I try not to post when I'm upset about something because I prefer to write semi-reasoned analysis instead of crazed emotional heaving. But there comes a time when crazed emotional heaving is a perfectly rational thing to do. We are now in one of those times.
Why am I so freaked out, you ask? Because I think the GOP is really, really, really going to let the United States default. They've figured out that holding the debt ceiling hostage is the perfect way to achieve all of their ideological goals. This is their big shot to drown government in a bathtub and they are not going to miss it. And the only reason they can get away with this is because our supposed Democratic "leadership" does not have the guts to come right out and say that the Republicans are threatening to destroy the economy unless they get everything they want. You know that things have gotten bad when David Frum actually wishes Obama would be a more forceful in standing up to the GOP:
“Call me naive,” President Obama invited viewers of today’s press conference.
Mr. President, invitation accepted: Unless that performance today conceals some unimagined occult plan, yes, you are naive.
Congressional Republicans have refused to raise the debt limit unless the Obama Administration agrees to large and immediate spending cuts. They have their finger on the nuclear button and are threatening to detonate unless they get their way. It seems crazy that they would actually do it, but congressional Republicans have done a pretty good job of convincing the Administration (if not yet the financial markets) that they just might do it.
Obama has responded by entering into negotiations with the congressional Republicans. These negotiations have not gone well, largely because Republicans are united upon an all-spending-cuts, no-tax-increases approach to deficit reduction.