The McConnell plan: These wingnuts are getting what they deserve

On Tuesday, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, proposed a convoluted fallback solution that would at least defuse the crisis his party created a few weeks ago by threatening to force the country into default on its national debts. The plan is no less cynical than the original threat, but if the House goes along, it may allow Washington, the credit markets and the American people to breathe a little easier…

Twice in the last few weeks, Republicans have walked away from proposals that would have cut trillions from federal spending, including entitlement programs, because Democrats insisted there could be no widespread cutting without tax revenue increases. Although some conservatives and presidential candidates are already accusing Mr. McConnell of surrendering, he and others in the party’s leadership apparently decided that charge would be easier to bear than raising taxes. That’s especially true now that the White House is warning that a default could halt Social Security checks.

All Mr. McConnell wants is the ability to yoke the debt increase to Mr. Obama, and his offer gives him two extra chances to do so. He hopes the maneuver will help his party win back the Senate and the White House, which remains a long shot. But at least he is no longer holding the economy hostage to his goals. It is now time for the House to reach a similar conclusion.