In the wake of the passage of Boehner 3.0, ABC’s Jake Tapper has shifted into some hardcore revisionism that would make the guys at the Ministry of Truth proud. He reports that the addition of the balanced budget amendment language that secured the bill’s skin-of-its-teeth passage ruined the chances for the failed version 2.0’s passage through the Senate:
Democrats close to the negotiating process say that House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), R-Ohio, has made his deficit reduction legislation a non-starter in the Senate by adding the Balanced Budget Amendment.
A case could be made that the previous incarnation of the Boehner bill might have become law. Let’s say come Monday no compromise legislation was close to being successfully negotiated, and the previous Boehner bill had passed and the Stock Market was tanking. Despite 53 Democratic Senators signing the letter saying they would oppose the bill, despite the president’s advisers having formally recommended that he veto it, there still seemed a chance it could become law. A last chance, but a chance.
Yeah, a case could be made for that notion – a really crappy case. The outlines of the newly coagulating conventional wisdom – that Boehner 2.0 would have passed the Democratic Senate and gotten President Obama’s signature, but that 3.0 never will and thus the Republicans are to blame – are becoming clear. However, to buy this nonsense requires dropping the last few days’ worth of Democratic leaders’ unequivocal statements rejecting 2.0 down the memory hole. For example, as Tapper’s own ABC News reported by quoting the Senate majority leader:
Speaker Boehner’s plan is not a compromise. It was written for the tea party, not the American people. Democrats will not vote for it. Democrats will not vote for it. Democrats will not vote for it. It’s dead on arrival in the Senate, if they get it out of the House,” Reid said following a meeting with his caucus today. “I hope my Republican colleagues will think long and hard about what direction they want to move. They can either support the tea party, that — and their plan, which has no chance of passing, or they can work with us to forge a responsible approach.
It’s pretty hard to miss the ambiguity inherent in the statement “no chance of passing.” And as for the President’s veto threat, well, an apparently entirely different Jake Tapper – who coincidentally also works at ABC News – reported the following on Tuesday:
The White House today issued a veto threat against the deficit reduction bill being offered by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, saying that were it to be “presented to the President, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill.”
House Republicans point out that the threat that “the President’s senior advisers would recommend” a veto is not the strongest one White House’s issue.
That language is “If the President were presented this bill for signature, he would veto it.”
Which is true.
And in that space, House Republicans see wiggle room for the president to sign the Boehner legislation, though no one is sure it will even pass the House, much less the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), D-Nev., declared it dead on arrival.
The White House insists Republicans are wrong about the wiggle room, but officials have been careful to avoid definitive language.
Hey, there’s that pesky “dead on arrival” language again! So, the President promised to veto it, but he would never have too because Harry Reid and his minions promised they would never, ever let it pass the Senate. Seems pretty clear, but maybe in journalism school they teach a different definition of “wiggle room.”
Tapper apparently thinks the Republicans should have understood that nothing the Democratic leaders say should be trusted and that their entire position of utter and inflexible opposition was simply a pose. Based on this, in Tapper’s view, the Republicans were somehow morally obligated to pass a bill that would have fatally split their caucus on the off chance that the opposition would do a 180 degree turn and take exactly the opposite position that they had been taking all week.
In other words, though the House Republicans have passed several debt ceiling bills, any default will be the GOP’s fault because the GOP was too dumb to understand that the Democrats were lying for partisan advantage.
It’s enough to give Big Brother a big headache.