Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is not my favorite Senator. Actually, he’s one of my least favorite, since he’s wrong about just about everything.
But he’s right about how to fix – or, more precisely, how not to fix – the debt ceiling problem.
“I think it’s terrible that we would have to raise more taxes,” Coburn said on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” “But if we’re going to get an agreement in Washington to fix our problems, when those of us that don’t want to raise taxes control the House of Representatives, don’t control the Senate, don’t control the White House — I think it’s pretty stupid and naive to think you’re going to win that battle.”
So … correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Senator Coburn has just called the entire Republican caucus in the House, up to and including Speaker Boehner, “stupid and naive.” Those are pretty harsh words, especially coming from a fellow party member.
And Coburn isn’t done.
[Coburn] continued his war of words with the anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, saying he “represents the silliness of our political situation today.”
“I would rather fix the country and lose a battle with Grover Norquist than send our country down the tubes and pay attention to a point of view that is just suicide,” Coburn said.
Well, someone needed to say it. Still, the fact that Tom Coburn, of all people, seems to be the only Republican in Washington talking sense is a remarkable and somewhat depressing fact.
Hey, maybe Scott Brown has something useful to say! He’s an “independent” Republican, always thinking outside the box and all, isn’t he? Maybe he’s got an ingenious plan up his sleeve that will do something about the impasse!
Oh, right. Never mind.
We find ourselves in a pretty dire situation. Debt ceiling talks collapsed yesterday, and it’s now looking exceedingly unlikely that any sort of “grand bargain” can be reached in time. Leaders from both parties are expected at the White House today at 11 a.m. to talk about how to avoid a default, which, if I had to guess, will end up looking something like the McConnell gambit that we’ve discussed previously. And God only knows what the markets will do when they open up on Monday morning – the news of the talks collapsing came after markets closed on Friday. If nothing constructive happens over the weekend, it could be ugly.
This never, ever should have been allowed to happen.