"Our government is dysfunctional. Everyone can see that. And that is why our Party, the Republican Party, demands that the President and Vice-President must resign immediately so that the Speaker of the House, as new President, can solve this economic crisis with the cooperation of Congress."
Oh, don't worry -- it hasn't happened yet. It would probably never happen -- I think. But it could happen. All that stands between that and this are our tattered political customs, our waning sense of what's "fair" in politics -- and that is increasingly like wearing armor made of tissue paper.
If you believe that the bottom line is that, in the end, Democrats must give way in order to protect the economy, then you believe that this Republican gambit would have to be allowed to succeed. Ditto with anything else you could imagine: elimination of abortion, elimination of the Voting Rights Act, etc. If you treat the Republicans like hostage takers, they will be more than happy to take hostages.
We are engaged in a negotiation with people who are either sociopathic imbeciles or who know how to do a fine imitation of ones. If you act like we have no power, then they will act like we have no power, and the fact that they don't call for Obama and Biden to resign is simply a matter of their not wanting to develop a bad reputation. I don't actually see why that stops them, though; for us to cave into the Republicans would be, among other things, bad politics.
So please, fellow Kosters -- don't make this into a contest over who does and who does not has "common sense," about who wants to avert economic disaster and who wants to embrace it. All of us have lines that we would not cross to get a deal. There are always fates worth then an economic disaster. I hope that to prove that I need do no more than ask you about your emotional response to the diary title and introductory block quote were. (Now, some of you may be so pissed off that you will say below that you'd welcome a President Boehner. Please don't go down that path; I don't have the patience for it right now.)
I hate to take my friend Crashing Vor to task (especially as this was not really the point of his Rec Listed diary, but wealthy Republicans will be just fine if the government shuts down. They have advisors that make sure that they are protected in such situations, as I discussed last night. To win this debate, we don't have to scare them about economics, we have to scare them about politics. Otherwise, what prevents the specter I present above?
Various suggestions have been made: we could call for the markets to be closed if there is no resolution of the crisis by July 31 -- so that people who want to bet on a brief plunge in stock prices are confused and hampered. We can call for legislation that would confiscate all investment profits made on bets on economic collapse (on the grounds that they would likely result from inside information.) We can demand our own reforms as a price of default -- be a little unreasonable by demanding federal preemption of new state rules that make voting impossible. Do things that the public will sympathize with, respect, and appreciate.
But let's stop calling those of us who want to risk an economic calamity -- only if necessary as an alternative to something worse -- as hotheads and fools. Unless you read the title to this diary and said to yourself "well, if that's what they demand, that's what we'll have to do," you too have your line that you won't cross. Let's join together now and shout what we can agree: that unreasonable Republican demands are the threat to the economy.
President Obama addresses the nation in two hours. Let's hope that he understands this. He too has a line that he won't cross. Once we establish that, then it's just a matter over whether avoiding his and Biden's resignations is more important than avoiding a massacre of entitlements. I think that they're both important.