As the supposed debt limit drop-dead date nears, the Democrats scream louder and louder for the Republicans to come to the table to craft a bipartisan bill with the Democrats. They have to have a bipartisan bill. They can't offer one of their own, because they know their numbers don't add up, just as the Republicans know it. The Democrats can't touch ObamaCare, because they fought so hard for it. Remember? People were dying by the second. They had to pass it. To scale it back now would be a disaster for the Democrats.
Neither can they now make cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. Not after so brilliantly painting the Republicans as evil for suggesting it.
With those programs off limits, the numbers don't add up. Their other options are to make our military the size of Lichtenstein's, cut the federal government down to nothing, or raise taxes so high that even they would have to concede private enterprise was dead. It is mathematically impossible to make the numbers work.
Now the Republicans have given the Democrats three options:
- 1. Pass some form of Cut, Cap, and Balance. The Democrats can't possibly pass any version of this as Harry Reid called it one of the worst pieces of legislation in American history.
- 2. Accept the deal Speaker Boehner made with The President, or thought he'd made. Speaker Boehner told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that the offer was still on the table. This is the Democrat's best option.
- 3. Reject or veto the two step deal the Republicans are reportedly working on, a short term solution which raises the debt ceiling for six months and brings all this into the forefront again next year, right before the elections. A terrible option for the Democrats, because all the while, the Republicans will be sending bills through the house that address the issue while the Democrats will be unable to, because they have painted themselves into the corner. They absolutely can't put it down on paper because everything they have accused the Republicans of, will be thrown in their face.
- 4. Allow the country to default and try to vilify the Republicans again. This may seem like an option, but it does significant damage to the country, forces them to prioritize, something they don't want to do, and forces them to answer the question, "Is default really better than a short-term deal?" which they can't answer honestly.
We can only hope that this teaches them a lesson. They should have come to the table in good faith when Paul Ryan broke the political norm by informing the American public they couldn't have everything that is being promised them. If they were good leaders, they would do it. They'd do it now. We'd get the adult conversation we all yearn for. We could sit down and have a discussion about how to prioritize federal spending. Where it can be cut humanely. Where it can be cut without leaving us defenseless. The ball's in their court.