Sure, McCarthy And Ricchetti Are Pieces Of Shit, But Biden's The Caitiff
Default countdown— 8 days? Biden seems fine with caving to GOP demands but his team wants some kind of fig leaf to show that didn’t just let the Republicans wipe the floor with them— like closing a loophole or two or maybe something gigantically popular like letting Medicare negotiate prices with drug companies. But McCarthy has rebuffed every one of their proposals. McCarthy senses Ricchetti is on their side and knows it’s just a matter of time before he will overrule everyone else and hand the GOP the total win their need. Everyone knows that Hakeem Jeffries and his team of corporate hacks will gladly eat shot and say “thank you” in the end. Sean Casten (New Dem-IL), not exactly a flaming progressive (but a huge Jesus And Mary Chain fanatic), told the Punchbowl crew that he’s worried the Republican attitude toward default is bordering on fiscal nihilism. “I’m really nervous about it, not the least because the people who have the ability to make this go away believe that they can tank the economy, hurt Joe Biden, and that it won’t blow back on them. I think it’s impossible to look at what the Republicans are doing right now and not conclude that they see that perfect storm and say, ‘this is awesome, because we can blow up the economy.’ And they believe they will be held blameless for it.”
And the world could die in pain
And I wouldn't feel no shame
And there's nothing holding me to blame
Makes you want to feel, makes you want to try
And I'm taking myself to the dirty part of town
Where all my troubles can't be found
Apparently, Walter Shapiro agrees with Jim and William Reid, writing that “For Kevin McCarthy and the defaulters (which, incidentally, is a promising name for a band), there is no downside. If Joe Biden ultimately hands over his sword in surrender, the Republican incendiaries will be lionized as conquering heroes from the Fox News green room to the dining room at Mar-a-Lago. Sure, the reviled liberal media will grumble if Republican intransigence forces America into default, guaranteeing higher interest for years to come, and jeopardizing the world economy. But that crazed toughness would prove that the House speaker is not a RINO squish like his deal-making predecessor John Boehner, who at the last minute helped avert default in 2011. Marching off the fiscal cliff like lemmings will also inoculate House Republicans against a rightwing primary challenge— which, in Republican circles, is a fate worse than death. And since members of Congress can trade stocks, every smart Republican can personally prosper during the coming cataclysmic economic downturn by adroitly shorting the Dow Jones Average. In contrast, the consequences of debt-ceiling brinkmanship are dire for Joe Biden. In the best conceivable case– one that will prompt dismay among liberals– the president would reluctantly agree to tight spending caps that will limit his domestic agenda and penalize the poor. But, at least, that option would avert default… A default might well mean that Biden would be running for reelection with the economy in a Republican-created tailspin. And it wouldn’t matter politically that, as Biden said, ‘On the merits, based on what I’ve offered, I would be blameless.’ But if Democrats believe that they can win the messaging wars about a default, they’re deluding themselves.”
In order to appreciate the folly of that glib Republican argument, a voter both has to understand the draconian nature of the Republican budget proposals and to grasp that raising the debt ceiling merely authorizes borrowing rather than new spending. Good luck making that complex case to anyone who doesn’t devotedly read the New York Times or listen to National Public Radio.
But is the White House even trying? I don’t see it— and neither do congressional Dems. “House Democrats are growing increasingly frustrated with how the White House is handling the negotiations, wrote Leigh Ann Caldwell this morning. “Some Democrats, especially those who face tough reelections next year, have privately groused that the White House has bungled the messaging, is putting Democrats in a terrible negotiating position and could be forced to eat most of McCarthy's demands. ‘I’ve never seen such a massive, surprising and consequential potential failure,’ said one Democratic member of Congress who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. ‘We'll see where this comes out, but by definition we're only measuring success on how much we lost.’ Some Democrats point to substandard messaging from the White House and the lack of visibility from the president, who was in Japan at the G-7 meeting for several days last week and has since not spoken publicly at length about the debt limit, which is expected to be reached in as little as eight days.”
