Ezra Klein meditates on what he headlines as "The GOP’s dangerous debt-ceiling gamble," in which his use of the word "dangerous" is, to be sure, quite apt, but "gamble" is a misnomer. Because the GOP's hand is a sure loser.
As Klein notes, "many Hill Republicans" believe that threatening to stiff America's creditors and slam shut the government's doors and wreck the recovery and detonate a world financial collapse will "[give] them leverage" on renewed budget negotiations and reduce the president to a frightened, whimpering supplicant. You know, a bit like all that American firepower intimidated the North Vietnamese into begging for a deal, any deal--please, just please stop the pounding.
You may take all day, and I'll even give you the night as well, to conceive a worse, a dumber, a more mind-bendingly idiotic strategy to negotiate a 2013 budget victory over the White House--and I'll bet you can't do it. You can't, because there simply ain't nothin' more cretinous than what Klein accurately foreshadows as the GOP's imminent ploy.
Which is why, assuming there's something left of a GOP leadership structure by February or March, I'd wager the ploy will never see winter's twilight. For the moment it's a psychological face-saver--oh man, you wait, you just wait, Mr. President, yeah, you'll get yours--but when the time comes its breathtaking stupidity will be too self-evident, even to many Hill Republicans. Because it's no gamble. It's a sure loser.