Biden lost the debt negotiations

Despite whatever click-bait headlines you’re seeing on Fox News, and the predictable rage of rage-aholics, it’s been reported by the Wall Street Journal that Republicans and Democrats have basically reached a debt deal. Credit the skillful negotiations of Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the fumbling negotiations of President Joe Biden.

Biden’s opening card in this game was something he specializes in: nothing. He gambled this spring that he could portray the Republicans as intransigent extremists by refusing to negotiate with them, and the Republicans would wind up having to simply raise the debt ceiling without any concessions from the Democrats. More borrowed money to spend now and repay later, and no conditions on spending it.

Biden lost that gamble, bigly.

The loss was signaled early when, against all predictions, McCarthy managed to pass a Republican debt bill through the House. The bill certainly reflects Republican priorities, but it isn’t radical. It called for modest spending caps and redirection of funds away from the IRS – which is nobody’s friend – and toward the military.

Even then, Biden continued to refuse negotiations. He still thought his strategy of doing nothing was shrewd, and, besides, it dovetailed nicely with his practice of spending 40% of his time on vacation in Delaware. But doing nothing in response to a concrete offer on the table is not the way to look reasonable, is not good politics, and is not smart.

It was a transparent bluff.

Biden not only refused to negotiate a deal, but also continually reminded people of the dire consequences of the absence of one. He in effect said “The world may end, but it’s the fault of those people I refuse to talk to about the matter.”

Biden of course knew he had most of the media on his side, Heck, the media are overwhelmingly Democrats. And dishonest ones to boot – since they present their biased reporting as unbiased.

But even his media allies could not deal Biden a winning hand when he refused to play any cards. The American people know the economy is a mess, and they know it’s mainly the fault of the Democrats for printing up trillions of debt dollars and sending them to people as “pay” for failing to perform the work that would be necessary to deliver the goods and services on which they would spend those trillions.

More money chasing fewer goods is not just a recipe for inflation; it’s a near-definition of it.

But like a madman, or a Democrat, Biden said “We just need to print and send more trillions.” They think they can spend their way out of inflation by juicing demand and crimping supply even more.

It’s hard to figure whether the Democrats know that their scheme — to control inflation by printing up money to pay people not to work — is crazy voodoo. Do they practice this witchcraft for the purpose of covertly destroying the country? Is this burning fire and bubbling cauldron intentional?

Or are they truly sincere in mistakenly imagining they’re helping the country by encouraging people not to work by sending them free money we don’t have, but are just too stupid to realize their mistake?

I have no doubt that the hard left of George Soros and The Squad are indeed toiling and troubling to destroy America, and they know runaway inflation is a good weapon. On the other hand, I think the moderate left (yes, there are still a few) like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and some of your friends and neighbors are probably sincere in stupidly imagining they’re helping the country.

Biden himself is neither, or both. As for the first, he’s crazy all right, but not really trying to destroy the country. This country been very good to him and his family, or at least very good for him and his family.

As for the second, Biden is certainly stupid – he’s unquestionably the dimmest bulb of any American president, and that was even before the dementia set in – but he’s not sincere. He hasn’t a sincere bone in his body. Sincerity was crowded out long ago by grift, graft, greed, avarice, hair plugs, self-aggrandizing lies, bribery, tax-cheating, plagiarism, tooth caps, his hatred and disowning of his own granddaughter, and the sweet smell of other little girls’ hair.

Predictably, when the Republicans called out Biden on his refusal to negotiate the debt ceiling, and even the media couldn’t spin his refusal as anything but a lazy Biden bluff, he reversed course and started negotiating. But caving on your promise not to negotiate is not exactly the strongest card with which to start negotiations. His caving not only weakened him in the negotiations, but weakened him in the eyes of the people, if that’s possible.

The ultimate outcome of the belated negotiations was a deal where Biden lost both substantively and politically.  

I’ll admit that I’m glad Biden is a weak negotiator when he’s negotiating with McCarthy (who’s turning out better than advertised, eh?). But bear in mind that Biden is the same weak negotiator when negotiating American interests abroad.

