Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Games Continue

The Kabuki theater that is Washington politics continues today much to the detriment of the American people.
The House will vote today on Speaker Boehner’s plan to raise the debt ceiling.  The plan is doomed to failure in the Democratic Senate but the vote will be taken to give Boehner’s caucus political cover with their constituents.  Boehner addressed his caucus yesterday challenging its Tea Party members to “get their ass in line and pass this bill.”  Senator John McCain also challenged the Tea Party.  Returning to his plain spoken “maverick” days McCain took the Tea Party to task for attempting to pass a balanced bill amendment prior to the August 2nd deadline.  He called their efforts “foolish” and “unfair to the American people” referring to the Tea Party freshman as “hobbits who should return to middle earth.”
If the Boehner bill manages to pass the House it will go to the Senate where it is certain to fail.  Harry Reid and his Democratic majority will then amend it to their liking and pass it back to the House… where it will fail once again.  That will leave little in the way of options other than “a clean vote to raise the debt ceiling without any spending cuts or revenue increases attached.”
There are some who feel that the President has played a major role in this fictional drama.  The New York Times and others on the left have criticized the President for caving into the Tea Party demands.  They say that he has failed to lead and shown once again that his desire to be compromiser-in-chief takes precedent over fighting for the promises he made as a Presidential candidate. But there are others who believe that this has all been for show.  They believe that the President offered cuts in entitlements knowing full well that they would never pass in the Democratic Senate; but offering them elevated the President to the lofty position as the only reasonable adult in the room.  They believe that in the end the Grand Bargain was a sham and all that the President ever wanted was “a clean vote to raise the debt ceiling without any spending cuts or revenue increases attached.”
While all of this gamesmanship may serve as red meat for pundits and political wonks it is having a disastrous affect on the American people.  While Congress continues to play their little political games the DOW dropped for the fourth straight day falling almost 200 points at yesterday’s close.  Americans watched their investments and 401k’s drop by over $100 billion dollars in those short four days.  While Congress continues to offer witty snippets to the media unemployment stands a t 9.2% and foreclosures continue to mount.   
Congress continues to focus on the politics.  They talk about cuts in entitlements or education or unemployment benefits as if they are poker chips to be bet in a game of chicken. 
They seem to have lost sight of the fact that those poker chips have a very real affect on people’s lives.             

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