WASHINGTON, October 11, 2013 —Why didn’t President Obama jump at House Speaker Boehner’s offer of a “clean” 6-week extension of America’s ability to borrow? As always, he’s running through his political calculations.
Keep in mind Obama’s objectives:
1. Preserve Obamacare: His grand plan is coming apart at the seams rapidly. Six weeks may be the worst possible period of time because it’s long enough for Obamacare’s fatal flaws to be exposed yet too short for the program to sink in roots and trap millions in dependency upon it. That could embolden Republicans even more to demand that Obamacare be delayed or stopped. What Obama wants is an extension long enough that it becomes too late to stop Obamacare.
2. Add Spending: Obama wants to add $160-billion in new spending this fiscal year and more “stimulus.” But spending levels aren’t included in a “clean” extension of the debt ceiling. Instead, those numbers are involved in the other big fight with Republicans, over the shutdown rather than the debt ceiling. It involves separate legislation. Obama wants leverage that he gets by combining the spending decisions with the debt limit decisions, not a “clean” debt limit extension like Boehner offered.
3. Smash the GOP: Boehner’s offer looks reasonable in public perception. That’s bad for Obama’s goal of destroying his political foes so Democrats can reap the benefits in next year’s elections. The White House needs a little time to think up a plan of how to throw mud at this offer and make it stick. They expect that whatever flimsy accusation they concoct will then be adopted by the toadies among the mainstream media.
Regardless of Obama’s thinking, just because a six-week extension might be bad for Obama doesn’t make it good for the country.
Six weeks from now we’ll all have Thanksgiving on our minds. Procrastination is a classic Washington maneuver so that public attention will be distracted and die down. That creates wiggle room for political moves.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.