Friday, September 27, 2013

The Stakes In "The Fight Of Obama's Life"

Jon Chait discusses the stakes in the showdown with the House Republican Crackpot Caucus over raising the debt ceiling:
If outsiders have failed to grasp the motivations of the House Republicans, puzzling at their odd redoubling of ideological fervor since November, they have likewise mistaken Obama. Everything I have seen from Obama suggests he understands that he cannot repeat his blunder of 2011, when he mistook the GOP’s debt-ceiling threat for an invitation to engage in normal fiscal bargaining.

Obama can’t tame the monster he created gradually; he has to kill it completely. Bargaining his way through this crisis would do Obama no good, even if he could get through it by offering up a meager or even symbolic concession. Anything that allows Republicans to believe they can trade a debt-ceiling threat for policy concessions simply creates a new hostage crisis the next time the debt ceiling comes up. This negotiation is Obama’s only chance to halt the routinization of debt-ceiling extortion.
Chait's piece should be required reading in the West Wing, though one hopes they've long ago internalized what the stakes are and why they can't cede an inch to the lunatics and anarchists in the Republican Party.

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