Over the past two years, Republicans have been giving the hard sell on serious spending cuts and fundamental reforms to the nation’s broken entitlement system. They’ve viewed every potential crisis … as an opportunity to corner Obama into agreeing to tackle the nation’s mounting debt problem.This strategy has created a dynamic in which Obama has successfully portrayed Republicans as reckless, incapable of governance and willing to put the economy at risk to make a political statement. He’s been able to deflect questions about his own lack of action on deficits by blaming Republican intransigence. In the end, Republicans have very little positive to show for it. …Consider, then, “Maneuver X”: … that Republicans remove all pressure. They should give Obama his debt limit increases without preconditions, and they shouldn’t allow any government shutdowns.
Obama’s postelection arrogance and intransigence can put you in a fighting mood. I sympathize. But I’m tending toward the realist view: Don’t force the issue when you don’t have the power. …[T]he key is: Go small and simple. Forget about forcing tax reform or entitlement cuts or anything major. If Obama wants to recklessly expand government, well, as he says, he won the election. … Aren’t you failing the country, say the insurgents? Answer: The country chose Obama. He gets four years.Want to save the Republic? Win the next election. Don’t immolate yourself trying to save liberalism from itself.
Republicans should use their majority in the House to pass bills that actually do address the nation’s problems — its economic stagnation, rising energy and health care costs, mounting debt and so on. At the same time, they can keep blocking major new expansions of government.
[O]ffer to extend the debt ceiling through, say, May 1, in exchange for the Senate delivering a budget by that date — after four years of lawlessly refusing to produce one.Not much. But it would (a) highlight the Democrats’ fiscal recklessness, (b) force Senate Democrats to make public their fiscal choices and (c) keep the debt ceiling alive as an ongoing pressure point for future incremental demands. …Republicans should simply block what they can. Further tax hikes, for example.