The Mind of a Hack

Scott Armstrong thinks Barack Obama has a secret plot to make the Republicans vote to push the country into default, helping his reelection chances. Seriously:

Allowing the country to go into a default is a risky strategy but the Obama team is desperate and by their thinking has little to lose by going for broke. For the first time in our history the nation would go into default and it would do so under Obama’s watch. However, the White House will count on the mainstream press to be an ally and attempt to lay/switch all of the blame unto the Republicans. So when seniors don’t get their social security checks it will be the Republicans’ fault; when interests rates rise and the markets crash, it will be the Republicans’ fault; when the dollar loses even more value and prices and unemployment rise even further, it will be the Republicans’ fault. In short all of the accumulated damage that has been done to the economy these past two and one half years plus all of the additional default harm will be cast by the White House/press as the consequence of the Republicans’ control of one third of the government for the last seven months.

Dare we imagine this could be their plan? If so,this cynical long shot strategy may pay off for the Democrats. However, enabling the default and following through with the consequences will serve to demonstrate the length the Democrats will go to maintain power and control. It should serve as a shocking display of total callousness towards the public good. Rest confident however, that’s not how the press will play it.

This is so stupid I can’t believe I’m wasting my time with a rebuttal. So be it.

First of all, it’s much more likely that a default would cost Obama the 2012 election.

Second of all, why on Earth wouldn’t Republicans deserve the blame if they failed to raise the debt ceiling and pushed the country into default?  Why would it be Barack Obama’s fault if House Republicans failed to raise the debt ceiling?

Barack Obama is not the obstacle to a deal. He has repeatedly signaled his intention to give away the store to Republicans. He has made it very clear that he is willing to sign a deficit reduction plan that is much more radically tilted toward spending cuts than any in recent history. Republicans are now in the comical position of rejecting their own plan.

What is actually happening is that John Boehner cannot find the votes in the House to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances, so he cannot agree to a deal on behalf of his caucus.  There are two obstacles preventing Republicans from saying Yes to any plan:

1) they will not accept even a penny in new revenues

2) a plurality of the House Republican caucus simply do not believe that the debt ceiling should be raised under any circumstances.  They have persuaded themselves that there will not be any consequences if we fail to raise the debt ceiling.

It is clear the House Republicans are the only obstacle to a deal.  And yet Scott’s powerful hack mind has twisted itself in knots to persuade itself that the hostage-takers are really the hostages. It is impossible for Republicans to be the hostages, because at any point they have the option of raising the debt ceiling.

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