So now this is happening. Republicans have begun to organize around the premise that a default would not be catastrophic.
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers are voicing increasing skepticism about dire warnings that failing to raise the debt ceiling would result in catastrophic default.
“I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast, that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Monday on CBS This Morning. “We won’t. We’ll continue to pay our interest.”
Coburn and other Republicans argue that the Treasury Department could prioritize interest payments while delaying others. The House has passed a bill requiring the Treasury to do just that.
That is plainly nuts. So nuts in fact, that something else must be at work. My guess is that the GOP has been backed into trying the Nixon’s “madman” gambit on the President. Here is the madman tactic as described by Wikipedia.
The madman theory was a primary characteristic of the foreign policy conducted by U.S. President Richard Nixon. His administration, the executive branch of the federal government of the United States from 1969 to 1974, attempted to make the leaders of other countries think Nixon was mad, and that his behavior was irrational and volatile. Fearing an unpredictable American response, leaders of hostile Communist Bloc nations would avoid provoking the United States.
Nixon explained the strategy to his White House Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman:
I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button” and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.
Similarly, the GOP is trying to bring Obama to the point of thinking, “for God’s sake, you know the GOP has descended into outright madness. We can’t restrain them and they are going to press down the nuclear button”
It is the only thing that makes sense to me right now.