The fight of our lifetime is already underway
Does “an agreement in principle” with Kevin McCarthy have any meaning? We are about to find out. Late last night, it was announced that an agreement in principle over raising the debt ceiling has been reached. I will remain skeptical until the ink is dry on the agreement. So should you.
Hearing Kevin McCarthy explain that he has the votes shouldn’t require a dissertation on the importance of healthy skepticism. Granting Kevin McCarthy the benefit of the doubt would be a foolish thing to do because he is untrustworthy, dishonest and incoherent.
A few weeks back, President Biden responded to a question about Kevin McCarthy’s integrity and reliability by saying, “I trust Kevin will try and do what he says.” Perhaps the president believes the diplomatic answer was the best approach, but the ludicrous assertion creates the worrying possibility that he may believe it.
Can Kevin McCarthy be trusted as a negotiating partner? Can he deliver the votes?
Who made the decision to allow Kevin McCarthy to be photographed in front of the Oval Office fireplace with the president? Why did the White House raise McCarthy’s stature, while simultaneously abandoning its principled position not to negotiate under threat and extortion? The result has not been good.
Whether Kevin McCarthy is able to get the votes or not, in many respects, he has won. Trump increased the national debt by 40 percent in his four-year term, and the largest contributor to it was the tax cut passed in 2017. McCarthy has successfully pinned the White House down, despite the fact that it is the Republicans who are responsible for the $31 trillion debt. He has turned the MAGA extortion into a winning debate about spending. According to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, 60 percent of Americans say Congress should only raise the nation’s debt ceiling if it cuts spending at the same time. The MAGA/GOP position, which is fundamentally an act of financial vandalism and radical recklessness, has gone from being held in wide contempt to being favored by a majority of voters. It is a stunning achievement rooted in a level of flat-footed lethargy and disconnection from the Biden White House. A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that respondents were split on whether they would blame congressional Republicans or President Biden if the country does default — 45 percent said Republicans and 43 percent said Biden. But, by a 47 - 38 percent margin, independents said they would blame Biden.