This is Steve Benen's report on the hostage crisis that the Republican leadership is setting up.
One leading GOP lawmaker acknowledged that the Republican plan is “dangerous,” but the party doesn’t care. Another conceded that the GOP is inviting a “sovereign debt crisis,” but figures Obama would get the blame, so Republicans don’t care about that, either.It's a tough sell. Not many members of the public are buying the idea that the costs of Medicare should be shifted from the government through payroll taxes on workers to the elderly themselves. So what do the Republicans want to do about that? They are complaining that President Obama is telling the truth about their proposals. And worse, the public is listening to President Obama rather than Paul Ryan and the odious Newt Gingrich.
The key to an effective hostage strategy is creating a credible threat. When the hostage taker has a gun to the head of hostage, those expected to pay the ransom have to genuinely believe the bad guy really will pull the trigger. Yesterday, the Republican message to the president wasn’t subtle: we really will pull the trigger and then blame you for not paying the ransom.
As far as Republicans are concerned, there’s no need to compromise — they’re the ones with the gun and the hostage. Why strike a deal? If Obama caves, they get what they want. If Obama stands firm, and the GOP deliberately destroys the economy, Republicans will blame the president and destroy his chances of re-election. As far as the GOP leadership is concerned, all they have to do is wait.
When politicians are demanding that they be given the power to enact a widely unpopular and irrational policy in the face of widespread opposition or they will destroy the entire economic system and conducting a campaign made up of whines and propaganda lies those politicians are performing a personally motivated power-grab. They are NOT working to make America a better nation for Americans. They are desperate and both their patriotism and their sanity is questionable.