As a general proposition it'd be stupid to argue that Charles Krauthammer is not a smart guy. As a writer he's superb, demonstrating an impressive breadth of knowledge on a wide assortment of subjects, and politically he's at least smart enough to know that Ted Cruz is a walking plague to movement conservatism. So you have to wonder how such a sharp mind could--after Gallup's finding of Republicans' favorability desolation (albeit prior to NBC/WSJ's corroboration)--could conjure such a magnificent stupidity as this:
[S]hould Obama miscalculate the brinkmanship, he’ll become the first president to ever allow an outright default.... As president, he would take the blame. He can’t allow it.
It’s a bluff. He will blink.
That’s why, as the debt ceiling approaches, the initiative will increasingly swing to House Speaker John Boehner.
You need not wonder for long. In addition to being a first-rate propagandist of willing Orwellianism, Krauthammer also suffers from an aggravated case of blinding ideological brain; hell, he may even believe the above. And that, of course, is his intellectual Achilles' heel. He believes so strongly in President Obama's absolute wickedness, he can't possibly conceive its conspicuously triumphant course.
A tinge of ideology--that is, some principled mental structure from which to see, interpret and advise the world--is a good thing. One lesser alternative is a ruthlessly uncentered pragmatism, which leads to intellectual anarchy and, all too often, outcomes in unprincipled conflict. A far lesser alternative, however, is a deluge of ideology, which leads to suffocated conclusions like, oh, I don't know, "the initiative will increasingly swing to House Speaker John Boehner."
I've said it before but even some of the really smart just won't listen: Ideology of the undiluted sort makes you stupid.