Paul Ryan Has to Baby Tea Party Freshmen on Debt Ceiling, Forced to Use "Star Wars" Analogy to Underscore Gravity of Situation

  Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey of the Los Angeles Times have a piece on the Republican capitulation. As I predicted repeatedly that he would, the Speaker is now in the process of explaining basic economic and political reality to the Tea Party elements of his caucus. Because they would not believe anyone from the Obama administration, nor any outside experts (a.k.a., economists), nor even their wealthy benefactors, Boehner was forced to have Rep. Paul Ryan give them a presentation.


At a closed-door meeting Friday morning, GOP leaders turned to their most trusted budget expert, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, to explain to rank-and-file members what many others have come to understand: A fiscal meltdown could occur if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio underscored the point to dispel the notion that failure to allow more borrowing is an option.

"He said if we pass Aug. 2, it would be like 'Star Wars,'" said Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a freshman from Tennessee. "I don't think the people who are railing against raising the debt ceiling fully understand that."

Perhaps we should all adopt Death Star metaphors to communicate more effectively with Tea Party Republicans. It appears to be somewhat effective. In any case, we're seeing precisely what I told you we would see. Boehner had to capitulate. Cantor got to play the role of bad cop. Now basic reality kicks in, and Boehner needs to explain to his caucus that if he has to rely on Pelosi for votes, he's going to have to give on taxes, too, making it that much more painful for Republicans to walk the plank. In an effort to avoid a double defeat, he has scheduled some stupid, pointless votes for the next week that he hopes will satisfy his craziest members.


At the same time, Republican leaders orchestrated a series of public moves intended to soften the blow for conservatives. They agreed to give the House an opportunity to vote on two top conservative priorities: a so-called cut-cap-and-balance bill, which would order $111 billion in cuts in federal programs for 2012 and impose a cap on future spending, and a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced federal budget.

The Democratic leadership in the Senate is also expected to allow votes on one, and perhaps both, measures.

It's more wasted time, but it might do the trick. If it doesn't, it's time for Pelosi to step into the limelight and make some demands on revenue. With the enemy in full retreat, they cannot organize themselves for defense.


Booman Tribune / By Booman

Posted at July 16, 2011, 5:45am

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018
Today's Top Stories