Knee-jerk reactions to Mitch McConnell's surprise debt ceiling proposal weren't good: Newt Gingrich, for example, called it "an irresponsible surrender to big government." But upon further consideration, many are coming out of the woodwork to explain why this is actually a grand plan for the Grand Ol' Party:
- McConnell is basically formalizing the idea that "the debt ceiling is used to embarrass the party in power, but it’s not allowed to threaten the American economy," writes Ezra Klein in the Washington Post. If it passes, it will be "easier for the minority party to embarrass the majority party, but harder for them to threaten the economy. It’s win-win." Plus, it ensures that President Obama doesn't "win" the issue by becoming "the great Compromiser-in-Chief."
- Also in the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin thinks the problem is that "the chattering class" simply doesn't understand McConnell's proposal. The truth is, McConnell came up with "a mechanism to force Obama to put up cuts, send them to Congress and face 'default' if the president’s cuts don't get through," she writes. "In the process he makes 34 Democratic senators vote over and over again on cuts."
- In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal declares that McConnell is not selling out his party. "The debt ceiling is going to be increased one way or another, and the only question has been what, if anything, Republicans could get in return. If Mr. Obama insists on a tax increase, and Republicans won't vote for one, then what's the alternative to Mr. McConnell's maneuver?"
- But Erick Erickson at RedState.com is not convinced, calling the plan the "Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011" and urging people to send McConnell weasels "as testament to his treachery."