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The GOP’s Problem: There’s No Bridging The Gap Between Tea Party And Reality

Why do the Tea Party and the right adamantly oppose Mitch McConnell’s proposal to transfer control of the debt ceiling to the president as a way out of an impasse that many think is badly damaging the GOP?

The answer, paradoxically, lies in the beauty of the McConnell plan: It was crafted to allow Republicans to repeatedly vote against raising the debt ceiling without actually stopping it from being raised.

McConnell and other GOP leaders know full well the debt ceiling must be hiked. But they also know full well that this is entirely unacceptable to large swaths of the base who now see this as their number one ideological cause celebre, on a par with the now-forgotten drive to repeal Obamacare. So his plan tries to solve both these problems at once. It provides for Republicans to vote to “disapprove” of each debt ceiling hike the President pursues. But since they need a veto proof majority to block each debt limit hike, those “disapproval” votes won’t actually stop the hikes from happening — keeping the business community happy and averting economic and political disaster.

The problem for GOP leaders, however, is that the Tea Party and the right are dead serious about this stopping-the-debt-ceiling-hike thing — reality and the consequences be damned. Solid majorities of Republican voters and Tea Partyers don’t even think failure to raise it will be a problem. Symbolic votes to “disapprove” of debt ceiling hikes aren’t enough. Anything short of stopping the debt ceiling from going up is unacceptable. The McConnell plan would surrender the GOP’s ability to do this. Therefore it’s a total cave-in.

Business leaders and sane GOP leaders want the debt ceiling raised and understand that failure will be catastrophic. The Tea Party wants a hike blocked at all costs. The problem in a nutshell is that there’s no putting that ideological genie back in the bottle. One party is going to have to walk out of this situation not getting what it wants. Hint: That party’s name begins with the letter “T.”

By: Greg Sargent, The Washington Post  Plum Line, July 19, 2011

July 20, 2011 - Posted by | Budget, Businesses, Congress, Conservatives, Debt Ceiling, Deficits, Democracy, Economic Recovery, Economy, GOP, Government, Government Shut Down, Ideologues, Ideology, Lawmakers, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, Teaparty | , , ,

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