House Republicans think they've stumbled upon political gold—and as usual, they seem to think the prospect of Democrats trying to clean up another GOP fiasco is the punchline to a hilarious joke:
The idea is this: If House Republicans refuse to raise the debt limit, the treasury secretary should use his legal authority (authority that was provided to him by a Republican Congress) to mint a trillion dollar coin and deposit it at the Federal Reserve, thereby enabling the government to continue paying its bills despite the House GOP's obstruction. Once Congress got its act together and raised the debt limit, the coin would be melted, but until then, it would allow the government to continue paying its bills as required by law. This would certainly qualify as an extraordinary measure, but as Republicans themselves are implicitly conceding, it's perfectly legal. And compared to the alternative—going into default and setting off a global economic crisis—it's a no brainer.
We'll probably never face that choice because Republicans are already signaling that their debt limit gambit is a bluff, but in the event that we do, there's going to be a lot of Republicans secretly rooting for the president to mint that coin.