Is Snookie were a politician: Kabuki for dummies

Kabuki For Dummies

by digby

January 2011:

Where do we stand? There's one bit of good news, which the Democrats, if they actually wanted to stop this austerity trainwreck, could use to great advantage in the upcoming "negotiations":

At the House GOP retreat in Baltimore, "Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) delivered a stern message that the debt ceiling will eventually have to be raised to keep the government from defaulting. But he also promised that Republicans will 'use the leverage' they have to enact at least some of their spending-reduction goals. 'It's a leverage moment for Republicans,' Cantor said in an interview Friday. 'The president needs us. There are things we were elected to do. Let's accomplish those if the president needs us to clean up the old mess.'"

I wonder what "old mess" he's talking about --- the mess the Republicans made in their eight years of useless wars and tax cuts or the old mess of "entitlement spending"? But that's beside the point: Cantor just said that they will have to raise the debt ceiling. He said it out loud and on the record. Therefore, we now know that any capitulation made by the President and the Democrats in the negotiations will be made because they wanted to make them. There can be no doubt about that.


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he is certain that Congress will raise the debt ceiling, saying leaders are “not going to play around with it” and risk the “catastrophic” consequences of defaulting on the nation’s debt obligations.

“I want to make it perfectly clear that Congress will raise the debt ceiling,” Geithner said in an interview with ABC News “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour. When asked if he was sure, Geithner responded, “absolutely,” adding that Congressional leaders made clear they understood the importance of the matter when meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House last Wednesday.

“I sat there with them, and they said, we recognize we have to do this. And we’re not going to play around with it,” Geithner said of last week’s White House meeting. “We know that the risk would be catastrophic.”

Both sides are now on the record. As dday writes, here, there's no reason to not believe this is true. Wall Street is simply not going to allow the Republicans to default; it would be insane for any number of reasons. This kabuki by Snooki.

As dday says:

[A]ny policy attached to the debt limit increase is now owned by President Obama and Tim Geithner. Republicans are going to raise the debt limit regardless: it’s no longer credible, after this announcement, that the GOP “forced” the White House into any policy change. If your adversary just assured you that they will agree to your preferred clean bill, why would you accept anything else? The answer is clear: any policy other than a clean bill is one that’s not only acceptable to the President, but affirmatively sought by him.

So while Geithner’s statement is certainly bold, it also cuts through all of the future nonsense over the next couple months about “negotiation.” There will be no such negotiation. The President will decide for himself what kind of policy he wants to include as a means of looking “serious” about the budget deficit. And he will affirmatively add that to the debt limit vote. He won’t be forced into anything.

I have zero patience with this. They can have a bogus deficit discussion around the 2012 budget and they can convene commissions galore, but attaching it to the debt limit is unadulterated bullshit. The Treasury Secretary just said on national television that the debt ceiling must be raised or a catastrophe will result and that the Republicans have already agreed. There's literally nothing more to talk about.