Continued updates below!
Final Update: Here’s a question to ponder. If the Boehner plan was so bad that a number of conservatives couldn’t vote for it, why wasn’t he able to pick up a handful of Democrats to vote in favor? We all know they love voting for wretched legislation. Was it not wretched enough, or could it be that they are playing politics with the debt ceiling?
Update 10:33: According to The Hill, there will not be a vote tonight. Apparently, Speaker Boehner couldn’t get enough of his members to listen to Thomas Sowell’s advice. (See below)
Update 9:57: Speaker Boehner just had pizzas delivered. Ugh. I taped Burn Notice, I’m thinking I’ll watch it, while keeping an eye online. Then again, watching Pat Cadell and Hugh Hewitt nearly get in a fight was almost better than fiction.
Update 9:02 PM: While we await news from the Hill, read about how the Democrats set a Christmas Eve vote on raising the debt limit for TWO MONTHS in 2009, when they controlled the House and the Senate. They could have passed a long-term debt ceiling increase to get them through the 2012 election at that time, no? Oh, but then again, they had the 2010 mid-terms to worry about at the time. But now if the GOP doesn’t agree to a long term solution they will be stealing Christmas. These people are diabolical.
Update: Just as I was getting dinner on the table it was reported that the vote was delayed, and they voted on renaming a Post Office instead. The ToM post linked below has been updated and reports chaos on Capitol Hill. The Democrats must be thrilled.
On Fox News Brett Baier just reported that “people are scurrying about” in the House, and there will be a vote tonight. He also said conservative members are joining in prayer, and some said they will vote “no.”
Update 2: Jim Geraghty reports that Sarah Palin sent a message to GOP freshmen today. “If she were any clearer, they would have woken up with horse’s heads in their beds this morning.”
Update 3: The reference above was to Palin’s threat of primaries. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around a conservative running against Ann Marie Buerkle in a primary. I’m just not seeing it. And what about Allen West?
Update 4: While Democrats continue to do nothing but try to scare people, keep in mind that they could have raised the debt ceiling to a gagilion dollars last year when they controlled both chambers and the White House. Just sayin’. As of 7:31 there’s still no vote, and reports indicate Speaker Boehner could have a long night. The GOP can only lose 24 members, 22 officially say they will vote no, and a number are leaning no or undecided. Oh, and on television they’re reporting that Democrats are working on “Plan C.” Have we seen their A and B plans yet?
Update 5: Still no vote at 8:31 PM ET. And after reading about Plan C, if you think that will pass the House, when Boehner’s having such a tough time selling his plan I have a bridge to sell you.
Update 6: While we wait, I’ll ramble about why I’m not against Boehner’s plan even though it isn’t the best deal. People like you and me, we know what’s going on. We know the GOP has already passed the Ryan budget and Cut, Cap and Balance, both of which would have addressed the debt ceiling. We know the Democrats killed those bills. We know the Democrats could have raised the debt ceiling last year and they chose not to. We know who is right. We know the Democrats have not put a plan on paper, let alone passed a budget in the past couple of years.
The problem is, we are not the norm. Not everybody is as interested in politics as we are. They’re busy, they’re distracted, they don’t care all that much. They hear the soundbites on the morning shows or the evening news and think the Democrats have a plan and the Republicans are being unreasonable. Ann Coulter is explaining it as I type this sentence, she said “Republicans will be blamed.” She also explained that if Boehner’s plan is shot down the Tea Party will be blamed. To take it a step further, what if nothing passes, and Obama takes it upon himself to skirt Congress and raise the debt ceiling to $17 trillion or whatever he needs to get him through the next election? He’ll say the radical GOP forced his hand, the media will take his side, and he could go on to win the election next year. Not long ago someone said, (I don’t recall who it was) that if conservatives don’t like this, we should work harder to increase our numbers in Congress and put a conservative in the White House. I wish we’d stop attacking each other, and other conservatives and Republicans. Now Obama’s back to sitting on the sidelines, pretending he has a plan while letting the GOP eat each other alive.
According to The Other McCain, the House will be voting on Speaker Boehner’s debt reduction bill at 5:45 PM ET. At the link is video of Rep. Renee Ellmers announcing her support for the plan. A local news station just reported that Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle will also vote for the plan. Two solid conservative Republicans voting yes indicates that the bill has a good chance of passing the House. (No link at the local news, but Buerkle is quoted here saying compromise is leadership.)
Thomas Sowell made the case for it in a column earlier.
Is the Boehner legislation the best legislation possible? Of course not! You don’t get your heart’s desire when you control only one house of Congress and face a presidential veto.
The most basic fact of life is that we can make our choices only among the alternatives actually available. It is not idealism to ignore the limits of one’s power. Nor is it selling out one’s principles to recognize those limits at a given time and place, and get the best deal possible under those conditions.
That still leaves the option of working toward getting a better deal later, when the odds are more in your favor.
There would not be a United States of America today if George Washington’s army had not retreated and retreated and retreated, in the face of an overwhelmingly more powerful British military force bent on annihilating Washington’s troops.
Later, when the conditions were right for attack, General Washington attacked. But he would have had nothing to attack with if he had wasted his troops in battles that would have wiped them out.
Similar principles apply in politics. As Edmund Burke said, more than two centuries ago: “Preserving my principles unshaken, I reserve my activity for rational endeavors.”
Not that it matters, since Harry Reid (again) says it’s dead on arrival.
This post will be updated after the vote.
Update: The Camp of the Saints linked – thanks!