"Political Games" From Whom?

Posted: Dec 06, 2012 7:17 PM

The White House has effectively conceded that the President's "plan" (note the sarcastic scare quotes) for avoiding the fiscal cliff cannot even pass the US Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. 

“We don’t have 60 votes in the Senate,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said, adding the White House was “very confident” that Democrats support the principles outlined in Obama’s plan . . ..

Please.  Not only does the Obama plan not have the sixty votes required to overcome a filibuster, it doesn't even have the fifty-one votes it would need to pass (note that Senator McConnell promised a floor vote, meaning that Republicans would agree to a straight up-or-down vote).  And the Democrats' refusal to vote on it reveals just how unpopular it is -- if Democrats thought the President's plan would be popular in anything besides the vaguest outlines (what passes in Washington for "principle"), the Democrats would quickly vote on it and force the Republicans to sustain an unpopular filibuster.  The truth is that even the Democrats don't support it -- and they don't want to be on the record one way or the other.

But hey, just for the record, this isn't the first time the US Senate has effectively rejected the President's budgetary policies.  After all, senators voted down his proposed 2013 budget 99-0; his 2012 budget fell on a 97-0 vote.

In any case, as anyone knows, it isn't that hard to agree in "principle" if the "principles" are abstract enough.  No doubt 100% of Congress would agree with the principle that we ought to "do what's best for the American people" -- the tough part of leadership is in the details . . . the part the President regularly outsources to Congress.  So much for leadership.

So there's no small irony here when Jay Carney accuses Republicans of playing "political games that aren't serious."