Many House Republicans, including some key leaders, have decided they can live with a government shutdown but not with the threat of default. In the hours ahead, look for the GOP to seek a deal with President Obama and Democrats on at least a short-term increase in the debt limit, while standing firm on their requirement that a continuing resolution to fund the government must contain some significant measure to limit Obamacare. The bottom line: Republicans have discovered the world did not end when shutdown became a reality — but they’re not willing to risk it with the debt ceiling.
And, I think, a reasonable one.
When you have an opponent with whom you have multiple conflicts, it’s always good to step back and prioritise your agenda in view of your long-term goals. This also puts your opponent on the defensive, especially when a) your opponent doesn’t understand you and b) because of (a), your opponent doesn’t expect you to make such a move. Both are true in the case of Barack Obama.
Also, to some extent conceding on the debt ceiling is a throwaway concession, because the President has the constitutional authority to continue borrowing to ensure the financial integrity of the government. The fact that the current Occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is too chicken to go through with that is his problem.