Commentary Magazine


Posts For: July 30, 2011

Who Has Voted to Increase the Debt Ceiling—Twice

So last night, Senate Democrats gave a press conference in which they variously denounced Republicans for refusing to act and, in an especially inapposite remark by Chuck Schumer, were said to be unable to tie their shoelaces. This morning the president said Republicans had wasted “precious days” struggling to pass their second bill raising the debt ceiling.

Judging from the liberal commentariat, this general proposition—that House Republicans are incompetent do-nothings—has become received law in many venues. And there was some support for the view when the GOP walked out of talks with the White House the other week. But it now flies in the face of inarguable fact: The Republican-led House has now passed two bills in two weeks raising the debt ceiling. The Senate has voted both those bills down. Yes, they contain provisions that are difficult, if not impossible, for Democrats to swallow. But facts are facts, and the facts are that the Republicans have provided two pathways to a debt-ceiling increase and the Democrats have provided none.

Democrats and their friends have reason to continue trying to sell the lines that Republicans are not interested in working with them and don’t know what they’re doing, but they’re starting to sound like Baghdad Bob doing it.

So last night, Senate Democrats gave a press conference in which they variously denounced Republicans for refusing to act and, in an especially inapposite remark by Chuck Schumer, were said to be unable to tie their shoelaces. This morning the president said Republicans had wasted “precious days” struggling to pass their second bill raising the debt ceiling.

Judging from the liberal commentariat, this general proposition—that House Republicans are incompetent do-nothings—has become received law in many venues. And there was some support for the view when the GOP walked out of talks with the White House the other week. But it now flies in the face of inarguable fact: The Republican-led House has now passed two bills in two weeks raising the debt ceiling. The Senate has voted both those bills down. Yes, they contain provisions that are difficult, if not impossible, for Democrats to swallow. But facts are facts, and the facts are that the Republicans have provided two pathways to a debt-ceiling increase and the Democrats have provided none.

Democrats and their friends have reason to continue trying to sell the lines that Republicans are not interested in working with them and don’t know what they’re doing, but they’re starting to sound like Baghdad Bob doing it.

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