The Washington Post

Mitch McConnell’s cravenness on the debt limit

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “last-choice option” for meeting the August 2 deadline to raise the legal limit on the national debt brings a whole new dimension to the term “cravenness.”

Faced with the prospect of the nation defaulting on its obligations for the first time in history, and prevented by opposition within his own party from stepping up to the crisis, McConnell proposes that Republicans abdicate their responsibility for upholding the full, faith and credit of the United States and, instead, place the burden for averting this looming international disaster on President Obama’s shoulders.

McConnell’s scheme would, in essence, give Obama authority to hike the federal deft ceiling, allow congressional Republicans to vote lockstep against the new limit, and require Senate Democrats to sustain the president’s action.

Republicans are responsible for this fix. They cynically whipped up a phony fury against increasing the debt ceiling — an action taken nearly 90 times in the nation’s history by presidents and Congresses of both parties. They succeeded in convincing their supporters, falsely, that an increase in the debt limit was authorization for more government spending. And they used that bogus argument to tie raising the debt limit to draconian cuts in government spending.

Having manufactured this crisis, and now lacking the least bit of courage to own up to their deceit and demagoguery, they are seeking a way out.

Hence, Mitch McConnell and his plan to allow his contemptibly fainthearted right wing colleagues to beat a cowardly retreat from the mess they have made, leaving the White House and Democrats in Congress to clean up behind them.

Craven. Just Craven.

Colbert I. “Colby” King writes a column -- sometimes about D.C., sometimes about politics -- on that runs on Saturdays. In 2003, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. King joined the Post’s editorial board in 1990 and served as deputy editorial page editor from 2000 to 2007.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.