Ezra Klein favorably quotes a Wall Street analyst on the logic of rooting for a shutdown as a debt-limit release valve:
[I]f a shutdown occurs, we would be surprised if congressional Republicans would want to risk another difficult situation only a couple of weeks later. The upshot is that while a shutdown would be unnecessarily disruptive, it might actually ease passage of a debt limit increase.
If one assumes that logic still carried any weight with the House GOP, Klein and the analyst would be correct. In the immediate wake of a shutdown "business leaders, Wall Street, voters and even many pundits," notes Klein, "will begin exerting real political pressure to force a resolution before a default happens." Realizing they're beat, House Republicans would then capitulate.
But there's a pronounced problem contained in Klein's sensible logic of older-school politics: These "outside actors," he continues, would "[pressure] the Republican Party to cut a deal," which the outside actors would undoubtedly do. But cut a "deal" with whom? Harry Reid has made it clear he'll cut no deals, as has the White House, as it must. And given the generic correctness of John Boehner's belief that "House Republicans are insanely reckless," in Klein's words, does anyone imagine that, post-pressure and deal-less, they would simply surrender, as the saying goes, quietly?
This leads us to the probable resolution. Boehner will, in time, be forced to acknowledge as speaker that there's no such thing as "House Republicans": there are party Republicans, and then there are Tea Party irreconcilables--and it's time to cut loose the latter's control of the former.
Rep. Peter King has estimated that roughly two-thirds of his partisan colleagues agree with him (and Boehner) that the current House strategy is insane, but they're too cowered by Cruzian forces to speak up. As primaries loom, most will remain cowered. Yet some didn't win election or reelection by an obscenely gerrymandered margin, and it is they--in palsied alliance with House Democrats--who can break the deadlock.
At this superannuated point in Boehner's career, what, really, does he have to lose, other than the obvious? The key word is superannuated. Go play some more golf, John.
There is, however, one other possibility, which is almost too dreadful to ponder: a year of one- or two-month continuing resolutions and debt-ceiling lifts, a perpetual game of chicken, an unremitting course of governance-by-threat and extraordinary instability--at least another year, and possibly three, of ceaselessly destructive deadlock.
In brief, the effective end of Obama's presidency, while John Boehner retains his speakership.