RUSH: I asked the question last hour: "Where in the world are the Republicans feeling this pressure to do a deal with Obama? Where is the pressure to cave to Obama on raising the debt ceiling? Where's the pressure coming from?" Pat Buchanan has the answer in a recent post at the Drudge Report. "By refusing to accept..." By the way, the title of his piece is: "An Establishment in Panic -- By refusing to accept tax increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, Republicans are behaving like 'fanatics,' writes David Brooks of The New York Times," the conservative columnist, by the way. "'anti-tax Republicans 'have no sense of moral decency,' he adds. They are 'willing to stain their nation's honor' to 'worship their idol.'" That would be Reagan.
"If this 'deal of the century' goes down, as he calls the Barack Obama offer, 'Republican fanaticism' will be the cause." That's David Brooks, an establishment guy, a Ruling Class guy. "'The GOP has become a cult' that has replaced reason with 'feverish' and 'cockamamie beliefs,' writes Richard Cohen of The Washington Post. The Republican 'presidential field (is) a virtual political Jonestown,' the Guyana site where more than 900 followers of the Peoples Temple drank the Kool-Aid that Rev. Jim Jones mixed for them" and died. "Does anyone think this an appropriate description of such mild-mannered men as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman?" They are presidential political Jonestown?
"'The GOP's Hezbollah Wing Is Now Fully in Control,' screams The New Republic over a recent lead editorial. Other columnists charge the GOP with holding America 'hostage'" and a gun to the American peoples' heads "by refusing to accept tax hikes to avert a default on the debt. What to make of this hysteria? The Establishment is in a panic. It has been jolted awake to the realization that the GOP House, if it can summon the courage to use it, is holding a weapon that could enable it to bridle forever the federal monster that consumes 25 percent of gross domestic product." So, there's our answer: The pressure that Boehner and the Republicans feel is establishment Washington who want their precious government and their god to grow.
By the way, this puts in perspective this stuff I mentioned yesterday: Matthews, Joan Walsh, Tina Brown calling all these people the "Wahhabis" of the Republican Party. It's all calculated to put pressure on them, all because they won't go along with a tax increase, all because they won't give in to Obama, all because they're willing to have the government default, which will not happen! In fact, Social Security checks will continue to go out. In all of this, we're being lied to by the Ruling Class left and right about the debt ceiling and what happens if it's not raised. "To bully and blackmail the GOP into surrendering the weapon and betraying its principles and signing on to new taxes, that establishment has unleashed rhetoric more befitting a war on terror than a political dispute.
"For how, exactly, are Republicans threatening the republic? The House has not said it will not raise the debt ceiling. It must and will. It has not said it will not accept budget cuts. It has indicated a willingness to accept the budget cuts agreed to in the Biden negotiations. Where the GOP has stood its ground is on tax increases. Is fanaticism behind this stance? Does this manifest insanity? How does this imperil the nation's honor and future [not raising taxes]? Behind the GOP opposition to tax hikes is the party's word given to the country that elected it in 2010, its political principles, its traditional view of what not to do when the nation is in a slump, and party history." You don’t raise taxes in a recession. You just don't.
"Fully 235 Republican House members signed a 2010 pledge not to raise taxes. And by giving their word they were rewarded with victory. Should they now dishonor that pledge, what would differentiate them from George H.W. Bush, who famously promised in 1988: 'Read my lips! No new taxes!' then went back on his word and took the party down to defeat with him? Second, the GOP is the party of small government and low taxes. Why would it agree to raise taxes on the private productive sector when federal spending, now at a peacetime record of 25 percent of GDP, is the problem?
"Third, America is in a slump, with 9 percent of the workforce unemployed," actually more than that as we know, "another 7 percent underemployed and the economy growing at a tepid 1.8 percent. "What school of economic thought ... says raising taxes in a slumping economy is the recipe for a return to prosperity? There is no such school. Why, when the whole country is talking about the need to create jobs, would Congress raise taxes on a private productive sector that employs six in seven Americans and is the creator of real jobs?" Why? "In 1982, President Reagan agreed to the same deal being offered the party today: three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases to which he assented.
"As he ruefully told [Pat Buchanan] more than once, he was lied to. He got one dollar in spending cuts for every three in tax increases. "What of the charge that the Republican House is holding America hostage, blackmailing the nation with a suicidal threat to throw us all into national default if it does not get its way? This smear is the precise opposite of the truth," as we've been saying over and over. "The Republican Party has not said it will refuse to raise the debt ceiling. ... The House has simply said it will not accept new taxes on a nation whose fiscal crisis comes from overspending.
"If the GOP keeps its word, raises the debt ceiling and accepts budget cuts agreed to in the Biden negotiations, the only people who can prevent the debt ceiling's being raised are Senate Democrats or Obama," and that is why they will cave, "in which case, they, not the GOP, will have thrown the nation into default." This is the position! The Republicans own this opportunity. All they've gotta do is stop talking about tax increases and revenue. "It is the establishment that is resorting to extortion, saying, in effect, to the House GOP: Give us the new taxes we demand, or Obama will veto the debt ceiling and we will all blame you for the default." Pat Buchanan says, "They're bluffing. The GOP should stand its ground -- and fix bayonets." Lock and load, in other words.
The Democrats are bluffing. The Ruling Class is bluffing. They are in a panicked hysteria, which itself is the indication of the weakness of their position. Boehner ought to be feeling no pressure from the people that count.