A Glimmer of Hope from the Debt Ceiling Vote

by Paul Hogarth on August 2, 2011

Yesterday’s debt ceiling “compromise” – which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 269-161 – was the product of right-wing extortion, enabled by a President who should be found guilty of political malpractice. It will plunge the country into a further recession without extending unemployment benefits, jeopardize Social Security and Medicare and allow corporations to continue paying nothing. But if there’s one glimmer of hope from yesterday’s vote, it’s that Barack Obama owes his victory to Republicans. Half the House Democrats voted against it (a 95-95 vote) – and while a few Tea Party extremists grumbled about it, the vast majority of Republicans supported it anyway. With a Beltway media obsessed with ignoring how far right this debate has gone, it is now impossible to paint it as anything but a huge Republican victory. Obama’s liberal apologists can no longer look at what happened, and truthfully defend the guy. He is an anti-progressive triangulator, through and through. I was once an Obama defender, but his capitulation on health care in December 2009 convinced me he’d become the Clinton I feared – and his caving on the Bush tax cuts in December 2010 cemented the Reagan legacy. With yesterday’s debt ceiling vote, Barack Obama is now closer to John Boehner than to Nancy Pelosi.

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