You cannot make this shit up. You know, it’s one thing when you’ve negotiated a deal that’s about as popular with your caucus as Herpes, to take to the microphones and extol the virtues of how you ran laps around the other guy. But once the votes are counted, and the bill passes, then it’s time to shut up. It doesn’t matter what people think or say anymore, the deal is done.
But not House Squeaker Cavein McCarthy. Hours after the House passed the new budget bill that raised the debt ceiling, McCarthy took to the podium to take a victory lap. Which is by itself hilarious. At that moment, the Freedom Caucus was so furious they were Googling for Voodoo Doctors to stick pins in a McCarthy doll, and this idiot is bragging about how easy it was!
Seriously, look it up and listen for yourself. His delusional little rant went something like, Everybody said it was impossible, that it could never be done, that Biden would never negotiate on the debt ceiling. Biden kept saying “No negotiations,” and I kept saying “No debt ceiling increase,” and Biden finally climbed down and started negotiating. President Biden is an excellent negotiator. He’s professional, intelligent, prepared, and knows the ropes. But in the end it was a clean sweep for the GOP, look at the agreement, the Democrats didn’t get a single thing they wanted. And it was easy.
Which is why I want to keep the momentum going. There are plenty of items on our economic agenda that weren’t included in the budget agreement. After the President signs the bill into law, I want to get right back to the negotiating table with him on the next item on our agenda, so we can finally bring some sanity back into our fiscal spending.
What a world class twit. That nonsensical rant tells me three things. First, in order to sell that bullsh*t buffet to his caucus, McCarthy literally had to believe it himself in order to peddle it. Reality check. Most of them weren’t buying, but were trapped by the debt ceiling.
Second, by the ultimate results, especially the amount of bipartisan support in the House, McCarthy now feels emboldened and bulletproof from the Freedom caucus. And with good reason. While a couple of Teabagger hotheads are threatening a vote of no confidence on McCarthy, nobody is actually doing it. Because the Teahadists just took a humiliating public spanking on the debt ceiling bill. And they know that if they try it now, there will almost certainly be enough Democratic support to keep McCarthy right where he is. Why risk another humiliation?
And third, Kevin McCarthy isn’t quite the moron everybody takes him for. He’s been around for 12 years now, and has used craven lust for power to get where he is, and he learned the lessons. Which means that he has learned how to spot political weakness when he sees it.
And right now, he sees it all over GOP senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell is still conning himself into seeing a favorable GOP Senate map in 2024, which I find unlikely when you remember three words, Trump, DeSantis, and abortion. But if McCarthy is able to pass popular bills with bipartisan support in the House, McConnell is hard pressed to not support it in the Senate, or risk vulnerable incumbents and 2024 Senate challengers.
Which begs the question, why negotiate with McCarthy on issues to make him and the GOP look good with absolutely no self interest for Biden and the Democrats? After all, Biden and the Democrats only negotiated with McCarthy this time around because they needed to solve the debt ceiling crisis. Why do it for free?
Elementary, my dear Watsons. Do just what they just did this time, marry it up! Look, even most Democrats admit that there are excesses and abuses in the federal budget that need updating or eliminating. Agree with the GOP on some of them, and make the bottom line hefty enough that McCarthy can brag to his caucus about how much money they just cut.
But what do the Democrats get out of that? Oh, I don’t know, how about moderate police reform? The national database that tracks abusive cops who are fired, prosecuted, or suspended multiple times for citizen abuse. A clause that requires any state or local police departments that receive federal funding or grants requiring them to use the national database in their hiring process. And if they can’t flat out eliminate the qualified immunity doctrine, then at least tighten up the qualifications to make it harder for rogue cops to use it.
McCarthy would jump on a package like that with both feet. He’s had his first head rush of success, and he wants more of it. He wants to show that he’s better than Pelosi. And for the Democrats? Hell, even moderate police reform will go over with minorities next November than no police reform.
Look, neither the far right MAGAt’s nor the far left progressives are going to sign on to this. But who cares? These things are popular with the moderate voters of both parties, as well as independents, which means that they’ll fly with the moderate members of both parties in the House. And that’s how the debt ceiling deal got through in the first place. And if it passes with some 300 bipartisan votes, then all of the pressure is on McConnell in the Senate.
Just answer me this. What do the Democrats have to lose? McCarthy just got steamrolled by Biden in the budget negotiations, but with any agreement McCarthy thinks he’s the undisputed negotiations champion of the world. Bring him to the table, let’s see how serious he really is about legislating. If he’s serious, then maybe something positive comes of it. If he isn’t, then the Democrats walk awa, They have nothing to lose, and more positive accomplishments for Biden going into 2024 to gain.