GOP radicals won’t
budge, but default threat
may move centrists
Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-Insane) is one representative who lives in a world of fantasy budgets.
WITH THE GOVERNMENT shutdown entering its third week and the debt-ceiling crisis 48 hours away, time is running out to avert a global calamity.
But, there is a way out. It’s hiding in plain sight.
Call it the “escape hatch.”
One has to be a bit of a wonk to figure it out, but that’s exactly what Princeton Prof. Paul Krugman is – he’s also a columnist at The New York Times.
It requires knowledge of the arcana of the rules under which the House of Representatives – and the U.S. Senate – operate. It also involves knowing the radicals in the House GOP caucus have maneuvered themselves into a hole and they just keep on digging.
A COALITION OF “realist Republicans” and all the Democrats in the House might just get the entire world out of the jam we are in.
We’ve written several times recently about how the crazy radical right wing of the GOP has taken the party hostage and is living in a fantasy world.
In GOP losing its grip on reality: fantasy ‘policy’ proposals abound we zeroed in on Rep Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, who has proposed one fantasy budget after another.
The Politico story about 100 House Democrats who on Saturday signed the discharge petition. Click image to enlarge.
Any solution to the current crisis is going to have to outflank him and others of his ilk.
The first signs of a potential solution appeared a few days ago in Politico in the story House Democrats sign discharge petition.
“When Democrats announced on the fourth day of the shutdown they were going to start a discharge petition to force a vote on a clean continuing resolution to open the government, it appeared like a long shot,” wrote Ginger Gbison on Oct. 12.
“But on the 12th day of the shutdown Saturday, more than 100 Democrats filed into the House chamber one-by-one to sign the petition.”
It’s still a long shot because of the complicated nature of discharge petitions. But at the eleventh hour, it may be a possible way out.
“Even if all 200 Democrats sign the petition, they still need another 18 Republican signatories to jump on board. So far, no Republican has committed to signing it, even those who have said they would vote in favor of a clean CR.”
Ah ha! Not precisely the whole story, Ms. Gibson.
Anyone reading The Hill the day before would have found this: Rep. Peter King backs discharge petition on ‘clean’ funding bill
Mike Lillis reported on Oct. 11:
“Rep. Peter King (N.Y.) would support a discharge petition on a ‘clean’ spending bill if GOP leaders don’t bring it to the floor soon, the centrist Republican vowed this week.
“King has long pushed Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to take up the Senate-passed continuing resolution (CR) to reopen the government. But he has refused to buck leadership further by endorsing the Democrats’ discharge petition, which would force a floor vote on the bill.”
The key word here is “soon.” King was quoted four days ago; is it “soon” enough for him yet?
Lillis goes further:
“More than 20 House Republicans have indicated they would back a clean CR if it came to the floor, but King is the first to announce his support for the Democrats’ discharge petition.”
The Hill story showing Republicans disapproving of their own party’s budget strategy.
Are there others like King out there? Ready to sign the discharge petition?
The same day The Hill article on King appeared, we reported in GIGANTIC MISCALCUALTION: Rats flee sinking ship, that some of the Republicans’ most important supporters – including the business lobby and the Koch brothers – were getting fed up with the government-by-crisis mentality prevalent in the House.
ON MONDAY, KRUGMAN outlined the “escape hatch” in his column titled The Dixiecrat Solution. “The biggest problem we as a nation face right now is not the extremism of Republican radicals, which is a given, but the cowardice of Republican non-extremists (it would be stretching to call them moderates),” Krugman wrote.
“The problem is that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, won’t allow [up or down or ‘clean’] votes, because he’s afraid of the backlash from his party’s radicals.”
Citing the historical example of when minority Republicans allied with Southern Democrats to ram conservative bills through Congress, Krugman suggests the time is now for the reverse.
“There is, however, another solution, and everyone knows what it is. Call it Dixiecrats in reverse,” he wrote.
This would be a coalition of all 200 Democrats and what I call “realist Republicans” – those who are not crazy like Paul Ryan and his cohorts.
Krugman wraps the deal: “Despite denials from Republican leaders, everyone I talk to believes that it would be easy to pass both a continuing resolution, reopening the government, and an increase in the debt ceiling, averting default, if only such measures were brought to the House floor. How? The answer is, they would get support from just about all Democrats plus some Republicans, mainly relatively moderate non-Southerners.”
Ah! The elegance of it.
Do an end run around the speaker and the Tea Party. Wed the entire Democratic Party with those Republicans not afraid of the radical right and presto!
On to the 2014 mid-term election – which could prove a historical outlier if one takes just a quick look at recent poll data.
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