President Joe Biden had reason to spike the proverbial football tonight, declaring outright victory in his protracted fight with the right-wingers over the debt ceiling.
He didn’t go there … to his great credit.
Instead, the president used his Oval Office speech tonight to offer congratulations to Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell — in addition to Senate Majority leader Charles Schumer and House minority leader Hakeem Jefferies — for putting the good of the country over the wishes of the extremists within their own partisan caucuses.
Biden noted that the deal that ends the debt ceiling discussion for the next two years doesn’t please everyone but it does good for the whole nation.
That is the fuel that makes a representative democracy run, the president noted.
Yes, he took some credit for legislation he has helped push through a deeply divided Congress. And why not? He’s running for re-election and you can rest assured fully that whoever runs against him in 2024 will raise a ruckus over perceived errors the president has made.
I am not enough of a policy nerd to quibble over the specifics of the deal that Biden and McCarthy hammered out. I did fear, however, the consequences of failing to get this deal approved by Congress. They affect me directly: Social Security income, my retirement account and veterans’ protection hit me right in the gut. I did not want to lose any of it.
Thanks to the president and the speaker, I won’t. Neither will millions of other Americans.
Thanks to the president and the speaker for pulling us away from that proverbial cliff.