Thursday, July 14, 2011

Smoke and Mirrors

"But with House Republicans showing little to no appetite for Mr. McConnell’s plan, top lawmakers in both parties were looking for ways to sweeten the deal, perhaps by adding required spending cuts or somehow forcing consideration of a deficit-reduction package. Mr. McConnell portrayed his proposal as a last-stand way to spare Republicans from being blamed for a default if no alternative plan could be approved.

"Recounting how the 1995 government shutdown helped President Bill Clinton win re-election the following year, Mr. McConnell said any impasse that drove down the nation’s credit rating and led to government checks being delayed could have the same result for Mr. Obama.

“He will say Republicans are making the economy worse,” Mr. McConnell said in an interview with the conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. “It is an argument that he could have a good chance of winning, and all of the sudden we have co-ownership of the economy. That is a very bad position going into the election.”
NY Times, July 14, 2011

This little history helps illuminate the character of the American political order which only requires one recognize that in 1995, the Republicans who shut down the government knew it would help Clinton win the election in 1996 and they did it anyway. Perhaps, although almost no one would agree with this, that is what the Republicans wanted - or at least some Republicans, the Establishment Republicans including the Bush II Republicans. They did not want Bob Dole to be president and preferred Clinton to Dole. Why? Because Dole was not controllable whereas Clinton was and, of course, they were aiming at 2000 and a victory with Shrub [little Bush]. And if I remember my history, Clinton and the Republicans managed to work together after the '96 elections. ["Impeachment?" you ask. Never serious as the Republicans certainly didn't want Gore running as an incumbent in 2000 and for the next two terms. And, of course, Bill Clinton, "Mr. Politics," knew this.] The Tea Party types, those newly elected conservative Republicans in the House, had better watch out: They are being set up for defeat in the 2012 elections.

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