Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to allow President Barack Obama to raise the nation’s debt limit without corresponding spending cuts has split the Republican blogosphere into warring factions.
Online, a cadre of establishment-type conservatives largely aligned with Wall Street (and the Wall Street Journal) are backing McConnell’s move as “fiendishly clever,” while grass-roots Tea Party types pronounced themselves horrified and called for the Senate leader to be burned in effigy.
“It makes (Obama) almost wholly responsible for the debt hike, which will be a major political liability with the election around the corner and a plurality of voters still more worried about raising the ceiling than letting a default happen,” blogger Allahpundit wrote at Hot Air, who backs McConnell. “After a month of shrieking from lefty legal experts about how the Fourteenth Amendment supposedly lets O ignore the ceiling, here’s McConnell calling their bluff. You want to own America’s debt problem? Enjoy.”
And John Podhoretz wrote at Commentary Magazine’s blog that the McConnell plan is “almost fiendishly clever” and suggested it is inevitable.
“People can scream all they like, but some form of the McConnell proposal is what is almost certainly going to be the way we go,” Podhoretz wrote. “The 2012 election is the venue where this will all get sorted out.”
Grover Norquist initially defended the McConnell plan, before his American for Tax Reform sent the blog a statement arguing his remarks don’t constitute an endorsement of the plan.
Meanwhile, Tea Party-aligned bloggers who have been railing against debt limit increases were incensed with the McConnell proposal.
At Red State, Erick Erickson wrote that McConnell proposed “a historic capitulation” and suggested readers mail weasels to his Kentucky office. Erickson first suggested burning McConnell in effigy before toning down his rhetoric.
“Mitch McConnell wants to make it even easier by allowing Congress to go through a dog and pony show of feigned cuts that never get cut while allowing escalation of our national debt. So much for accusing Barack Obama of smoke and mirrors,” he wrote. “2014 cannot come soon enough to destroy the political future of this weasel.”
Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks encouraged the group’s million members to pressure McConnell to drop the proposal.
“We’ll be encouraging our million-plus members to help Sen. McConnell find his spine,” he wrote. “We are publishing his phone number and urging everyone to call it.”
And at Right Wing News, blogger John Hawkins said the McConnell deal should come with the minority leader’s resignation.
He wrote: “Senate Republicans, for once in your weaselly political lives, decide that you’re going to stand up, do what’s right for the country, and show the courage of your convictions instead of giving in because it’s hard or because you’re afraid of the media. If you can’t win this fight, even with the American people fully behind you demanding deficit reduction, what fight can you ever win?”
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