After putting together a ‘Plan B’ House Speaker John Boehner decided to call off the vote last evening, a decision that sent markets tumbling.Dennis Gartman, publisher of The Gartman Letter went on a rant against Boehner’s fiscal cliff faux pas and dubbed it a win for president Obama. Here’s an excerpt:
“Speaker Boehner’s problem was with his own party, and was with the “Tea Party” Republicans who refused to go along with “Plan B,” preferring much more severe, much more austere, and much more doctrinaire legislation. As the phrase goes, “The Good has been sacrificed to the Perfect.” Many of these “Tea Party” Republicans won election handily and had no fear of losing their seats in the next election in two years except perhaps to potential candidates even further to their Right; hence they were quite prepared to vote against Boehner’s “Plan B” legislation, siding with the Democrats in the House. Having “counted” his votes, and knowing his plan would lose, Speaker Boehner took the supposed honorable way out and “pulled” the legislation from the floor before a more real humiliation took place.
One day earlier, during his impromptu press conference, President Obama and the Speaker seemed headed for some sort of agreement when the President said that what he had proposed and what Speaker Boehner had proposed were “actually pretty close.” He said that there appeared to be a “deal that can get done,” but he added that the deal could not get done “if every side wants 100 per cent.” The Tea Party Republicans have apparently decided that they wanted their 100 per cent; refused to support the Speaker’s position and doomed the country to the “Cliff.”
Immediately following the decision to withdraw his legislation from the House floor, stock index futures plunged, with the S&P futures at one point falling the equivalent of a 300+ point decline in the Dow. Since then, there has been some modest bounce from those panic lows but only very modest bounce.
At this point, with stock prices due to plunge on the opening of trade… the last day before the Christmas holiday..the Republicans are going to get the blame for sending the US to the holiday with these massive losses. The President has played a far better game of politics; the far right wing “Tea Party-ites” have played a game of lunacy, and although we do tend to have right-of-centre, Tea Party philosophies here at TGL, we know that what has transpired over-night is lunacy on the part of these legislators. They may be appeasing their constituencies back home, but they have put the country in jeopardy in the process. Defending the Good at the expense of the Perfect will prove to be very very bad politics.
…Boehner’s all-too-public humiliation last evening, his power has been badly damaged and indeed his position as Speaker is now in jeopardy. The more we consider this situation, the worse it seems. And despite it all, the dollar is actually trading better. Go figure.”
Boehner’s post-disaster press conference didn’t do much damage control.
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