Several months ago when Republicans first made it clear they were planning to hold the debt ceiling hostage many wanted President Obama to issue a veto threat. Obama could have done this while still maintaining the deficit hawk image he so desperately craves with a statement like:
I would happy work on a bipartisan basis with the Republican party to reach a grand bargain on the deficit. I took the initiative to create my own deficit commission through executive order. But what I won’t negotiated while Republicans hold a gun to the head of the American economy and the full credit of the United States. I will veto anything besides a clean debt ceiling increase. We can deal with the deficit in its proper context, as part of the 2012 budget.
The reason this veto threat that progressive wanted wasn’t offered months ago, was basically that raising the debt ceiling was too important to play politics with. It was a must get done or else the economy would implode.
Recently though the President Obama is now threatening to veto any short term increase in the debt ceiling that doesn’t contain enough austerity for political reason.
It is the administration that has been warning how devastating it would be if the government default on August 2nd and how there is no plan B to get around the debt ceiling. Yet we are now to believe that if Speaker John Boehner passed a 30 day increase on July 29, Obama would veto it. A move that would send the country into the terrible consequences of default his administration has been warning against.
The White House is clearly more than willing to also play politics with and issue veto threats about the full credit of the United States. Unfortunately Obama has proven he won’t play politics to defend progressive principles. He will only do it to advance an his austerity agenda.