Tuesday, July 12, 2011

McConnell's Debt Ceiling Plan

A short post tonight.

Senator McConnell's plan to solve the debt ceiling debate caught lots of folks off guard. Ezra Klein at the Washington Post does his usual excellent job of explaining the Byzantine details - Exra Klein explains Mitch McConnell's Surprising Plan.

My short take: McConnell now realizes Obama will not cave on the revenue question. And he knows his side won't compromise on taxes/revenues. So what to do? Propose a complex solution that essentially takes the debt ceiling issue out of Congress' control and gives it, more or less, to the President.

This is the first crack in the unified Republican line. In politics-speak, McConnell blinked. A significant number of voices from the right are angry. Eric Erickson at Red State considered lynching until he softened his headline. The 2012 candidates are generally vague or negative. The President has not yet spoken out. My guess is he won't attack it; he will simply keep urging negotiators to keep going and get a deal done.

What happens now? I think the ground has changed. I think Republicans now know they either give ground on revenues, or there will be no deal, and they will take the hit for turning down Obama's Grand Bargain. Will they do it? I don't think so. The President will then call for a clean debt ceiling increase without conditions, and he will get it.

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