Turtle Whacks


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has proposed creating an escape hatch for Congressional Republicans, who have put themselves in a box by threatening not to raise the national debt limit if Democrats don’t agree to trillions of dollars in cuts to popular social programs.

The plan is designed to give President Obama the power to raise the debt limit on his own through the end of his first term, but to force Democrats to take a series of votes on the debt limit in the months leading up to the election. This would stave off the threat of defaulting on national obligations, but keep the charged issues of debt and spending at the center of political debate for months.

The development confirms suspicions that the GOP was unwilling to truly use the looming debt ceiling as leverage to force conservative-friendly changes to popular entitlement programs, but suggests strongly that Republicans plan to continue politicking on fiscal issues through the 2012 elections.

Original DVD cover

The plan would require Congress to pass a bill allowing Obama to raise the debt limit on his own, contingent on a series of steps: Obama would have to notify Congress of his intent tor raise the debt limit — a high-sign to Congress that would be subject to an official censure known as a “resolution of disapproval,” and which Obama could veto. If he vetoed the resolution, and if Congress sustained the veto, then Obama would also have to outline a series of hypothetical spending cuts he’d make, equal to the amount of new debt authority he’d give himself. Only then would the Treasury be allowed to issue new debt.

McConnell proposes rolling out this process in three tranches, to force Obama to request more borrowing authority, and to force debt limit votes in Congress, repeatedly through election season.


The legislation would not give Obama unilateral authority to cut spending or reduce deficits. And as such, it represents a big policy cave by Republicans, who’ve long insisted that they would not raise the debt limit without enacting entitlement cuts long-sought by the conservative movement on a bipartisan basis. But, if Dems buy into this option, it will keep the potent debt issue alive, and central to politics, for much of this election season.

I asked McConnell if he’d cleared this backup plan with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). “I’ve spoken about it with others,” he said.

This is the first public blink by the GOP, and a fairly significant abdication of their leverage.


Asked about it at his press conference, just after McConnell’s, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was non-committal. “I’m not about to trash his proposal, it’s something I will look at, something I will look at intently,” Reid said.


House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has given what seems like a stamp of approval to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) fallback strategy to avoid a catastrophic default on U.S. debt. “His idea if we can’t get there, none of us believe we ought to default on the full faith and credit of the United States government,” Boehner said. “I think that idea and there are other ideas out there in terms of backup plans. In case we can’t come to an agreement…. Everybody believes there needs to be a backup plan if we are unable to come to an agreement. I think Mitch has done good work.”

Then Bronzo the Clown heaved a sigh of relief, untwisted the knife from his back which was placed there by Eric Cantor, and went to change his poopy pants.


Filed under Barack Obama, Congress, Democrats, Harry Reid, humor, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

31 responses to “Turtle Whacks

  1. johncerickson

    Um… I’m gonna ask a really stupid question. Where does the “turtle” in the title come from? (Sorry, I just got in from weed-whacking our 1/4 acre – or more – of land. I’m a bit punchy.)
    Nice to see that maybe sense is starting to sink into the GOP – no matter how screwed up their concepts of “give” might be.

  2. Sen McConnell is a longtime buffoon. I would like to see Boehner swinging the club at the his head.

  3. What should Obama do? Change his name to President Phuk Off when China repossesses…because that’s what he should tell them.

    • jon stewart said he should park the car down the street so the chinese can’t find it. 😆

      • Omg, I just saw Jon Stewart’s bit on the effeminate Mr. Bachmann. Too funny 😆

        • wasn’t that hlarious? did you see the whole thing? i was dying last night while i was watching it.

        • johncerickson

          I loved him calling in Jerry Seinfeld for support. I’m not a HUGE fan, but find him passably humourous. Tonight’s episode should be interesting – Stewart has on LeRoy Petry, a kid who won the Medal Of Honour for tossing a grenade back toward Afghan insurgents, while under fire AND shot in both legs AND directing the firefight while making sure wounded from a previous grenade were treated. Petry was funny with Brian Williams on NBC News, talking about how he loves to just stick his prosthetic hand out and watch people freak when they feel it’s not flesh.
          Oh, and Bachmann has apparently claimed Obama has “chutspah” – she pronounced it like I wrote it, complete with the C. Nonnie, can you add one more B to her title for Braindead? 😀

          • johncerickson

            Um – I’m a smalltime fan of Jerry Seinfeld. I’m a HUGE fan of Stewart. I really screwed up writing that 2nd sentence!

            • i like jerry seinfeld, but i love jon stewart. that bit was so funny. i saw the chootspah video. she’s just as insulting to jewish people as princess sarah is when she walks around with the giant star of david around her neck.

  4. (And you rocked the headline, Nonnie. 😀 )

  5. jeb

    The Dems should take this and boldly march forward with it. Put their money where their mouth is and campaign on everything they do. They should also put their proposals forward for real cuts. I wonder why I get the sinking feeling they’ll fumble this one too?

    • i think the dems are finally somewhat on their game. they’ve been talking a lot tougher lately. however, i think obama is making it difficult for them.

  6. jean-philippe

    That’s so mean that you didn’t include the political mastermind pulling all the strings in DC, Eric Cantor. Or should I look at the elephant droppings?

  7. Yesterday, Yertle said he saw the choices Obama and the Democrats were giving him were smoke and mirrors, tax increases, or default, then declared that the Republicans wanted none of these and were going to come up with something else. It ended up being just a different form of smoke and mirrors.

  8. When I read about this option, my initial thought was *this is a set up*… what the GOP is doing is “letting” Obama decide & the rest of the election season they will be pointing the finger at him– he & he alone raised the debt limit…. he’s out of control, he is fiscally irresponsible. You just know they will be playing that card.
    THEY are the ones that created this huge debt– 8 years of reckless spending, trashing the economy burned up the surplus that existed back when the Chimp had stolen office. They approved every supplemental & every budget Bush2 asked for. Also they used the tactic to ask for sky high amounts, thinking they would have to bargain down, but instead got at or near the sky high amounts.
    Now the bastards suddenly feel obliged to be fiscally responsible, so as to avoid *generational theft*, and they want their hands looking clean when they hit the election season in earnest.
    They are buying themselves time, and gearing up for a backstabbing blame game. Rest assured they are not doing this to help Obama.

    • it might have started out as a set-up, but the rethugs screwed this up so badly, they wound up painting themselves into a corner. once they realized that, it was too late, and now their only option is to run away. they look weak, the teabaggers are pissed off, and obama looks like the grown-up. utter rethuglican fail.

  9. 😆 Watch out for his head. He blends in with the grass.

  10. What, me worry? I know how this game is played. Back when Ronald the Magnificent walked the earth in human form, we used to borrow from the Kingdom of Nippon. With heavy debt load to the big four moneychangers (like Nomura) we ended the pegged value of the buck on the currency exchanges and floated 40 billion right off the books of the big boys. To translate that to now, the closer you get to getting a S/S check, expect it to be paid out in monopoly money.

  11. a debt ceiling is just for short politicians. Raising the debt ceiling would create jobs, that’s what I say!!!