Let him own it

This is the concluding thought of Kimberley Strassel’s brilliant take on the current debt ceiling mess.

Tea-party Republicans in the House are on the warpath for real spending cuts, with no new taxes before they’ll agree to debt ceiling relief. Congressional Democrats are insisting on new taxes to accompany any cuts.

Obama, attempting to play the emperor who is above the fray, pretending that he is not a tax-and-spend liberal Democrat, is tut-tutting the children in Congress to behave and shake hands. So far, the mainstream media is also pretending that Obama is the “adult in the room” and had nothing to do with our heinous deficit spending.

The best guess is that House Republicans will be pressured by the tea party caucus to go for a “big deal” with spending cuts matching any debt ceiling increase. And that this will go exactly nowhere in the Senate, or, at best, would be vetoed by Obama. All this accompanied by much sturm und drang, producing a lot of heat but little light.

Enter Senator Mitch McConnell’s “plan B”. From Ms Strassel:

All this is why Mr. McConnell earlier this week proposed to step back and give the president authority to raise the debt ceiling. If he’s so committed to his positions, let him swim in them. Let him own a deficit that’s on track to hit $1 trillion for his third presidential year running. Let him tell America why he’s cut nothing. Let him explain a credit downgrade caused by his failure to get serious about American debt.

Let him explain the slowing economy, the high unemployment and his proposals for new taxes—next summer. Let the Democrats up for re-election have to vote (as Mr. McConnell’s proposal requires) to back up Mr. Obama’s profligacy. Let Americans understand, clearly, that this is what they will continue to get if they re-elect him.

Yes, by all means. Let Obama be left holding the bag. As he should, since he and his Democrat minions in Congress have been the debt drivers for the past three years.

As for conservatives who excoriate Mitch McConnell for not standing firm, I’ve heard the best reason directly from him: our goal is to win the Senate and the presidency in 2012.

If we, meaning Republicans, are seen by the voters are being co-conspirators in our escalating debt, then Obama will pretend that he had nothing to do with all that spending. And the mainstream media will go along.

“Let him own it.” And let’s take back the presidency next year.

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