Don’t hope for weakness in an American president, even one from the opposing political party. The world is too dangerous.

My book is now out, entitled “High Attitude – How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen.” It’s available on AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE.

I identify as infallible, and I expect you to agree

This has been a very emotional time for me. The time I’m referring to is the seven decades in which I have lived or, rather, until my recent discovery, merely existed.

From the time I was born, I was uncomfortable with the society-imposed notion that I was sometimes wrong. I knew deep down that it was a lie. I knew deeeeep down that I was an infallible trapped in a fallible body. I knew deep down that I’m always right.

It hurt. It hurt to be told by infalli-phobes that I was not infallible. How dare they! Teachers, parents, friends, and aye, even – especially – lovers, told me I was not perfect. They hurt me. That makes them wrong. And evil.  

I was … ohhhhh, it hurts to re-tell this … I was cut from the freshman baseball team when I was about 14. There I was – infallible at ball and all – and the shop teacher/coach – the shop teacher! – cut me. Thinkin’ I should sue his estate, but shop teachers tend to be judgment-proof. No matter. I’m totally over it now.

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Chad Klinger: A virtue-signaling dystopia? How ‘Mr. Aspen’ sees Aspen

In a 168-page commentary by a former wisenheimer local newspaper columnist, one doesn’t expect to find the breadth and depth of Alexis de Tocqueville or the wit and wisdom of H.L. Mencken when it comes to vibrant, insightful social analysis.

But in his newly-published book “High Attitude: How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen,” Glenn Beaton has his moments.

Here’s one of them: “Aspen and the rest of America changed in the ’60s, in some ways for the better but mostly for the worse. America recovered, but Aspen never did.”

I guess this explains why, when I first came to the valley 14 years ago for the first time in 30 years, I was seeing men my age looking and acting pretty much as they had, say, in 1970 — with pony tails, tie-dye, a religious belief in the redemptive power of art and “sustainability,” and an absolute giddiness in anticipation of the first pot dispensaries following the legalization of a drug that profits no man, apart from the money to be made.

Let’s face it: Aspen and its environs constitute a uniquely hybridized subculture that, like most others, is intoxicated by its own importance and largely dismissive of what it has taught itself to dislike.

Enter an alien intelligence, with origins in conservative Colorado Springs and a truly liberal education leading to endeavors in both civil engineering and the practice of law and ultimately to his present career as a freelance gadfly, who likes to hold one of those illuminated, magnifying cosmetic mirrors up to our faces, revealing, well, whatever it reveals.

And while he is at it, he also provides us with a basic literacy in our prior history. Like most people strolling down Main Street, I didn’t know Paepcke from Plato, as Beaton puts it; but thanks to his book, I’ve developed a considerable appreciation not only for Elizabeth and Walter Paepcke, but for people named Wheeler, Fiske, Litchfield, Pfeifer, Anderson, and other “founders” of present day life in Aspen.

And, alas, I am also far better acquainted with the adventures of people named Thompson (a person for whom “narcissism is too generous a term,” says Beaton), Braudis, Grabow, Sheen and Mueller, Sabich and Longet, Trump and Maples, multiple Kennedys, and many others — those who prompt Beaton to opine that “if America in the ’60s was like a conventional mom and dad who occasionally got drunk and passed out, (post-’60s) Aspen was like their 13-year-old kid who got into meth and never recovered.”

His history of the place, from Ferdinand Hayden’s 1873 survey through Skico’s contemporary paternalism, is basically a parade of foil characters who mirror each other’s virtues and vices. To appreciate the integrity of the Aspen Center for Physics, for example, one only need consider the steadily more partisan, virtue-signaling, woke drift of the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival and Aspen Music Festival and School.

To understand true, selfless, largely-anonymous virtue, as distinct from feel-good displays of moral superiority, one only need consider the men and women of Mountain Rescue Aspen.

It’s all there in front of us. What Glenn Beaton does is sharpen our vision and periodically allow us to laugh.

You can get the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. This review was published in The Aspen Times. Chad Klinger lives in Snowmass Village.