Matthew O'Brien with another recommended piece:
Not Raising the Debt Ceiling: A Crisis, If We're Lucky, a Historical Calamity If We're Not
Madison understood something that many contemporary political commentators forget: Politicians, like other people, compromise because they have to, not because they want to. So he modeled a system that would compel them to bargain. Looking at the budget battles of the past few years, he would not be surprised to see stubbornness, partisanship, and rancor. He saw his share of those in the scorching political strife of the 1790s. But he might have been pleasantly surprised to see that, more than 200 years on, the system he helped design to force compromise is still working.
That cheerful narrative, however, is not the only way to see the events of the past few years. There is an alternative story, one in which Madison and the Constitution are not vindicated but betrayed. In this story, compromise has led to a triumph not of the Constitution but over it: a victory for self-serving politicians eager to expand the federal government and their own power far beyond the bounds Madison and the other founders imagined. Compromise, in this story, undermines, rather than underlies, the constitutional order, and the results of the budget debates of the past few years traduce rather than transmit the founders' vision.
Neither of those stories is by any means new. Both reach back to the founders' own era. But the second story, the one that would have patriots draw a line against compromise when the size of government is at issue, has lately enjoyed a major resurgence advanced by a prominent political insurgency — namely the Tea Party and its kin.
It used to be that you compromised, not because you want to, but because too many people would get hurt if you didn't, including yourself. Apparently, that no longer applies.
For all the ubiquity of political polarizing and heightened partisanship, no honest observer can deny that the rise of crisis governance and various forms of legislative hostage taking comes entirely from the GOP. I hesitate to state it so baldly because inevitably it cuts off the discussion with at least a sizable minority of the political nation. But there's no way to grapple with the issue without being clear on this single underlying reality.
And never forget: Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem
, Mann and Ornstein eighteen months ago.
Speaker Boehner's original plan was to pass a clean bill to fund the government and then attach the one-year delay of Obamacare to the debt-ceiling bill. It was a strategy that would minimize the chances of a shutdown but maximize the chances of a default.
Boehner wanted that strategy because he thought Republicans had more leverage on the debt limit than they do on the shutdown. A shutdown, after all, is just bad for the economy. A default is catastrophic for it. You'd have to be insanely reckless to permit the federal government to default on its debts. And Boehner believes that House Republicans are insanely reckless and that President Obama isn't.
But that strategy failed. Boehner's members refused to wait for the debt ceiling. They want their showdown now. And that's all for the better.
Get it out of their system, eh? But the problem is after that, they're still insanely reckless.
Today, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, is plagued by both his minority status and a primary challenge from the right. He has done little to bridge the gap between Republicans willing to fight to the end and those who want to move on. But the latest crop of Republican senators often seems impervious to pressure from their leaders.
NY Times/Deal Book
It was Mr. Dole, with his presidential ambitions affirmed and his control of his conference secure, who pulled the plug on Mr. Gingrich and his revolutionaries.
Mr. Dole said his biggest regret was not moving sooner. “I think we could have ended it a day or two earlier,” he said, “because Clinton was eating our lunch.”
Wall Street has wearily grown accustomed in recent years to periodic market flare-ups caused by fiscal fights in Washington.
But the current battle — and the looming threat of a government shutdown on Tuesday — is beginning to cause greater unease than past political disputes and may rattle markets when they reopen on Monday. Stocks in Japan closed down 2.06 percent on Monday, while major markets in Europe were down about 1 percent at midday. U.S. stock index futures were pointing to a lower opening on Monday.
For investors, the chief fear is that a government shutdown would set the stage for a more momentous battle over the so-called debt ceiling. If there is no agreement to raise the borrowing limit by mid-October, the government will not be able to issue more bonds and could default on its outstanding borrowing.
Some great comments here
'Really confused': Kaiser/NBC poll finds Americans angsting over health-care law
"I hate it," said Raymond Mitchell, 55, a lawyer and registered Republican who lives in Cape Pearl, Fla. "I think it's unconstitutional."
Mitchell is uninsured but says he's in good enough shape that paying out pocket for medical care isn't a burden. He has no plans to buy in during open enrollment -- and damn the consequences.
"Absolutely not," he said. "I think it's an illegal law. And I'm not paying the fine, or I'm going to try not to."
He contends the costs of covering everyone will be disproportionately shouldered by people like him.
"I think it's unfair and unjust to rob people who want to be healthy and make them pay for the people who are irresponsible, and who are drug addicts and have wild sex."
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