One story quotes an anonymous Republican strategist as saying Speaker Boehner knows he can't spend capital on the budget vote and then, on its heels, expect to have capital left to deal with the debt. So he is aiming for the debt limit -- the more dangerous of two dangerous issues if it isn't resolved favorably. The debt limit could (I say would) return us into full recession mode, and risk the world economy. The shutdown/lack of a budget "only" risks the poorest in our country, the oldest in our country, the middle years trying to buy houses, etc. It's just like an election: choosing between two bad options -- which brings me back to my primary (other than resolving the issues, of course) issue here: We have no leaders.
The White House and Tea Party nutcakes (House and Senate) are backing Boehner into a corner. He becomes the one fingered as the problem because he won't bring a "clean bill" to the floor. Knee-jerk liberals will object, but Boehner is a
good guy, an experienced Congressional hand, who isn't a nutcase. He certainly knows more about Congressional rules, strategy and dynamics than I ever will. If it falls to him to act, I think he will. I think he will do the right thing.
I also think it's sad that it comes to that -- relying on one man's courage to do the right thing rather than, literally, dozens. As we speak, the most Democrats and Republicans -- on the Hill and off -- are lemmings just doing what they think the party or movement thinks they should. They were elected to lead ,not follow. I get that the 30 or 40 Tea Party-ers in the House have districts where their supporters want them doing exactly what they're doing. But that's 30 or 40 out of 435. A minority.
For those who think power is the only commodity in Washington, I disagree. Sure the extremists on either side get the visibility and the media make it worse because they exploit that, but I think there remains in DC the few who want to do the right thing. And I put Boehner on that list. Is he trying to save his Speakership? I don't think so but, as I've said before, I hope he retains it, because I'm not a fan of the options if he is pushed out.
As we approach Oct. 17, the date the Treasury Department says the U.S. will be out of money to pay its debt, the positions harden even more. The White House seems energized that it's "winning" the game, as one of its anonymous
spokesmen said. That's the problem. Some officials look at this as a game -- it isn't. This is serious business. This is peoples' lives, literally. I'll speak for myself. I've worked hard for decades, been lucky and been smart and frugal. I've got some money saved up for retirement. I could lose it in the next few weeks if my "leaders" don't do the right thing. At my age, there are no jobs out there for me to make up any losses. The next few weeks are crucial to me.
That's not a game. That's my life. And I, like almost every other American, want to win that game.