All conservatives, especially those concerned with American national security, should support the Boehner Plan.
That plan, as Speaker Boehner himself understands, is far from perfect. But there is no reasonable prospect, given the current political balance of power in Washington, to get anything better on the debt ceiling issue. We cannot know exactly how financial markets will react to the various scenarios that might play out over the next several days, but the potential cost of finding out what the defeat of the Boehner Plan would be is not worth the risk.
If America’s prospects for economic recovery are gravely impaired, if President Obama is able to turn the inevitable turmoil to his political advantage and achieve re-election, and if we face four more years of his debilitating economic and national security policies, the safety and security of America in the world may be damaged irreparably.
In politics as in battle, conservatives should remember Carl von Clausewitz’s sage advice to be satisfied with identifying and achieving “the culminating point of victory.” That does not mean total victory, but rather the maximum that can be achieved in any particular engagement. We should not stop short, but neither should we risk what we have achieved by proceeding dangerously beyond that culminating point.
There are many more battles to be fought to rescue our economy and preserve our national defenses. But on this present issue, we have reached the culminating point of victory. Let’s not throw it away.
John R. Bolton
July 27, 2011