The McConnell Plan

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 12, 2011 10:10 PM
Par for the course, Jennifer Rubin does some of the best reporting anywhere on the McConnell plan for moving debt ceiling/deficit reduction talks forward in a direction favorable to the GOP.

I understand that pundits across the blogosphere are freaking out, but it strikes me that the brilliance of the McConnell plan is in placing responsibility for a debt ceiling crisis squarely on the shoulders of the President and congressional Democrats.  Don't submit a plan with appropriate spending cuts? Congress will disapprove it, but there will be enough Democratic votes that -- should Dems dare -- they can sustain an Obama veto.

The genius of the McConnell approach is that it forces the President to make significant spending cuts and avoids tax increases, unless he (and a minority of Democrats) openly and publicly pursue an approach clearly antithetical to the wishes of the majority of Americans -- including in summer 2012.

Beats the heck out of a "grand bargain" including tax increases (giving Democrats cover to neutralize one of the GOP's most potent political issues), or hoping that the President -- ideologue that he is -- will cave in to GOP wishes (and thereby court a challenge from the left), or relying on the MSM to report fairly on the GOP's actions and role in the event of a default.

Update: The Wall Street Journal explains why the McConnell plan is the best card left that the GOP has to play.  I tend to agree with the Journal that anyone who thinks the President will submit to GOP demands is dreaming; instead, he will make sure that default carries with it the most painful consequences to the most important political constituencies, and he -- along with his allies in the press -- will work to pin blame for their pain on the Republicans.