It’s not ransom, it’s a game of chicken

While Harry Reid and Obama dash about flinging outrageous metaphors comparing the government shutdown and pending debt ceiling to arson and hostage taking, I think William Galston, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, may have hit upon a more accurate metaphor:

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images via WSJ

“In the classic game of chicken, two cars are racing toward a one-lane bridge from opposite directions. If one swerves to avoid a collision, the other wins. If both swerve, neither wins, but both live to race again. If neither swerves, the cars crash.

“Right now, that’s the structure of the struggle over the debt ceiling. Neither party is swerving or even slowing down. Each driver is assuming that the other must change course, and both have their reasons. President Obama and Senate Democrats believe that the public is more inclined to blame congressional Republicans for the impasse and that every day that passes will ratchet up the pressure on House Speaker John Boehner. Republicans are betting on public concerns about deficits and debt, on the continuing unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act, and on what they see as the president’s unwillingness to defend his own red lines when the going gets tough.”

The problem is that the American population is in the back seat and our sleeves are caught on the door handle.

18 comments on “It’s not ransom, it’s a game of chicken

  1. nyp says:

    Of course it is a hostage taking in which the Tea Party is holding the US economy for ransome. You guys have shut down the government and are threatening to have the US go over the cliff of a default unless the Democrats concede and agree to enormous policy concessions that go against their core political (and moral beliefs). And what are the Democrats demanding in return? Nothing – other than that the Republicans don’t shoot the hostage.

    You folks seem surprised that we will not negotiate with hostage-takers. That is because doing so only emboldens the hostage-taker to do it again, and again, and again, and again. And it permanently weakens the legitimacy of the federal contitutional order.

    Pass a clean funding resolution, and and authorize the US Treasury to pay the bills for the services Congress has already ordered the government to purchase.

  2. Vernon Clayson says:

    nyp states “we will not negotiate”, I wonder what part of “we” and “hostage” he considers himself? As nearly as I can tell the liberals/democrats/socialists/Marxists appeal to the low knowledge individuals, also the so called something for nothing welfare class. More than a few supposed intellectuals, the Hollywood set include themselves in the intellectual category, favor the liberals, etal., from their high position among the wealthy. nyp fits in there somewhere, he’s probably a card carrying red because he believes he’s picked the winners in this soft revolution – that’s opposed to a hard revolution with killings to effect total control of the population. Unless nyp has a vote in the congress he is no part of “we” nor a hostage.

  3. Nyp says:

    ah — the “welfare class”.

    More of the same from the Tea Party

  4. Steve says:

    Nyp, I call bullshit.

    over 40 bills sent to the Senate personally blocked by Harry. All it would have taken to make Boehner go to the right wing of his party and say to them :this is the best we are going to get so knock it off” was for Reid to put up a competing Senate bill and pass it. this would have resulted in a conference committee and the resulting compromised bill could then have been voted down in the Senate. This is the process that Harry personally obstructed over 40 times.

    I say again, it would have taken only one of those bills to move through the process months ago to prevent this, since Harry personally blocked each and every one its Harry who takes the blame.

    Harry and his Democrats are the obstruction that created the current situation. The Republicans, have nothing to lose by playing it out.

    You and I and everyone else are the ones who always pay. Your guys started it and they are finishing it now, they could have and should have ended it months ago.

  5. Steve says:

    “Your guys started it and they are finishing it now, they could have and should have ended it months ago.”

    Let me correct that:
    Months ago Republicans started it and your guys are finishing it now. Harry and the Democrats could have and should have ended it months ago.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    The “Tea Party” is a small faction within the conservatives, last year a thousand or so of them gathered peacefully in Harry Reid’s so-called hometown, I wonder how many fellow travelers would gather there to listen to him or speak up for him. It’s a dusty windblown nowhere place, if the senator would limit his public appearances to his so-called hometown who would go listen to his angry bursts belittling constitutional processes, although I suppose they could gather up a busload or two if the price were right. Back to factions, we hear nothing about factions within the Democrats, AKA the party of NO, one would think they all think and speak like Barry and Harry.

