Boehner blinks, loses his leverage on debt ceiling default threat

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Finally some good news: both the New York Times and Washington Post are reporting leaks from unnamed GOP aides that
Boehner tells colleagues U.S. won’t default:

House Speaker John A. Boehner, apparently sharing Obama
administration alarm about a possible debt default, has told colleagues
he will act to raise the federal debt limit even if he has to rely on
the votes of House Democrats, GOP aides said Thursday.

* * *

With concern shifting to a deadline in two weeks to raise the debt
limit, Boehner has told colleagues he will do whatever is necessary to
avoid defaulting on the federal debt, including relying on House
Democrats to help pass a a debt-ceiling increase, according to GOP aides
familiar with the conversations.

* * *

The aides indicated that Boehner is willing to risk infuriating some
of the most conservative House GOP lawmakers by relying on a majority of
Democratic votes — and less than a majority of Republicans — to pass a
debt-ceiling increase.

Doing so would reprise a strategy that
ensured passage earlier this year of measures to avert another fiscal
impasse, to renew the Violence Against Women Act and to provide federal
relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Such a maneuver in effect
would suspend the so-called “Hastert Rule,” an unwritten governing
principle of Republican House speakers since the 1990s when the chamber
has been under GOP control.

About that . . . Dennis
Hastert: The ‘Hastert Rule’ didn’t exist

“Lookit, the Hastert rule didn’t exist,” former House speaker J. Dennis
Hastert (R-Ill.) said in an interview Thursday. “What happened is you
lined up 218 votes.”

“When I used the term ‘majority of the majority,’ that was in one specific case,” said Hastert.

In case you missed it, that was former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert giving his blessing to Weeper of the House John Boehner to move legislation with a simple majority vote in the House, you know, the way democracy is supposed to work.

Ezra Klein asks, Did
John Boehner just end the debt-ceiling fight?

I asked Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel, about the
report. “Speaker Boehner has always said that the United States will not
default on its debt, but if we're going to raise the debt limit, we
need to deal with the drivers of our debt and deficits," he e-mailed.
"That’s why we need a bill with cuts and reforms to get our economy
moving again."

That's what they call a non-denial denial.

In negotiations, once your opponent signals he really will not do what he has threatened to do, he has lost his leverage. There is no reason to believe that Boehner will allow the Tea-Publican economic terrorists to default on the U.S. debt and to blow up the U.S. and world economy. It is now an idle threat. As long as Boehner is in charge, there is no reason for President Obama to make any concessions over the threat of a Tea-Publican default on the U.S. debt — because they are just not going to do it.

In a speech in Rockville, Maryland this morning, President Obama offered the GOP a Grand Bargain: Do your job:

I've said this before. I'm going to repeat it: There will be no negotiations over this.

You don't get to demand some ransom in exchange for keeping the
government running, you don't get to demand ransom in exchange for
keeping the economy running. You don't get to demand ransom for doing
your most basic job.

President Obama is now free to go all Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) on the TanMan: "You get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!"

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