More cracks in the Republican hostage plan. Yesterday, Glenn Kessler destroyed Amy Kremer’s claim that, “It is pure baloney to say we have to pay the bills for things Congress has already approved.” And today, Kremer’s group Tea Party Express responded, claiming that they really do think that the Debt Ceiling has to be raised.
This morning, Jonathan Chait wrote, Republicans: Okay, Maybe We Can’t Shoot the Hostage, But Maybe We Can Slap Him Around or Something. It reports on a Wall Street Journal OpEd by Keith Hennessey. In it, he floats an idea that is doubtless making the rounds at the Republican retreat: just raise the Debt Ceiling every three months or so.
This isn’t exactly new. Grover Norquist floated the idea of doing this back in November. He said that Republicans should just raise the Debt Ceiling according the Obama’s behavior, “Monthly if he’s good, weekly if he’s bad.” I don’t think there has been much coverage of just how offensive such talk is. He is suggesting that the president is a misbehaving child. But that’s conservatives: authoritarian followers when they’re in power; reactionary revolutionaries when they’re not. Anyway…
Chait goes on to note that this is a bizarre idea. This just sets up a situation where Republicans have to vote to raise the Debt Ceiling over and over again. And that just provides fodder for a primary challenge. But the problem is deeper than this:
Greg Sargent thinks it is similarly strange. But he provides the way forward:
What seems to be going on is that the Republicans are going through the process of understanding that the great leverage they thought they had—”Let’s destroy the economy!”—really wasn’t leverage at all. As I said yesterday, we will see what the next week brings. I think it will be the sound of the ceiling caving in.