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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:17 PM

TIME - "The Trillion Dollar Coin Fantasy: GOP Extremism Can’t Be Wished Away"

I think the last sentence hits the nail on the head: "If you don’t like it when Obama negotiates with terrorists, vote out the terrorists in 2014." This is why it drives me crazy when the media, including many liberals, give Republicans a free pass because they are insane, and focus their attacks on Democrats, because they are the only ones who are responsive to such pressure. Even worse, the media often pushes a false equivalency between Democrats and Republicans that effectively immunizes the Republicans from any accountability for their most bizarre stances.

http://swampland.time.com/2013/01/15/the-trillion-dollar-coin-fantasy-republican-extremism-cant-be-wished-away/

After I spent the last two weeks explaining that the Treasury would mint a second Joe Biden before it minted a trillion-dollar platinum coin, that President Obama would make Kim Kardashian his chief of staff before making the coin fantasy a reality, it would be easy for me to gloat. So I will! The coin was a self-evidently wackadoodle idea, and the pundits who fell in love with it should have remembered Obama isn’t in vaudeville. But there’s more to say about the coin farce than my four favorite words. (Count ‘em: I…told…you…so.) The debt ceiling disaster that the coin was supposed to avoid through metallic magic still looms. And the understandable impulses that led otherwise smart coiners to crusade for a WTF policy are producing equally muddled thinking about the next round of fiscal negotiations.

The idea of a trillion-dollar platinum coin was not quite as insane as it sounded. It was a response to the insanity of congressional Republicans, who have refused to raise the debt ceiling and let the U.S. pay its bills unless Democrats agree to massive cuts in Democratic priorities. The GOP is holding the economy hostage, using the threat of a confidence-destroying default to try to extract a policy ransom. The coin would have been an accounting trick designed to allow Obama to ignore the debt ceiling and keep fulfilling obligations Congress had already incurred. I could explain how, but it’s complex, which is why it was such a lousy idea; no politician wanted to explain why his response to a tough fiscal situation was to create a magic trillion-dollar coin out of thin air. Fortunately, now that the Obama Administration has officially rejected the coin, I don’t need to explain it.

It was always unrealistic to imagine that Obama could sidestep Republican extremism and obstructionism through a kooky loophole in monetary regulations. Big ideological battles don’t get settled through technicalities. But especially on the left, there is still a powerful urge to believe that Republican extremism and obstructionism can be sidestepped. If only Obama sticks to his guns and refuses to negotiate with the hostage-takers over the debt ceiling, the argument goes, there will be a righteous public backlash against GOP political terrorism, and eventually Republicans will be forced to cave.

In my taxonomy of lefty Obama-bashing, these pipe dreams constitute a mixture of Heighten The Contradictions Liberalism and Choose Your Own Adventure Liberalism. In fact, current polls suggest that refusing to raise the debt limit is pretty popular, especially in the heavily Republican districts that Republicans tend to represent. Maybe a catastrophic default would change that, but Obama recognizes that a catastrophe for which Republicans were blamed would still be a catastrophe. Those of us who believe the modern GOP is an extraordinarily irresponsible party, remarkably brazen in its rejection of reality and consistency, still have to acknowledge that Republicans control the House of Representatives and can filibuster legislation in the Senate. They cannot be sidestepped or ignored or wished away. Congressional elections have consequences, too.

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Reply TIME - "The Trillion Dollar Coin Fantasy: GOP Extremism Can’t Be Wished Away" (Original post)
TomCADem Jan 2013 OP
Cha Jan 2013 #1
Lil Missy Jan 2013 #2

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:10 AM

1. Thanks Tom.

It was fun playing around with the trillion dollar coin for awhile.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:47 AM

2. "Ivory Soap Liberals"

"Ivory Soap liberals - for whom 99.44% pure is never good enough."

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