Appearing on Morning Joe earlier today, Newt Gingrich tells House Republicans that their debt limit bluff is "a dead loser" because it's obvious to everyone that they will ultimately cave:
They've got to find, in the House, a totally new strategy. For example, everybody talks about "Okay, here comes the debt ceiling." I think that's, frankly, a dead loser because in the end, you know what's going to happen. The whole national financial system is going to come into Washington by television and say "Oh my God, this would be a gigantic heart attack, the entire economy of the world will collapse, you guys can't be responsible." And they'll cave.It says something about the state of the current Republican Party that Newt Gingrich is the one delivering to them a dose of reality, but there you have it. And he's not alone:
“If the Republican House thinks they’re going to get a deal on entitlements as a result of getting a deal on the debt ceiling, they’re foolish,” said former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), co-chair of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. “[Obama’s] not about to do that and he knows that the Republican House isn’t going to be able to push us into default.”The fact that Republicans are almost certainly bluffing is part of the reason that President Obama should stand firm on his pledge to not negotiate over a debt limit increase, but it's not the only reason: Even if they weren't bluffing, it would be a grave mistake to reward threats of economic sabotage. So it doesn't really matter whether Republicans are merely pretending to be economic terrorists on the debt ceiling or if they actually are economic terrorists: In neither case should their threats and behavior be rewarded. And given what Gingrich and Gregg said, it's not just Democrats who see it that way.