  7. Nyp says:

    I don’t know what you are talking about. What are these “40 bills”?

  8. Steve says:

    Stop with the obstruction Nyp. You know exactly what I am talking about.

  9. Athos says:

    petey is a fair representation of the progressives’ spiritual sickness. Lying, cheating, stealing are their norms. Truth cannot be tolerated, and the drive for more power results in their motto “the end justifies the means”.

    No amount of reason can “heal” these people. Example: how’s that “affordable” health care website working out, petey??

    The only solution is a spiritual awakening. (Come to Jesus, petey. It’s your only hope!)

  10. Athos says:

    For Harry THE CROOK Reid, I’m afraid there is NO hope.

    Bundle up your coffin, cause it’s cold down there. Crazy cold down there!!

  11. nyp says:

    Steve – I really don’t know what you are talking about. Are you referring to the 40+ bills the House Republicans passed to repeal health reform? If so, what does that have to do with anything? Did the Democrats in the Senate threaten to put the United States into default unless the Republicans took those votes back?
    What are you talking about?b

  12. Steve says:

    Stop being so obviously baiting, I SAID all the Senate had to do to prevent this was to mark up their own bill in response, the two go to committee and the Senate could vote down the result.

    Harry was obstructing the legislative process beginning months ago.

  13. nyp says:

    In response to what bill? The continuing resolutions that defunded ObamaCare? Or are you referring to the 40 previous votes to repeal ObamaCare? You really are not making any sense.
    Moreover, you appear not to realize that the Senate passed a budget last April and has been imploring the House Republicans to go to conference (not “committee”) to negotiate a compromise budget. The House Republicans refused, since they believed they would have more leverage to get what they wanted if they used the threat of a government shutdown and a default to extract concessions. There is no argument about that. They have been extremely explicit over the past six months in stating that they did not wish to have a conference committee negotiation because the use of a threatened shutdown and default would put them in a stronger position.

    Guess what — taking the US economy hostage has not worked out the way you guys planned. Pass a clean CR and authorize the Treasury Department to pay the bills for the services Congress has already ordered the government to purchase.

  14. Steve says:

    Act on ANY of them. One was all that was needed.It NEVER needed to go this far, Harry and your Democrats sat on house bills when they should have taken action in the Senate.

    Harry began the bill blocking.

    Stop being obstreperous, Nyp.

  15. nyp says:

    Huh? The House passes various bills to repeal a law that has already been enacted. The Senate declines to pass a similar repeal bill. So what? That is how our system normally operates. If people want the Senate to pass a bill that repeals already-enacted legislation, they should elect more Senators who agree with their views.

    But that has nothing whatsoever with a single party threatening to put the United States into default if their policy preferences are not enacted into law.

  16. Steve says:

    Wrong Nyp! The senate passes a version of the same bill that is different enough they need to go to committee, when the committee reaches its compromise bill then each house of Congress votes on it again. this time the compromise bill either fails or passes. If it fails, then the original cosigners and writer either try again or stop. In the case of ANY ONE of those bills (the earlier the better) the House Republican leadership would have been able to say with certainty it was a dead issue.

    Harry obstructing these things only encouraged the House to continue passing the same stuff over and over.

    That is THREE TIMES I have detailed it NYP! Now stop being so stubborn and accept your sides piece of the responsibility for the current situation.

  17. Winston Smith says:

    I love how an omnibus spending bill, which used to be rare, is now considered the norm, and anyone who doesn’t go along with it is an obstructionist. To me, a clean spending bill would not have a bunch of extraneous pork and crap thrown in just because it is thought that no one will vote against it, because it includes everything under the sun to “make everyone happy.” No wonder we’re $17 trillion in debt, after decades of irresponsible spending like this — by both parties.

    Democrats: the tax and spend party.
    Republicans: the borrow and spend party.

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

  18. Nyp says:

    “Mr. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Republicans were now willing to go to formal negotiations with Senate Democrats over a long-term, comprehensive budget framework, a move Republicans have resisted since April.”

    That mean Harry Ried!

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