“Our problem is we made a big deal about this for three months. How many Republicans have been on TV saying, ‘I’m not going to raise the debt limit.’ You know, Mitch [McConnell] says, ‘I’m not going to raise the debt limit unless we talk about Medicare.’ And I’ve said I’m not going to raise the debt limit until we do something about spending and entitlements. So we’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves….
“We shouldn’t have said that if we didn’t mean it….
The problem is, I still don’t know how they — and we — get out of the situation they’ve created. They’ve said so many things and talked so much trash and created such high expectations among their followers that walking it all back into the Land of Reason is going to be difficult.
Their choices at this point seem to be to eat some humble pie or throw that pie at the wall, and a lot of these people are by instinct pie-throwers. They’re really not into that whole “it takes a strong leader to compromise” thing.
How this plays out could also have a serious impact on the GOP presidential race. Imagine, for example, that we do go into default, serious economic consequences result and the Tea Party approach is widely discredited. Mitt Romney the moderate adult in the room begins to look a lot more attractive.
Conversely, imagine a scenario in which a deal gets cut and Tea Party Republicans are denied the emotionally satisfying, epic confrontation between good and evil that they seem to need. All of a sudden, the more conciliatory Romney is the last thing they want as a presidential candidate.
Interesting times, to say the least.
– Jay Bookman