If Republicans had united behind cut, cap, and balance – hitting the media airwaves en masse to press the case for a balanced budget amendment and pressure Harry Reid and Obama for opposing it – they could have forced a vote in the Senate.
The Republican political and media strategy should have been to place massive moral and political pressure on the Democrats who have earlier pledged to support a balanced budget amendment – senior Democrats like Harry Reid and Dick Durbin among them.
Having blanketed the media making the case for cut, cap, and balance – which a majority of Americans supported – Boehner could then have Obama and Senate Democrats deal with the fallout of rejecting it.
Instead, the GOP leadership put up no fight for cut, cap, and balance and did not express nearly enough moral outrage that Reid tabled it without debate.
It is as if the push for a balanced budget amendment in exchange for a debt limit increase was nothing but lame Beltway kabuki theater from the beginning — the brave words at the outset, the token gesture, the tremulous retreat, and the inevitable scramble for a watered-down compromised deal so as not to be blamed too terribly by the media.
This is morbid, epic dysfunction by both parties.
Fiscal hawks will never get responsible stewardship of the nation’s finances with the current cast of cowardly and mendacious Congressional players.