Now the House Republicans seem to be emerging from their Williamsburg retreat with a united approach to the debt ceiling issue. Raise the debt ceiling for three months and couple it with a cutoff of congressional pay if the Democratic-majority Senate fails to pass a budget, as it has for the last three years.

This is similar to the approach advocated by former Bush budget negotiator Keith Hennessey: Give Democrats an alternative between short-term debt limit increases with no immediate spending cuts and a long-term increase with serious spending cuts.

Senate Democrats are a more attractive target than the president. The NBC/WSJ poll shows only 16 percent with positive feelings toward Majority Leader Harry Reid and 28 percent with negative feelings…

But just as peacenik Democrats learned that the public will not tolerate cutting off defense spending when troops are in the field, so Tea Party Republicans seem to be learning that the public won’t tolerate defaulting on the national debt.