Democrats need to do an ad with nothing but this ransom note and the following quotes. Via Politico:
“Of course, it’s dangerous,” a House Republican close to Boehner said of the politics of a government default. “But it’s dangerous for everybody, especially the president. At the end of the day, [Obama] will have to give in.”
“Who has egg on their face if there is a sovereign debt crisis, House Republicans or the president?” asked another senior GOP lawmaker.
As Matt Yglesias notes, history seems to point toward sitting Presidents taking the hit for recalcitrant Congresses, particularly when they're Republican obstructors:
That said, the evidence from political science does appear to suggest that if Republican intransigence destroys the American economy, that the voters will respond to this by punishing the incumbent President and electing a Republican.
[begin rant] I have had just about enough of this nonsense. Forcing a sovereign debt crisis for cynical political gain is not just unpatriotic. It's treasonous. This is not a political football, it's serious business and the Very Serious People inside the Beltway had better come to their damn senses and figure that out. You don't hold hostages in this situation. I realize Republicans have gotten their way by stomping their tiny little hooves and bleating that they must, simply must, have concessions before they will do the right thing for this country, but the debt ceiling is not in that category.
It's a little like telling the Visa folks that you'll refuse to pay your balance until they lower your interest rate. Good luck with that. Same thing here, and it's time for these idiots and asshats in Congress to start acting like Americans first and Republicans second. [/end rant]
Desert Beacon agrees, and offers her thoughts on the strategy:
Another perspective might be that the national debt is the perfect opportunity for the Republicans to cash in on their Thirty Year Promise.
The 1980 Republican Platform made the promise: “Rather, we must offer broad new incentives to labor and capital to stimulate a great outpouring of private goods and services and to create an abundance of jobs. From America’s grass roots to the White House we will stand united as a party behind a bold program of tax rate reductions, spending restraints, and regulatory reforms that will inject new life into the economic bloodstream of this country.”
Look carefully at the three elements of the bold program: (1) tax rate reductions; (2) spending restraints; and (3) regulatory reforms. And, the Republicans promised their actions would be BOLD. They certainly are. However, these weren’t promises made in the interests of Main Street America, they were promises made to Wall Street and Corporate America.
The only way to turn the Republican treason away from a political loss for the President is for that ransom note to be circulated far and wide, to simplify the message and boil it down to this: Republicans are holding the US credit rating hostage until seniors' health care is cut, and cut deeply. Forget throwing Grandma off the cliff; they want to throw the whole damn country down it.