Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) plan for dealing with the debt ceiling imbroglio has been described in detail -- or at least as much detail as is possible when there's no legislative language -- just about everywhere (take a look at Jackie Calmes piece in the New York Times and Lori Montgomery's/Paul Kane's story in the Washington Post, for example) so there's no need for me to repeat it here.
Two quick comments:
What was Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) doing last week when he announced...proudly...that he would not allow an increase in the debt ceiling without significant cuts in Medicare?
At first blush this may not seem like that big of a deal given the continuing demands from the GOP leadership in the House for substantial spending cuts before it will allow a debt ceiling increase. But it is. This is not a call for reductions in general; it's insisting on cuts in an exceedingly popular specific program. And it's not just any specific program: It's Medicare, the currently most politically sensitive program of all and the one that, because of the Republican plan to make substantial reductions, cost the GOP a House seat in upstate New York just barely a week ago.
Over at Political Wire, Taegan Goddard has this truly extraordinary...and scary as hell...quote from an interview with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(KY) by National Journal. NJ asked McConnell about his goal for Republicans retaking the Senate:
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
This is either one of the most off-message quotes in U.S. political history or one of the most important indications of what's really ahead over the next two years. My guess is that it's the latter. McConnell is saying that it's not the economy, jobs, lowering the deficit, or any of the other issues on which the GOP has been campaigning: it's winning at the next election. Admittedly I'm reading into this, but it seems as if McConnell is saying that if the GOP can prevent anything from being accomplished over the next two year, if he can keep economy in the doldrums, and if he can blame the White House for it all, he will have succeeded.