The “read my lips” moment

It’s rather a neat trick. A Republican candidate caves on the debt limit while simultaneously telling Republicans they can’t cave:

We just can’t cave.

After months of posturing and failed leadership from President Obama and politicians of both parties, the debate on the debt limit is finally coming to a head.

I honestly believe we have reached a moment in history when the fate of our country is at a crossroads.

Down one road is an uncertain future marked by reckless spending that deepens the debt and deficits that are killing jobs and holding American prosperity hostage. The elites and experts tell us we have no choice but to accept the path of higher taxes and new borrowing. And naturally, they prophesize disaster if we don’t continue down the only path the rest of us know America can’t afford.

But this is the same argument we’ve heard before. Trillions of dollars in spending later and trillions more in the hole, it is time to change course and chart a new direction….

Raising the debt limit without fundamental reforms will tell the world our government has become so corrupted by spending that we are beyond redemption. Our allies will grow more anxious about what a diminished America means for their future. And our enemies will grow more emboldened.

The issue isn’t raising the debt limit “without fundamental reforms”. It is raising the debt limit, period. It doesn’t matter what excuses Republicans offer for it, if they vote to raise it, (as I expect they will), they will eminently merit the political crucifixion that awaits them. This is their “read my lips” moment and I fully expect them to follow the example of George Herbert Walker Bush.