That the congressional super committee was orchestrated to fail from the moment it was commissioned was a known to anyone paying attention (or reading RR). Now all the talk shows have come to that conclusion after interviewing various stiff-upper-lip members of that dysfunctional dozen.
This morning Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday asked a series of the most stupid and embarrassing questions of two members of the Kabuki troupe, one Dem and one Repub. I swear, any reader of these pages would have known the answers the two members of Congress were forced to give. Wallace acted as if he had no idea how negotiations are conducted. Example – he asked whether raising the start age for SS had been accepted or not by the Democrats, and a similar one of the Repub.
Both informed him, gently but firmly, that individual factors are not treated in that manner. Everything will be on the table until the very end. Each side will take turns presenting the other with a complete package, which then will be modified and counter presented. All factors and issues will always be taken within a total context. Someone should tell Chris before the week wears on.
And rather than trying to get success/failure predictions out of the participants – they were, of course, both hopeful and BSd their way through the answers – I would have asked them questions about the ongoing procedures and process. This would have given them an opportunity to answer between the lines.
A high hard one of my questions would have been – ‘Given that no Congress can compel, commit, or coerce a succeeding Congress, you all know that any deficit reductions you expect to achieve have to be achieved in the coming year (2012), and only in the coming year. The rest is just BS for us folks watching at home. Some of you were members of the preceding Congress that kicked the can to the present Congress. Now you are the kick receivers preparing to kick it to the next Congress of which many of you will also be members. In your deliberations, do you actually bring up this factor and talk about it? If so, how do you reconcile the endgame you’re headed for? If not, what do you think of the guy you see in the mirror in the morning?’
Just so no one is mistaken, this Kabuki performance (stylized and bizarre dance-drama) is predestined to go nowhere, and its mandated draconian alternatives (scheduled to kick in in 2013) will almost certainly be punted by the lame duck Congress after next November. Nuff said.
[21nov11 update] The long expected obituary and memo to the next generation reported in the WSJ -
Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), the co-chairs of the the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, said in a statement.
"Despite our inability to bridge the committee's significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve."
Now I'm ready to start entertaining words and wagers of hope that the legislated "sequestering" of $1.5T in deficit reductions will actually take place. Step right up!
[21nov11 more] Did everyone notice all the charges and counter charges about which party proposed what when? I would like to see a news organization request under FOIA the copies of the date/time stamped communications between the two sides. That should put an end to the partisan crap flying on the airwaves as to what really went on. If they had no written proposals, then the bastards did little beyond exchanging hot air for three months of which there remains nothing but partisan memories and self-serving recounts about an affair that was, at best, extra-legal.