling elites endlessly posture about trivial amounts that are meaningless.  

    If the media is to be believed the economy of the US is in the hands of our politicians in DC.   I can’t imagine saying anything more negative about the countries economic future.  

    Will there be another crash?  Certainly - that was decided by GWB and Congress in 2007.  The only questions are when and when will the politicians and media figure it out.

  16. ConservativeWanderer
    liberal jim:

    Will there be another crash?  Certainly - that was decided by GWB and Congress in 2007.  The only questions are when and when will the politicians and media figure it out. · 2 minutes ago

    Will there be another crash?  Certainly - that was decided by GWB and Democrat-controlled Congress in 2007.  The only questions are when and when will the politicians and media figure it out.

    There. Fixed that for you.

  17. liberal jim
    ConservativeWanderer

    liberal jim:

    Will there be another crash?  Certainly - that was decided by GWB and Congress in 2007.  The only questions are when and when will the politicians and media figure it out. · 2 minutes ago

    Will there be another crash?  Certainly - that was decided by GWB andDemocrat-controlledCongress in 2007.  The only questions are when and when will the politicians and media figure it out.

    There. Fixed that for you. · 31 minutes ago

    Both the Republican party and Democratic party supported TARP.  I assume everyone thinks Democrats are fiscally irresponsible and that those who don’t are irrational.   I therefore generally only bother to talk about the Republican’s almost  equally irresponsible policies.  It seems to me some  are delusionally clinging to the idea that the GOP is fiscally responsible.  One only need to look at the current debate to see they are not.  

  18. ConservativeWanderer
    liberal jim

    ConservativeWanderer

    liberal jim:

    Will there be another crash?  Certainly - that was decided by GWB and Congress in 2007.  The only questions are when and when will the politicians and media figure it out. · 2 minutes ago

    Will there be another crash?  Certainly - that was decided by GWB andDemocrat-controlledCongress in 2007.  The only questions are when and when will the politicians and media figure it out.

    There. Fixed that for you. · 31 minutes ago

    Both the Republican party and Democratic party supported TARP.  I assume everyone thinks Democrats are fiscally irresponsible and that those who don’t are irrational.   I therefore generally only bother to talk about the Republican’s almost  equally irresponsible policies.  It seems to me some  are delusionally clinging to the idea that the GOP is fiscally responsible.  One only need to look at the current debate to see they are not.   · 0 minutes ago

    And Reid blocking a vote on Obama’s plan is responsible?

    Obama flying off to Hawaii during the negotiations is responsible?

  19. Fricosis Guy

    When liberal jim is right, liberal jim is right.  Sad to say, the GOP brought the cliff upon itself by agreeing to temporary tax cuts in the first place. 

    My fear is we’ll sign a lousy deal and I’ll have to open up another vein for a tax hike, but see no spending cuts.  If going over the cliff is what it takes to get real spending cuts, then I’ll gladly open two veins rather than one.  Even better, the suckers who voted for Mr. Hope and Change will be donating right along with me.

    liberal jim: The current law was debated and approved by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President.  This all happened in the last 18 months.  Now the same group wants to change it and the media both on the left and right treat them once again as serious people.   

  20. ConservativeWanderer

    Okay, folks, here’s a serious question.

    What does Jim DeMint’s sudden resignation mean for the fiscal cliff negotiations?