John Boehner, yesterday, on the debt limit:
The American people will not stand for such an increase unless it is accompanied by meaningful action by the President and Congress to cut spending and end the job-killing spending binge in Washington.
Then came Paul Ryan, the top GOPer on the House Budget Committee:
"Just refusing to vote for it, I don't think that's really a strategy," he said, noting that a failure to raise the ceiling could result in the nation defaulting on its debts to investors.
"Will the debt ceiling be raised? Does it have to be raised? Yes."
Basically, the GOP game plan is to simultaneously promise they won't block an increase in the debt limit while also saying they plan on holding it hostage. Obviously, that position is incoherent -- you can't rule out terrorism while simultaneously boasting that you've taken hostages.
I guess what they must be banking on is that Democrats will fear that Republicans are actually insane enough to plunge the American economy into crisis by destroying our credit worthiness. But aside from people like Michele Bachmann, even Republicans (witness the TARP vote of 2008) aren't that crazy. There's no reason to give into their demands -- they are running a bluff, and a bad one at that.