President Obama warns that the pigheadedness of House Republicans is going to lead to a catastrophic default on America's debt. The president's media Greek chorus, lined up behind him on stage in the shutdown drama, utters frightful lamentations right on cue.
Remember, though, this is all play-acting. Political play-acting. Whatever the merits or lack of merits of the House Republicans' role in the piece, the reality remains that when Obama warns of a catastrophic default, a reasonable translation of what he's saying is: “If my position doesn't prevail in this showdown, then, by God, I'LL take the nation over the edge into default!”
For the fact is a default will be HIS decision if there is one. He has full authority to priortize spending, and there's plenty of tax money coming in to pay interest on the debt, huge as those payments are. Even in partial shutdown mode, the governmnet is still raking in something like $250 billion a month, easily enough to keep up interest payments. Unless, of course, the president's priorities put business-as-usual waste and shenenigans ahead of that. You've heard of taking the position, “My way or the highway.” Obama's position — although the media seem highly averse to taking note of it — seems to be: “My way or the abyss!”
By the way, given the fiasco of the ObamaCare exchange signups so far, is it really all that unreasonable to suggest that individuals be given a delay like the corporate employers were? If not for a year, then maybe six months? Or at least three? Is such a compromise really too much ask? The man, after all, is not Zeus, despite impressions to the contrary you may have gleaned from the media. And is it really outrageous to suggest that members of Congress and their staffs be subjected to the same ObamaCare provisions the hoi polloi are?
Another question: Why was it OK for then-Sen. Obama in 2006 to vote against a debt extension when the debt was far smaller than now, but it's outrageously irresponsible for Republicans to insist on fiscal restraints today with interest payments having surpassed federal research and development expenditures?
House Republicans started out overplaying a weak hand with their urealistic (though not entirely unreasonable) demand for ObamaCare defunding. Now Obama — even with the media Greek chorus on stage behind him — seems to be overplaying what was once a strong hand but is looking weaker by the day.