So frustrating to see McCarthy winning. Dan Pfeiffer was blowing a gasket this morning. “McCarthy,” he fumed, “is not known for much. Sure, he became Speaker, but he got there by being morally pliable and shameless enough to debase himself into a job no one else wanted. After McCarthy’s swept into the dustbin of history as the worst Speaker the nation has ever known, remember his greatest contribution was his propensity to accidentally utter the quiet parts out loud. This habit is not borne of courage. He is a famously dim individual. McCarthy is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. In fact, he’s a spoon… When speaking with reporters about his ‘negotiations’ with the White House over extending the debt limit, McCarthy was asked what concessions his side was willing to make. Were the Republicans willing to raise taxes on the wealthy? Close a single tax loophole? Provide additional funding for one of Biden’s priorities? Nope. McCarthy responded:’ We’re going to raise the debt ceiling.’ And with that one sentence, the Speaker of the House admitted what had been obvious to everyone but the people charged with chronicling the debt limit crisis. What is happening between the White House and the House Republicans is not a negotiation; it’s extortion, pure and simple… At the end of the day, the Republican position is this: give us what we want or we will blow up the global economy. McCarthy admits that if his requests aren’t met, he will let the U.S. default on its obligations. That’s not a negotiation. And the media should stop calling it that.”
The Washington media loves a high-stakes bipartisan negotiation more than life itself. I have never understood their fetishization of bipartisanship— where the mere agreement between a Republican and Democrat is more important than the substance of what they agreed upon. Perhaps, the editors and publishers were raised on largely apocryphal stories about the good old days where Republicans and Democrats solved the nation’s problems over a glass of whiskey or a round of golf.
The coverage of the debt limit crisis has been surreally normal. The back and forth is treated like a traditional negotiation over education, funding, or tax rates, and the only consequence of failure is opportunity cost. It’s now obvious to everyone with open eyes and ears that this is extremely abnormal. Every single reporter knows this, but very few of them will say it, proving once again that the legacy media is incapable of accurately portraying the MAGA era of American politics. McCarthy is committing an act of extortion, but reporting that means taking a side. Once again, the media chooses balance over accuracy. And in doing so, they are running for cover under a radical extremist faction that is putting the entire global economy at risk.
What is happening in Washington right now is not Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill trying to figure out the budget. It’s an armed robbery, pure and simple. When a bank robber pulls a gun and demands the contents of the bank safe, that is not a negotiation over how much money the teller should fork over.
It’s time the media started covering what’s actually happening over the debt ceiling, not what they wish was happening. If no budget deal is reached in the next week, the Republicans will have a choice— lift the debt limit or default.
This morning Adam Cancryn and Jennifer Haberkorn wrote that it’s going to take dozens and dozens of Democrats willing to eat GOP shit to pass the Biden-Ricchetti-McCarthy blackmail and the “prospect of needing so many votes from within the party has begun to color Biden’s negotiating strategy… The informal projection is driven by lingering doubts among Biden officials over House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ability to convince the vast majority of Republicans to back a bipartisan agreement— and the expectation that dozens of the GOP’s most conservative [fucking idiots at Politico don’t understand what the word “conservative” means and refuse to use words like “nihilists” or fascists” or even “extremists” to describe members of Congress] members are poised to rebel against any sign of a compromise. Top Democrats have long anticipated that a debt ceiling deal would require some level of Democratic support, with Biden stressing for days that any viable solution to the standoff must be bipartisan. And with negotiators still haggling over specifics of a legislative compromise, the people familiar with the matter cautioned it’s still too early to tell exactly how many Democrats will be needed to help McCarthy secure a majority, or even if a deal will be reached. But the realization that the party might need to supply a sizable percentage of the House votes to avert an economically disastrous default— not to mention passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate— has increasingly shaped the White House’s negotiating strategy. Aides have hardened their stance against certain GOP-proposed budget cuts and social welfare restrictions for fear of sparking a revolt among Democrats they may ultimately need to support a deal.”
Sure they have! What a crock! From the moment Biden agreed to allow McCarthy to get away with his terrorist tactics and then appointed Ricchetti to seal the deal, it was obvious that there was no negotiation— just an abject surrender to the nihilists, fascists and extremists. Pramila, who certainly knows better, sounds like she’s dealing with people of good faith: “It’s important that we don’t take steps back from the very strong agenda that the president himself shepherded and led over the last two years. What I’ve said to Leader Jeffries, and to the White House, is the president has to remember that whatever he negotiates has to go through both chambers.” She cares a lot more about that agenda than Biden— not to mention Ricchetti— ever did.
