McConnell, McCain abdicating responsibility, trying to score points


Did you catch the quotes by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John McCain in Thursday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story headlined, “Still no give in debt impasse”?

The quotes are referring to a plan McConnell has offered where President Obama would be responsible for raising the debt ceiling and making spending reductions on his own with Congress able to stop it only with a two-thirds vote.

Those are decisions that Congress should make under the Constitution, but that’s not a concern when there are political points to be won. McConnell wants Obama to be responsible for raising the debt ceiling – which McConnell knows has to be done – so Republicans can run ads against him next year for raising the ceiling. It’s political gamesmanship at its ugliest when our country needs statesmanship and leadership most.

Here are the quotes.

McConnell: “I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy.”

McCain, in a statement, which means he had time to think about it, said McConnell’s proposal was “a smart, forward-looking plan to make clear to all Americans that should we get to August 2nd without an agreement, it is President Obama alone – and not Republicans in Congress – who decides whether to raise the debt limit, and owns the economic consequences of any default.”

This is abdication of responsibility at its worst, and it’s particularly shocking coming from an American hero like McCain.

This site is called “Independent Arkansas” for a reason, and when I think Democrats are wrong, I’ll say it. President Obama’s warnings that seniors might not get their Social Security checks was particularly silly and not believable.

But Wednesday, these two Republicans were about as wrong as elected officials can be. Sen. McConnell, you have been in the Senate for 27 years. Sen. McCain, you have been in the Senate for 25 years and in Congress since 1982. You own this economy and this debt just as President Obama does. Time and again, you have voted for tax and spending policies that have weighed this terrible burden on our children and grandchildren’s shoulders.

Fix it.

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