Real talk: who really thought the Super Committee would succeed at its given task?
In D.C., you might have better luck trying to find someone who believes the Redskins are a Super Bowl contender. And as Atrios noted, this was always a choice between one set of $1.2 trillion deficit cuts triggered by the debt-ceiling deal, or another set that could be agreed upon by a Super Committee. It failed, so, ostensibly, we'll get the first set.
Still, in America, we hate to fail at anything, so bring on the spin. (Or bring on some more, anyway, since it'd already begun.)
Democrats claimed they were willing to concede several points in order to get a deal done, and complained of GOP obstinacy on the expiring Bush tax cuts (and Grover Norquist). Republicans? They wanted to save those deficit-exploding tax cut, even in a deficit-reduction effort. They've since taken to blaming President Obama for not coming to save the day (despite having previously asked him to butt out).
Yesterday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, became the latest to embrace this lack of accountability line of attack:
Steve Benen took a listen to Governor Christie's complaint, and sought to clarify the record:
Did the administration say the president kept his distance from the talks because Obama knew the process was doomed to fail? No, the governor appears to have made this up. As for what the president has been “doing, exactly,” Obama’s the one who’s offered Republican lawmakers a series of overly-generous debt reduction plans — to the chagrin of his own party — only to see the GOP reject every proposal.Is Christie not aware of this? If so, why did he try to deceive the public yesterday? If not, shouldn’t he have gotten his facts straight before popping off to the press?
Governor Christie's factual and logical errors aside, his "What the hell are we paying you for?" line points to a fascinating thing we can learn from the Super Committee.
Governor Christie says that President Obama saw the Super Committee failing, and sat idly by as it did fail. On the surface, that's an argument in defense of Republicans having their obstruction and eating it, too: tell the President not to get involved, then whine when he doesn't. Whatever it takes to make him look like he's the reason this didn't work. But one could argue that Governor Christie's implication isn't simply that the President didn't do his job; it's that he was content not to. Isn't that the argument Democrats have been making about Republicans' style of governance in Washington, that they're tanking the economy for political gain?
The Republican endgame is not only protecting the Bush tax cuts, but making them permanent. The only thing is, doing nothing lets those tax cuts expire. In this case, obstruction loses. So that's why we have Republicans like Governor Christie complaining that government didn't do enough, didn't do what our taxes pay them to do: to govern. We are through the looking glass, folks.