The congressional supercommittee, formally known as the The Joint Select Committee on Failure at Basic Task Execution, is a few days short of its deadline to produce a $1.2 trillion debt reduction plan and not likely to meet its deadline. Onward to the clumsy blame-shifting phase of the show!
One party refuses to increase revenues and the other refuses to make spending cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid unless the other side agrees to increase revenues. This is precisely where the debt ceiling deal negotiators got stuck this summer, at their jobs. And now, just as then, Capitol Hill's pathetic little pussy baby failures have begun whining en masse to the White House, demanding that President Obama come in and fix everything himself.
The problem with trying to forge solutions by delegating tasks to a special committee of 12 members of Congress is that those 12 members represent the same range of interests on the political spectrum that the full 535 members represent, thereby producing the same deadlock. While on the policy level I personally couldn't care less about, and would probably prefer, the supercommittee failing to reach a deal and then just canceling the triggers via legislation afterwards, it's still completely agonizing to watch these people fail in the precise fashion that everyone predicted with this latest monstrosity of their own creation, set up in response to a debt crisis of their own creation, when all anyone wants is a job. And members of Congress know that another excruciatingly public display of self-inflicted incompetence could very well lead all of them losing their seats in 2012.
So that's why they're now trying to toss this half-finished shit sandwich into Obama's lap, yet again, before time runs out. I'm speaking mainly of Republican legislators. From The Hill:
Republicans are calling for President Obama to jump into the deficit-reduction talks gripping Washington, reflecting the widespread view that the congressional supercommittee is now headed for a failure.
Lawmakers and congressional aides familiar with the deliberations say the talks have reached a hard impasse, with Republicans locked in an internal struggle over whether to agree to higher tax hikes to cut a deal.
"It's hard to see us getting a deal unless he comes in at the last minute," Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said of Obama, who is on a nine-day trip to the Pacific and not scheduled to return to Washington until Sunday.
"We're in the two-minute drill and closing in on a ‘Hail Mary' and the quarterback is on the sidelines."
First of all, President Obama is reachable by telephone. It's the future! Secondly, he is not a member of the Joint Select Committee of Failing at Every Dumb Thing You Try, because it's a made up of members of Congress, and the President of the United States is not a member of Congress. He is not a quarterback. The quarterbacks here are the two chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Punching Itself In the Groin, who are members of Congress, put in charge of this particular congressional endeavor.
And even though the Republicans are only pulling this "we need Obama's help!" schtick now because they know a deal's not likely to go through and they want to force Obama to assume public responsibility for the failure, so that he can then be blamed for triggered defense cuts and hating the military, the "WHERE'S OBAMA TO FIX THIS!" line, as usual, finds plenty of traction among the comatose anti-thinkers who comprise CNN's Best Political Team on Television. David Gergen, for example, tweeted yesterday, "With #supercommittee near failure, where are men who want to be President? Where are GOP candidates? Where's Obama? All AWOL." Well David Gergen, Obama is not AWOL. He's talking to world leaders, like presidents do, while he waits for Congress to finish its congressional plan on debt reduction that Congress is supposed to turn in. And this isn't the job of Republican presidential candidates to fix, because they are not members of the Joint Select Committee on Punching Yourself in the Face either. Did you know that David Gergen is a professor at Harvard? Of government and public policy!
Are members of Congress aware of how miserable they sound when they resort to begging Daddy to finish their fourth grade diorama projects for them, the night before they're due?
[Image via AP]