Thursday, January 06, 2011

Joe Conason is ready to see the Democrats make a frontal assault on the crazy

Joe Conason has been on holiday break from his usual venues in the New York Observer and Salon. He's back, with a piece in the former called The GOP Is Holding the Economy Hostage, and It's Time to Call Their Bluff 01/06/2011. As the title indicates, he's ready to see the Democrats rumble with the Republicans:

In their ideological zeal, the new Republicans on Capitol Hill seem eager to gamble everything — the financial reputation of the United States, the international status of the dollar, even the chance of a worldwide depression — on a showdown over the national debt ceiling. What has been mostly a routine if unpleasant debate in years past, with each party blaming the other for the nation's rising indebtedness, is rapidly becoming a mortal threat to economic recovery. ...

No doubt the Obama White House, which too often prefers "bipartisanship" to principled confrontation, will be tempted to make such a deal. The problem is that cutting the budget so drastically will undo the stimulative effects of the December tax-and-spending agreement — and plunge the economy back into recession. The President loses either way.

Perhaps the time has come for the Democrats to adopt a different strategy. Let the Republicans govern, or misgovern. Don't rescue them from their own recklessness. Don't vote to raise the debt ceiling unless and until the Republican leadership supports the bill — and if they refuse, let them take the responsibility for the consequences. Let's see how long they can listen to the screaming of their major contributors on Wall Street as the world economy shudders. Make the hostage takers surrender this time. [my emphasis]
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