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Monday, September 23, 2013

Griper Blade: In Obamacare Defunding Fight, GOP's Best Option is to Take a Dive

"Most Americans these days are simply ignoring Republicans. And they should."

That's the first sentence of an op-ed former GOP Senator Judd Gregg, published in the capital newspaper The Hill. The subject is using the debt ceiling to defund Obamacare and the title, "Defunders are playing Russian roulette with GOP, writes ex-senator," makes it pretty clear he thinks it's a bad idea. Not that he's a fan of the Affordable Care Act -- he's just not willing to burn the nation down to get rid of it.
An approach to the debt ceiling that says one will not vote for its extension unless ObamaCare is defunded is the political equivalent of playing Russian roulette with all the chambers of the gun loaded. It is the ultimate no-win strategy.

You cannot in politics take a hostage you cannot shoot. That is what the debt ceiling is. At some point, the debt ceiling will have to be increased not because it is a good idea but because it is the only idea.

Defaulting on the nation’s obligations, which is the alternative to not increasing the debt ceiling, is not an option either substantively or politically. 
I.e., the problem with playing politics with "must pass" legislation is that it's making a threat with a doomsday machine; you can't set it off without destroying yourself in the process. The old cold war principle of mutually assured destruction applies -- if you go to war with this particular nuke, no one wins because no one survives...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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