It’s unclear why Republicans think they’ll have more leverage on the debt ceiling in April — they can hardly explain it themselves.
Well, I'd be delighted to take a whack at it.
Republicans will have more leverage in April for the same reason that President Obama has more leverage now: They will have demonstrated "reasonableness" in a prelude to crisis. Default? Toppled credit? National ruin and global destruction? Heaven forbid that our country's delicate flower of fiscal responsibility would ever do such a thing. No, the GOP was reasonable, you see--so reasonable, or so its argument will go, that it forfeited an ideal chance to restrain Obama's intolerable profligacy.
After which the party tried its best to reason and work with the man. Oh how it labored on our fiscally conservative behalf. Yet Obama wouldn't listen, he wouldn't budge, he wouldn't be reasonable. So by April it was back to the ceiling's drawing board--praise Jesus, another ideal chance.
Unless of course Obama does listen and is content to come to many of the GOP's entitlement terms, which would be worse than a short-term default, and which would accomplish precisely what the GOP originally desired--and all without ever defaulting. Because the party proved itself "reasonable."
This is a trap, and it's a really nasty one. Such is my take on it. When has the modern Republican Party ever proved itself trustworthy or honorable or in any way genuinely concerned with the welfare of the American people? When has even its own survival translated into virtue?
Any three-month deal is only a ruse by which it reserves the right to inflict maximum damage later. It's what the GOP does. It's what the GOP is.