Jonathan Chait threads his way through the muddy thinking of Republican leaders. Remember: there aren’t supposed to be any barriers to a debt ceiling deal. Well…here it comes…
This is yet another dead-end Republican move, the kind of repetitive threat that appears to be ending Mitch McConnell’s hopes for keeping his Senate seat. He was once a shoo-in in his home state of Kentucky.
The more “sensible” Paul Ryan is right in there, believe it or not — going nuts in company with McConnell.
Clearly, they’re not going to win. The question is why they’re making a threat when Obama knows they can’t carry it out. Why wind up conservative activists for a new fight that’s doomed to failure? Nothing about this threat makes any sense.
Update: In a conservative talk radio interview, Ryan elaborates. Ryan really brings the crazy here:
With respect to the debt limit, you and I and our colleagues are going to have to meet early after the holidays to decide what’s the right course going forward in that. We’ve never just done nothing.
“We’ve never just done nothing”? Never? How about, I don’t know, the last time you raised the debt ceiling? …Chait,DailyIntel
Here’s what’s pushing McConnell’s buttons: his tea party rival at home in Kentucky.
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) primary opponent suggested that he would use the debt-ceiling fight this spring as leverage to defund ObamaCare.
In an interview with The Hill, Republican Matt Bevin (Ky.) reiterated his disappointment with congressional GOP leaders, especially their condemnation of outside conservative groups, and said he was “strongly, strongly in favor of doing anything possible” to repeal the healthcare law.
That should include refusing to raise the debt ceiling, he said.
“I do not think we should increase the debt ceiling without significant concessions, and if one of them is the repeal of ObamaCare, then terrific,” Bevin said. …TheHill