How Many Republicans Does it Take to Convince House Republicans to Do the Right Thing?

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 29, 2011

Is Douglas Holtz-Eakin enough? Does it help that he attacks House and Senate Democrats as well?

Let’s start with the House Democrats, who are content to make a political statement and sit on their hands. That means that the Boehner plan must pass with only Republican votes and Democrats don’t care if financial markets melt down tomorrow morning (they will).

Add to this list the White House. Are they whipping Democrats to vote for the Boehner plan, move a legislative vehicle to the House, soothe financial markets, and work to a better (in their eyes) legislative outcome in the Senate? No; that’s called governing. Instead, they are pushing a Reid proposal that will never get 60 votes in the Senate.

Now, about the Senate. Can Harry Reid actually move a piece of legislation, whether it comes from the House Republicans or one of his own? No. The Senate Democrats’ contribution to the week’s efforts has been a letter saying “no way” to a plan that has yet to emerge from the House. Meanwhile, America slides toward meltdown.

And finally, let’s discuss the House Republicans who are standing on the brink of sending to the Senate — who will pass it — and the president — who will sign it — a piece of legislation that is consistent with their principles, if not perfect. Instead of simply voting yes, they have formed a variety of unproductive coalitions: the Coalition of the Willfully Ignorant (who claim you don’t need a debt-ceiling increase or that markets won’t care and there will be no fallout) and the Coalition of It’s Someone Else’s Problem (because I just want to have an issue and campaign). Result: They suffer a political loss and America loses.

Is William Kristol enough?

If the Republican bill loses today on the floor, or Boehner pulls it down, then Reid will take the lead, McConnell will cut a deal, and a Reid-McConnell bill will pass the Senate easily and then the House, with most House Democrats and lots of House Republicans voting yes. This won’t be an outcome that will destroy America, or end GOP hopes for 2012—but it’s not a good one either. The question is this: Will President Obama invite the House Republican defectors to the White House signing ceremony on Monday? They would deserve such recognition in honor of their role in weakening the Republican party in the House and the conservative movement in the country, increasing the chances of Obama securing a terrible Grand Bargain in several months when the Reid bill’s supercommittee reports, and making it harder to defeat Obama in 2012.

How many more are needed? Just wondering here.

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