No doubt by now you have seen Jon Huntsman and Joe Manchin, one a conservative Republican and the other a conservative Democrat, on TV. They have been named as national co-leaders for the so-called No Labels campaign. They advertise themselves, and their group, as “problem solvers.”
Although I admire almost any effort to solve the nation’s problems, I will say that a better label for the group, as currently oriented, would be, “No Balls.”
By that I mean this: There is only one way to get this Congress in a position to get anything meaningful done, and that is a willingness to tell the truth about why Washington is so dysfunctional.
Jon Huntsman was asked on CNN this afternoon if it was a good idea for Republicans to use the debt ceiling as leverage in the budget debate. Rather than tell the truth, that is, rather than say that such a thing would be dangerous and reckless and Republicans should not even think about it, he he-hawed around about “problem solving.”
That’s what happens when you get a couple of squishy conservatives together. They’re afraid to criticize other conservatives, even if those other conservatives have shown a willingness to ruin the economy in the name of their particular brand of conservatism. And nothing will change on the Republican side until they are made to pay a political price for their recklessness.
In the few minutes Huntsman and Manchin were on CNN, I bet I heard the “both sides are guilty” meme a thousand times. Nope. Both sides, at least in this case, are not guilty. As President Obama has demonstrated way too often, it is he and the Democrats who have been willing to compromise and the other side has mostly refused.
Yet, on CNN and elsewhere, the journalists who interview these two No Balls personalities, act like the hostage takers and those trying to prevent the hostage takers from shooting the hostage are morally on the same ground.
No balls journalists and no balls politicians. That’s how Republicans can get away with their obstruction, and what soon may be their destruction. No Balls should at least follow President Obama on this one issue, as he explained it today during his presser:
What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people; the threat that unless we get our way, unless you gut Medicare or Medicaid or, you know, otherwise slash things that the American people don’t believe should be slashed, that we’re going to threaten to wreck the entire economy.
If anyone from No Balls would at least acknowledge this simple reality, then I would award them a set.