Rank-and-file Democrats acknowledge that they will be under enormous political pressure to support any deal backed by Biden, lest they leave the economy and the president of their own party out to dry.
“If Joe Biden has his name on it, Democrats are going to vote for it,” said one House Democrat granted anonymity to discuss the private political calculations of members.
Still, Democrats preparing for the sprint to pass an eventual deal ahead of the June 1 debt ceiling deadline anticipate that McCarthy could lose a substantial chunk of his conservative wing— leaving it up to Democrats to supply somewhere between 50 and 100 votes of their own.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), a former longtime Democratic whip, called the upper-bound projection of 100 Democrats a reasonable estimate, but cautioned that Jeffries needs to be part of the agreement.
“They’re going to need our votes,” he said. “If Jeffries and Biden reach an agreement, I think we’ll pass it.”
Whipping a divisive debt agreement would serve as an early, significant test for the new trio of House Democratic leaders. Jeffries, just five months into his tenure atop the conference, has fielded a range of concerns from his members over the direction of the negotiations— and what concessions the White House may ultimately need them to support.
There’s not a single person on Planet Earth who doesn’t know that Hakeem Jeffries is nothing more than a craven yes man. Period. End of story. The shit heads in Gottheimer’s “Problem Solvers Caucus, Blue Dog Coalition and the business-friendly New Democrat Coalition are usually the first place to seek votes in a so-called “bipartisan” plan that entirely eviscerates Democratic values— the Freedom Caucus objective— and makes a mockery of the fact that men like FDR and LBJ ever preceded a pathetic hack like Joe Biden. Cancryn and Haberkorn noted that “the more votes Democrats need to produce, the further they’d have to reach into their progressive wing, where members are already opposed to several key policies under discussion.
“The voters gave us a divided Congress, divided control,” said Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, one of the House’s most conservative Democrats. “Usually, when you have a bipartisan agreement, what that means is that the farthest elements of both caucuses don’t like it – and that’s just the nature of things.”
White House officials have largely brushed off progressive criticism of their negotiating strategy, privately believing that the terms of any compromise will be far better than the left’s worst fears, the people familiar with the matter said. But aides have recently taken steps to assure lawmakers they’re not taking votes for granted, briefing Senate Democrats earlier this week on the parameters of the negotiation and keeping in close touch with key House members, including progressives.
Jayapal said her Congressional Progressive Caucus— which counts 101 House Democrats as members [only 66 of whom even agreed to sign a mild letter urging Biden to stay strong]— strongly opposes the inclusion of work requirements, permitting reform and spending cuts, all of which are under consideration.
“At the end of the day, we will make our own decisions about what deal is presented, but there will be a huge backlash, even if it’s a bad deal that could pass” the House, Jayapal said.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), agreed. “It’s going to be a problem,” she said of the inclusion of spending caps and work requirements. The backlash, she said, “would be significant.”
Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, which includes 56 House members, also spoke with White House negotiators over the weekend to emphasize the group’s opposition to work requirements. He said in an interview he came away feeling like “they heard us very clearly.”
Want to play a game and name which Democrats will tell Biden to shove his Freedom Caucus-written deal up his tired old ass? I’d count on AOC, Rashida, Cori, Hakeem, Summer, Pramila, Ilhan… probably Ayanna, Ro, Jamie Raskin, Greg Casar, Becca Balint, Maxwell Frost, Pocan, Jim McGovern, Jimmy Gomez, Adriano Espaillat, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jill Tokuda, Judy Chu, Robert Garcia, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Takano, David Cicilline… it’ll be harder for Ted Lieu (part of Jeffries’ leadership team), Dan Goldman, Morgan McGarvey and Shri Thanedar but I think they may make it too. It’ll be interesting to see how the 3 members running for the California Senate seat shake out on this. If one gives Biden the finger, the other two may feel that have to as well.
Would Bernie have used the 14th Amendment to end this terrorism? You know it! But let’s end this with an actual quote from happy, happy unprosecuted child sex trafficker and MAGA smart-ass Matt Gaetz: “My conservative colleagues for the most part support Limit, Save, Grow, and they don’t feel like we should negotiate with our hostage.”