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Either Boehner loses or we do
By Dave Winer on Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 5:52 PM.

Important: I'm not interested in a debate on this, so please if you have a different opinion, write a post on your blog. Thanks. #

I've been watching all the back and forth in the debt ceiling politics, at least what you can see via cable news (mostly CNN).  #

The wild card in all this is the bit about the constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. #

Boehner tried to get his plan passed without it, and failed. When he added it, it passed.  #

Boehner said he had a proposal on the table that the President could have accepted last Sunday. That might be true. The President might have accepted it, but it wouldn't have been ratified by the Republicans in the House. Maybe what Boehner means is that with a few Democratic votes, he might have been able to get it passed without the amendment. However you gotta wonder if the Tea Party Repubs would have stayed on board if there were Democrats voting for it. #

Ultimately, if there's going to be a bill that passes the House without the balanced budget amendment, it's going to require both Boehner and the President to support it. A fair number of Republicans will jump ship. And it seems pretty likely that Boehner will lose his speakership. There will be a lot of pissed off Republicans in the House (and elsewhere) if that happens.  #

Maybe the President should offer Boehner a nice ambassadorship or something. #

Both Boehner and McConnell appeared quite conciliatory in their press conference earlier this hour. This is reassuring. But also quite possibly career suicide for both of them.  #

Something is going to have to give.  #

The reporters have got something wrong when they say Boehner's bill would have them revisit the debt ceiling in January. With an overhang like that, it would never go away between now and then. The brinksmanship would continue unabated.  #

Also when they recite the song about the bond rating and the effect that might have on interest rates, I am doubtful. The world still needs a place to store value safely. Even after this lunacy the US will still be the safest place to store value. I've been asking people this question, where would you put money to find safety assuming the US credit rating was reduced. There is no other country to switch to. The whole downgrade thing is fiction, reported by people who don't understand it.  #

I think you're seeing all these machinations because the Tea Party caucus gets their power from the unwillingness of the old guard in the Republican Party to let them run the show. Imagine what would happen if Boehner stepped aside and let Michele Bachmann be the new Speaker. Or Ron Paul. You'd probably find the remaining Republicans (not a majority of the House, but a majority of the Republicans in the House) voting with the Democrats more often than they would vote with the Tea Party Republicans.  #

So the net-net is that we're seeing the death throes of the Republican Party.  #

On tomorrow's shows, reporters should ask the Republicans about that. Is Boehner really the leader of your party? If not, who is? #

Christmas Tree
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