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5 Reasons The GOP Caved On The Debt Limit

Memo Pad Politics

5 Reasons The GOP Caved On The Debt Limit


John Boehner

RIP, debt ceiling crises.

It’s obvious that Republicans have lost their old passion for holding the global economy hostage. Their final demands would have required Democrats to agree to increase spending in the near term in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

In 2011, the GOP introduced the “Boehner rule,” which required — for the first time — that any raise of the debt limit be matched by cuts to the deficit. Their resolve triggered a small financial panic and the party won the automatic cuts in the sequester.

The GOP quickly folded on raising the limit in early 2013, but during the government shutdown it offered an insane menu of demands to the president in exchange for agreeing to pay the bills Congress already voted to run up. Republican leaders caved and set themselves up for another standoff in early 2014, which led to the most recent cave.

“We don’t have 218 votes,” Boehner said in a press conference on Tuesday. “When you don’t have 218 votes, you have nothing.”

The Speaker announced that he will vote for a clean debt limit raise that will last until 2015, well after the midterm elections. And he would try to find enough Republicans to help him pass the bill.

He then left the press conference singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Within minutes, a conservative group was already calling for Boehner to be replaced.

It’s a wonderful day for Democrats, who have broken the GOP’s willingness to resort to extraordinary levels of brinksmanship.

Here are five reasons the GOP caved.

AFP Photo/Jim Watson


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  1. daniel bostdorf February 11, 2014

    Well done Jason! Clear perspective and sense of history….

    Page 6 is my favorite.

    Boehner does this with little Republican support, The GOP will now be able to by pass thorny issues, and then concentrate on mindless obstructionism of Obama’s ACA. That is a Folls Errand as well.

    At a retreat last month, the GOP part leaders c arounircled the wagons around d making ACA their main topic point of attack in advance of November’s elections.

    Divisive issues,such as immigrantion, debt limite and others threatened to get in the way of that election-year message.

    But the biggest reason is explained by Jason on page 6..HINT:
    Has something to do psychosis of the Teaprty…

  2. Bill Boltz February 12, 2014

    Absolutely, Daniel. The Teaparty has an peculiarly short memory as in regards to the consequence of their “Fools Errands”. Not unlike that of a puppy that needs to have it’s nose shoved into the mess it made to train it not to shit on the floor where it lives.

  3. ram1020 February 12, 2014

    Once a budget was passed, it would be foolish not to fund it.

  4. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh February 12, 2014

    My take on the five points.

    Item 1 can best be described by the following scenario:
    Republican House holding a gun to its own head, “If you don’t cave in to our demands, we will shoot!”
    President Obama laughing, “Go ahead.”
    Republican House still holding a gun to its own head, “Don’t laugh! You’re next!”

    Item 2 – well, I guess we can finally put to rest the Hastert (really the DeLay) Doctrine of not putting a bill to a vote unless you can guarantee it will pass only by your own party. Mister Speaker, this is called “Governing”. You ought to try it. You may get more stuff done!

    Item 3 – the Republicans have never allowed facts to interfere with their opinions of what the facts should be.

    Item 4 – This means we are going to face at least another 10 useless votes to defund or eliminate the ACA before November.

    Item 5 – I have to disagree. The Tea Party has proven to be both Delusional and Irrational believing that their 40 or so members in the House can hold the entire country hostage. So, to paraphrase Sarah Palin, it is time for Speaker Boehner to “grow a pair” in dealing with them.

  5. roguerunners February 12, 2014

    “their epistemically stunned consciousness” Hahaha…Love it!

  6. ExRadioGuy15 February 12, 2014

    Regarding the fifth reason: replace “not” with “and” and you have it. The Teahadists are both delusional and irrational.

  7. Jeff Bottaro February 12, 2014

    The OSTENSIBLY “Democratic” POP-UP that may appear uninvited on your screen has an INVISIBLE exit command that can be activated BY CLICKING EXACTLY 5 MILLIMETERS OUTSIDE THE CENTER OF THE LEFT MARGIN OF THAT SAME POP-UP, on the spatial scale of an ordinary desktop monitor.

  8. Jimmy Agler February 12, 2014

    I really think the current mindset of the GOP was summed up very clearly with the last sentence of point #4. They are going to focus on a tactic that didn’t work in 2008,didn’t work in 2012″ but this time guys it really really really really will work”.

    1. ChrisArc February 12, 2014

      The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!

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