“[W]hat none of these [conservative] critics have is an alternative strategy for achieving anything nearly as fiscally or politically beneficial as Mr. Boehner’s plan. The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
“This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees. The reality is that the debt limit will be raised one way or another, and the only issue now is with how much fiscal reform and what political fallout…
“If the Reid plan passes the Senate after Mr. Boehner’s plan failed in the House, Mr. Boehner would be forced to beseech Nancy Pelosi and the White House to deliver Democratic votes to raise the debt limit. Mr. Obama’s price could be the tax increases that the GOP has so far rejected. But who knows what else Mr. Obama would demand, and Congress might rush through, amid a political panic and financial market turmoil as the Treasury closed down government services to meet its debt obligations.”
“Democrats are trying to drive a debt-limit wedge between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
“The strategy is aimed at destroying Boehner’s leverage in the discussions and giving Democrats more say in whatever deal is struck on raising the nation’s debt ceiling…
“Democratic aides think McConnell will be willing to craft a compromise with Reid after the Senate defeats Boehner’s fallback plan, assuming the House can even pass it on Wednesday.
“But a senior GOP aide said a rumor that McConnell secretly has qualms with Boehner’s plan ‘isn’t true.'”
“Regardless of what it is supposed to do, what the national-debt ceiling actually does is enable any administration to get all the political benefits of runaway spending for the benefit of their favorite constituencies — and then invite the opposition party to share the blame, by either raising the national-debt ceiling or voting for unpopular cutbacks in spending or increases in taxes…
“What would happen if there were no national-debt-ceiling law?
“Those who got the political benefits from handing out trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money (plus borrowed money) would also get the clear and sole blame for the resulting skyrocketing national debt and all the unpopular consequences.”
Via the Right Scoop.