The only “faction” that controls whether to default, remains president of the United States.
Conservatives should be happy that Speaker John Boehner will agree to a short-term raising of the debt limit while insisting that President Barack Obama and the Democrats compromise over a continuing budget resolution to end the government shutdown.
Not because the former removes the specter of an actual “default”, but rather because it removes any plausible Democratic Party or media (but I repeat myself) allegation that a Republican refusal to raise the debt ceiling could be the cause of any downward market activity before or after the Obama Treasury Department-declared deadline of October 17.
Any Republican strategy to force Obama and the Democrats to compromise on Obamacare, taxes, spending or even the Keystone XL pipeline in a continuing budget resolution or bill to raise the debt ceiling inevitably leads to a Cruz-like government shutdown cul-de-sac.
Charles Krauthammer has known this since he worked for Vice President Walter Mondale in the late 1970s and when he watched President Reagan escape from government shutdown-showdowns with a Democratic congress unscathed in the 1980s.
For the past two weeks, as tea partier conservatives in congress led by Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio have sought to de-fund Obamacare, we heard nary a word from any Fox News Special Report panel that the only “intelligent” course would obviously be to tie changes in the Affordable Care Act to a debt limit bill rather than a continuing budget resolution. No, we were told that Republicans “just can’t” win any battle that could lead to government shutdown because “Republicans don’t have the votes” in Congress and so can only hope to de-fund, repeal or amend the ACA by winning back the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016. Continue reading