Friday, July 29, 2011

Beware Overreaching Interpretations of the Delayed Vote

Hey, sometimes I have something complicated to say, but this isn't one of them. Short and simple enough that it fits into the header above: beware overreaching interpretations of the delayed vote. As I write this, we don't know whether the House will wind up passing some version of Boehner's plan or not; if they do, 24 hours of chaos may turn out to have been entirely unimportant. And remember, it's not entirely clear that it matters at all whether the House passes it or not, since either way it's not going to get 50, let alone 60, in the Senate.

That's not to say that what happened yesterday clearly didn't matter, or even that it clearly mattered only on the margins. We mostly don't know yet. But it's also the case, and so far I've tried to duck this stuff but I've seen a little and I'm sure that there's plenty more out there, that we're getting plenty of What It All Means and What This Shows and What This Will Cause types of pieces, and I'd just caution everyone that what looks really important at the moment often fades a whole lot quicker than seems possible. Perhaps years from now yesterday will be the point at which something really significant happened in American politics and the Republican Party...but it's equally likely that three months from now yesterday will be entirely forgotten.

5 comments:

  1. Bravo, Mr. Bernstein. There is absolutely no real information here. The Republicans CANNOT do anything until the eleventh hour because if they do, they will be accused by the Tea Party of not fighting hard enough. So it's been obvious all along that nothing can happen until Monday. Nobody knows whether or not a deal will happen, and recent events tell us nothing about whether or not it will.

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  2. Politically speaking I think it is significant. American's are sick and tired of this wrangling and last night was a prime example of how the GOP doesn't know what it's doing.

    They have tried to say Obama can't solve the nations problems, but it's clear they have problems of their own.

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  3. Once the debt limit is raised none of the stuff that happened along the way will matter. At least, it never does to the average voter.

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  4. Remember that bailout thing we did two years ago where the government gave private companies a buttload of money so they wouldn't fail?

    Now that many private companies (I'm looking at you financial sector) are rolling in the profits once again, why not try that bailout thing in reverse? Then maybe corporations would become national heroes instead of villains.

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  5. Taylor Wray: What would that mean? TARP wasn't a gift. We bought equity and assets from them (at somewhat generous rates) and have been able to get a decent amount of money back in return. Wall Street has been very willing to lend us money at zero percent interest, but the whole point is that Congress refuses to let Wall Street lend us any more money. And without that, the government doesn't really have many "troubled assets" that they could easily pawn off on Wall Street. The government owns a lot of stuff, but it's physical real estate which isn't the sort of thing that can be sold easily to inject assets into the government.

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