The old White House rope-a-dope

& I think the Republicans — at least those who are still of this world — have just been snookered. And I’m wondering if Muhammad Ali is a secret White House advisor.

Word from the looney bin Inside the Beltway has it that during today’s White House debt-ceiling meeting with contentious, obstructionist, childish Republicans — aka House Majority Leader Eric Cantor — our Prez slammed down his fist — at least figuratively —  and said he’d had it.

According to the Breaking News contingent on cable tv, the Prez’s spine, finally, stiffened. He told Cantor that unless the Republicans can take these rookie lunatic no-tax-pledge signers behind the woodshed and whup some sense into them, unless they can come to him with a compromise plan that combines cuts in spending with increases in tax revenues, he will not agree to any legislation raising the nation’s debt limit, and is prepared to risk his presidency on the fallout that would follow.

And, he said, he wants to see the compromise package by Friday. As in day after tomorrow.

The reports also say that Obama further assured the Republicans that he will not sign yet another temporary solution to the debt ceiling. In fact, he said, he will veto it. So, unless the Republicans — some of whom are starting to get very nervous, we’re told — can agree to at least some revenue increase, the United States, for the first time in its history, may not be able to pay its bills.

So the pressure is now upon the Republicans, at least the reasonable ones, and their compatriots running the corporate greed machines. To the politicians, they face prospect of angry seniors who won’t get their August Social Security payment, and because the President has been willing to deal all along, the Old Faction will have only the Grand Obstructionist Party to blame. Hell hath no fury like an old fart whose check doesn’t arrive. And the corporate fat cats face the prospect of a financial meltdown, which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the prospect of all those lost billion-dollar bonus checks.

So lots of those Mighty Righties, who thought they had the President on the ropes, who rejected a proposal to cut $4 trillion in spending, only to find the offer went down to $2 trillion, which they also rejected, only to find the last gasp was a face-saving measure proposed by the Republican leader of the Senate, which they’ve also rejected, are now the victims of a rope-a-dope whupping to rival that of Ali’s destruction of George Foreman in the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle.

All of a sudden, the Republicans are stunned by a five-punch combination and a big left hook on the jaw, and they’re staggering around the ring, about to hit the canvas. They are the ones looking at the prospect of becoming the bad boys of government — and getting nothing to show for it.

In my book, that’s a snooker.

& Suspecting that before Obama put his fist down, he may have had a sneak peek at the just-released Gallup Poll — which shows that a majority of Americans favor some tax increase to accompany spending cuts — I’m outta here.

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