In the game of tennis, there is a concept called unforced errors.  Basically it is when you do things to yourself that keep you from beating your opponent.  Bad serves, errant returns, it is what is in your control that you fail to control, that most harms your efforts to win.  There is nothing about the American economy right now that is not fixable, but a failure to raise the debt ceiling would be an all-time self own just for the opportunity to weaken Democratic prospects in the midterms.

Except it is clear it is Republicans deliberately holding the economy hostage, right?  They are poised to deliberately hit the ball directly into the net.  They have said so.  Explicitly.

Biden’s reached out to Republicans beyond McConnell; he called Sen. Susan Collins last week to congratulate the Mainer on her successful proposal to aid victims of directed-energy attacks. But she said they didn’t even discuss the debt ceiling.  “Republicans would vote to suspend the debt ceiling through the end of next year if the president abandoned the plans for this $3.5 trillion [bill],” Collins said in an interview.

..The Senate minority leader on Monday morning prodded the president to talk his party into raising the debt ceiling without the GOP, the first step in what may become a complicated back-and-forth. McConnell has warned for months that he won’t supply the votes to raise the nation’s borrowing limit even as the risk of a U.S. default spikes, and he reiterated in a new letter to Biden that he won’t help Democrats out of the jam.

As Biden and Democratic leaders focus on expansive and transformational government investments in health care, education and climate action, McConnell is making a risky bet that Democrats will fold under pressure from Biden as the debt deadline draws near. That will occur in just two weeks, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Raising the borrowing limit through reconciliation would take Congress at least a week, according to budget experts.

So there it is.  Starve the country and acquiesce to minority demands, and they will allow the economy to live.  It doesn’t matter that it could be any of our kids or loved ones that die in a bridge collapse due to disrepair, of which over 40,000 need evaluated or repaired.  It doesn’t matter that the country desperately needs help for education, in order to compete with the world.  No it just matters that the U.S. continues to worship at the altar of tax cuts for the wealthy.

I am not here to critique how the President is handling this politically, but the Republicans are betting that the country is stupid enough to listen to what they say, and blame Democrats anyway.

Since the Democrats have the House along with the Senate, it appears reconciliation will be the only option, which is not what they want to do, because then the Republicans can say the Democrats own the debt.  But they have to govern, however unpalatable it is.  However proving nobody lost a gamble on the estimation of the obliviousness of the voter, Morning Consult delivers us this piece of data:

  • Just 1 in 5 voters said they’d blame Republicans if the U.S. were to default on the national debt.
  • Democrats (42%) and independents (47%) were most likely to say both parties would share blame in the event of a default.
  • GOP voters would pin most of the blame on the Democratic Party, at 56%.

Now would somebody send some tots and pears to my poor wall.  It is being relentlessly assaulted by my vicious head, and I don’t know how to make it stop.


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