Don’t Make Me Take This Belt Off!


Call me clairvoyant, but my Magic-8-Ball tells me that Republican war plans over raising the debt limit are about to be decommissioned.  Not because Newt thinks it’s a bad idea, or because Susan Collins (RINO-ME) has had a sanity seizure, but because the Almighty Koch Bros. have issued a sit-stay command to their congressional lap dogs lest their empire suffer any ill effects from the economic repercussions of GOP idiocy.

Speaking through their sock puppet Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs instructed their Congressional minions to

. . . calibrate your message. Focus on overspending instead of long-term debt.  Focusing on [the debt ceiling] makes the messaging more difficult.

Phillips warned further that a prolonged fight over the debt ceiling could hasten a “grand bargain” between President Barack Obama and John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the house.  That is a notion that AFP opposes vehemently because it would raise taxes as well as cut spending.

Our number one priority is to stop government overspending. The debt limit is a symptom of that but if debt becomes the be all and end all, it becomes easier for liberals to push a combination of future spending cuts that are not enforceable and immediate tax increases.

That may not seem like a big deal but, trust me, it is.

And the Kochs aren’t the only ones raising an alarum, for example, Tom Donohue, of the US Chamber of Commerce, told Chuck Todd, recently:

When you get down to defaulting on the debt, you have a very, very serious question: What will happen to interest rates, what will happen to our relationships around the world?  It could really hurt the economy.

I think we have to let the folks up on the Hill use the assets they have while at the same time trying to tell them that using the debt is the least desirable of those.

This on the heels of similar warnings from the Financial Services Round Table and the Business Roundtable.

As Greg Sargent of the Washington Post Plum Line blog put it:

Even the likes of Newt Gingrich and the Wall Street Journal editorial board have told fellow Republicans that if they continue with the debt ceiling standoff, the voices from the business community warning that they will take the blame for economic disaster will only grow louder, putting them at serious political risk. Donohue’s subtle warning to Republicans is the latest sign not only that the GOP’s threat of default is untenable in practical terms, but that Republicans can no longer be perceived to be willing to default — which only further undermines whatever leverage they supposedly had in the first place.

That would mean silencing the likes of Koch funds recipient Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), a man with a plan for a slow-mo default.  Or Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Rep. Dave Schweikert, both Koch proteges, who are spoiling for a fight with Speaker Boehner over any available issue

In the end, I trust the Kochs’ survival instincts and self-interest to put an end to this particular fight.  They sank $400 million into the 2012 elections and experienced somewhat diminished returns what with Willard losing the election, the loss of some House seats and Democrats holding on to the Senate. 

The Kochs are cagey enough to realize those disappointing results call for some changes in the game plan.  And, sure enough, they’re changing it.  During the 2011 debt ceiling fight, Americans for Prosperity sang a different tune; at that time they were against the debt-ceiling deal because it didn’t ask for enough spending cuts.  But that was then, this is now.  That was a different Obama, and different leverage on both sides. 

What will matter most is whether the Kochs can control some of the less sophisticated, misguided and intellectually lazy TEA Party yahoos, that they bankrolled into Congressional seats, better than the Speaker of the House can control them.  I give the Kochs better odds, though, because Boehner can only pull committee assignments.  The Kochs control the campaign funds. 

Also, the Koch family has worked tirelessly for decades to get the Republican Party under its thumb; something tells me that they won’t let all that go for nought because a few hard-right demagogues decide to blow up the Republican brand to get their way.  If anything like that threatens, I predict we will see a campaign funding reset, like no other, for 2014.

I might despise them, and what they stand for, but the Kochs have pretty much proven to be a lot smarter than their competition, not to mention the saps they put into office.  But that makes sense, I guess . . .

Here’s this, just for fun:

Posted by Bette Noir on 01/16/13 at 11:31 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

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Can momma get a whut, whut? It seem Marcus Bachmann’s beard has been getting shady with the finances

Comment by HumboldtBlue on 01/16/13 at 01:18 PM

@HBlue Indeed! Freakin libruls putting the skids to gay-conversion-therapy is taking a big bite out of Momma’s worldly goods.

I love when the hillbilly Koch brothers smile for the camera.  The glare off their plastic teeth is awe-inspiring.

God bless America!

Good post Bette.  The Kochs (not Koch’s BTW) are America’s bete noire and a more sinister and cynical pair is hard to imagine but, yes, they remain very systematic and persistent in their efforts to create a neo-feudal United States.

I wondered how long before the rich people who actually have a lot to lose in a default/economic crash/world-wide catastrophe would start looking for the prong collars and the heavy duty leashes and start trying to drag their TeaMongrels back into the yard.

I wondered how long it would take before the moneyboys realized that defaulting on the debt would have some serious impacts on the interest rates US corporations pay. 

It’s not like this concept just appeared out of the woods though, so I still give them major demerits for taking this fucking long to realize that not only would hte poors suffer, but the rich bastards would take a big hit as well; and that alone is enough to make me realize that we can still outsmart and win against these Chickets-for-teeth assholes.

@mainmati seriously, right?  I don’t know what that “apostrophe madness” was all about.  (early-onset dementia?)

I think the Koch brothers have finally realized that they have been backing genuinely stupid people, not just people intent on fleecing the rubes.  I’d love to see them hoist on their own petard (I initially typed out a pun here, but decided that it would slur developmentally disabled people, and I am a PC liberal), but I really don’t want to be collateral damage in an economic meltdown.

I’d love to see them hoist on their own petard… but I really don’t want to be collateral damage in an economic meltdown.

I’m right there with you, Big Bad.  I feel the same way about global warming.  Getting to grab the denialists by the collar and scream “WE FUCKING TOLD YOU SO” will be cold comfort when the planet is thrashed.

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