Republican lawmakers tell ABC's Jonathan Karl that a "doomsday plan is becoming the most likely scenario":
House Republicans would allow a vote [a Democratic vote; Republicans will only vote "present"] on extending the Bush middle class tax cuts ... and offer the President nothing more: no extension of the debt ceiling, nothing on unemployment, nothing on closing loopholes. Congress would recess for the holidays and the president would face a big battle early in the year over the debt ceiling.
Next time, it'll be 14th Amendment-invocation time, by presidential decree: "The validity of the public debt of the United States ... shall not be questioned."
One helluva chaotic mess, no doubt. Yet it's one helluva chaotic mess that would have been avoided, had President Obama forced the issue in 2011 (as I then recommended, to peals of scorn from more than a few readers). Permitting gangland government to prevail even once was not merely unwise at the time, it was a gilded invitation to the gangsters to ruthlessly extort us again and again.
Well, what's done is done and the president, it certainly seems, has learned his lesson. House Republicans are not what I introduced them as in this post: lawmakers. They're thugs. And one doesn't so much as negotiate with thugs as have it out with them--all the way, to the bloody end.