Cutting Through the Talking Points
The problem at the moment is not the lack of a Democratic plan.
The current GOP talking point (as least as it was rather clearly presented on Fox News Sunday today by Chris Wallace, Speaker Boehner, and Britt Hume) is that the problem at the moment regarding the debt ceiling is that the Democrats/the Senate/Obama lack a plan.
Now, one can debate whether or not the Democrats ought to have a plan, or not, and one can say that the Senate should pass something, etc. This is not the issue to me.
Let us all be clear here: any crisis being created at the moment (with a potential crescendo in early August) is not because the Democrats (or anyone else) lacks a plan. It will happen, plain and simple, because Congress will have failed to engage in a procedural vote over the debt ceiling.
There is no requirement for a plan to avert the crisis. There is no need for spending cuts to avert the crisis. There is no need to raise taxes to avert the crisis. There is no need have a short term bargain to avert the crisis. There is no need for a grand bargain to avert the crisis. There is only a need to raising the debt limit to avert the crisis.
That’s it: raise the debt limit and there will be no crisis.
This is why it is so insane that we face a crisis to begin with.
And I think we have to be honest about the bottom line of why we have this pending crisis at the moment: a faction of the House GOP caucus is currently refusing to raise the debt ceiling save under very specific conditions. As such, it is rather difficult, logically, to state the crisis is the result of the lack of Democratic plan.
I say this not as a booster of Democrats (although I am sure many will read it as such), but I say this as a booster of logic and reason.
If crisis X can be averted by action Y, it is illogical to state that crisis X is being caused by lack of Z.
I will say this: the Democrats in the Senate should vote on a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling. If they fail to do so as we approach the deadline, then they deserve opprobrium. Some part of the federal government needs to demonstrate the willingness of some part of said government to act in the best interest of the country.
Indeed, I think it is problematic that there hasn’t been greater movement to push a clean bill, because, again: raise the debt limit and there will be no crisis.