If they think their behavior is inconsequential or that they are going to come out if this as heroes, they are sadly mistaken. The damage their shutdown threat is already doing to the markets and to the country should warn any sane person or group to change course. But not today’s Republicans.
…suppose it became clear that U.S. bonds weren’t safe, that America couldn’t be counted on to honor its debts after all. Suddenly, the whole system would be disrupted. Maybe, if we were lucky, financial institutions would quickly cobble together alternative arrangements. But it looks quite possible that default would create a huge financial crisis, dwarfing the crisis set off by the failure of Lehman Brothers five years ago.
No sane political system would run this kind of risk. But we don’t have a sane political system; we have a system in which a substantial number of Republicans believe that they can force President Obama to cancel health reform by threatening a government shutdown, a debt default, or both, and in which Republican leaders who know better are afraid to level with the party’s delusional wing. For they are delusional, about both the economics and the politics.
But don’t forget we’re dealing with climate change deniers. Some of them can’t accept that President Obama is an American citizen, or a Christian. Some of them think he’s a socialist hellbent on destroying the country. We are not talking about rational people.