Obama and Boehner's debt ceiling dysfunction

July 26, 2011|By Luke Broadwater

You’ve been following the debt ceiling debate, right?

What? You haven’t been? Why not? Is it because watching people argue over long-term debt restructuring makes your eyes glaze over? We don’t blame you.

So while you’ve been doing something clearly more interesting — say, rearranging your [insert secret, obscure hobby here] collection — we’ve been following the “mano-a-mano” struggle between President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner.

We concede the whole debate has been, well, boring, but there are two reasons to pay attention: 1) There’s this minor matter about the collapse of the entire economy; and 2) There have been a lot of great one-liners (!).

Clearly, it was the one-liners that grabbed our attention. And they’ve been pretty good. Obama and Boehner have shown a wide range of emotion, each accused the other of negotiatory infidelity and they managed to drag the Senate and the whole of Washington into their dysfunctional relationship. We’ve compiled all the best zingers from this showdown for your reading pleasure.

Obama, hurt after Boehner apparently walked out of meeting with him: “I have been left at the altar a couple of times now.”

Boehner, explaining why he walked out (and his dessert obsession): “Dealing with the White House is like dealing with a bowl of Jell-O.”

Obama, frustrated Boehner wouldn’t accept his proposal: “Can they [Republicans] say ‘yes’ to anything?”

Boehner, explaining his cold feet: “The president won’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.”

Obama, showcasing his love of word-play: “The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government.”

Boehner, showcasing his love of blame-shifting: “It’s the president who walked away from his agreement and demanded more money at the last minute.”

Obama, lashing out at Washington and circuses: “When these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington.”

Boehner, lashing out at the Senate and accountants and gimmicks: “The Senate is struggling to pass a bill filled with phony accounting and Washington gimmicks.”

Who will win this debt ceiling showdown? We don’t know. We’re just glad Jell-O, circuses and wedding altars all made their way into the debate. I mean, if you can’t accuse your opponent of being a jellylike substance, you don’t really deserve to ruin the economy, do you?

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