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Boehner: McConnell Plan Might ‘Look Pretty Good a Couple of Weeks From Now’

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By Doug Powers  •  July 14, 2011 09:21 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Democrats such as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi approve of the McConnell plan. In Republican circles, that fact alone should automatically disqualify it from consideration, but according to Speaker Boehner, it’s still on the table:

“Mitch described his proposal as a ‘last-ditch effort’ in case we’re unable to do anything else,” Boehner said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. “And what may look like something less-than-optimal today, if we’re unable to get to an agreement, might look pretty good a couple of weeks from now. But I think it’s worth keeping on the table. There are a lot of options that people have floated, and frankly, I think it’s an option that may be worthy at some point.”

McConnell’s “Plan B” on the debt limit, unveiled by the top Senate Republican on Tuesday ahead of a negotiating session at the White House, would allow the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling to be raised in three separate stages while putting the political burden of doing so on President Obama and congressional Democrats.

“Maybe in a couple of weeks” it’ll look good? Is it me or does the McConnell plan sound like, in barfly terminology, a “last call beauty queen” at the Debt Ceiling Nightclub? That’s a situation that very rarely sees anybody waking up the next day and saying, “that was a great idea!”

Or is there a bit of mad genius to Boehner’s method? If “a couple of weeks from now” was after August 2nd, I’d be more inclined to believe he was just playing head games and calling a bluff, but right now I’m just not sure. I’m just hoping the Republicans don’t employ the “break but don’t bend” strategy on which the Dems have come to rely.

And if the Republicans think the McConnell plan will put the political burden of raising the debt ceiling on Obama and the Democrats, I have some swampland to sell them. First of all, it doesn’t happen unless the Republicans agree to pass the plan, and second, the plan itself is named after a Republican. The Democrats would have plenty of blame to throw at the Republicans, and it wouldn’t be undeserved. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Update: Charles Krauthammer’s column entitled “Call His Bluff” addresses the topic I wrote about in the previous paragraph:

After all, by what crazy calculation should Republicans allow themselves to be blamed for a debt crisis that could destabilize the economy and even precipitate a double-dip recession? Right now, Obama owns the economy and its 9.2 percent unemployment, 1.9 percent GDP growth and exploding debt about which he’s done nothing. Why bail him out by sharing ownership?

**Written by Doug Powers

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