(I don’t mean the Eisenhower-Lincoln-Teddy Roosevelt kind, I mean the hardass Ted Cruz, Grover Norquist, Eric Cantor kind)
… if I were a Republican who was really ambitious and had adopted the values and attitudes of my sponsors, I would see this debt ceiling battle as possibly my party’s last stand. With the gullible generation dying off, my party is going to start losing seats gradually. It’s going to get harder and harder to do what I was elected to do, that is, kill the New Deal and that pesky Social Security.
I don’t have to kill it all by myself. All I have to do is cripple it enough that people start seeing it as welfare. I just have to drive a wedge between generations and make sure that younger people start seeing seniors as spoiled, bigoted, whiney, freeloaders. They’ve gotten a pass up to this point because my party has made sure that they feel that their own benefits are not under attack.
But if I don’t hold out for “entitlement reform”, which unsophisticated seniors who watch Fox think is medicaid, food stamps and student loans or something for younger people who haven’t had to “build character”, then I haven’t done my job. And if that means that the US has to default on its loans to generate enough of a crisis that cutting social security and sending it on its way towards oblivion is presented as the ONLY option for saving all of us from catastrophe, then I will have fulfilled my mission and my sponsors will reward me generously even if my party loses in the next mid-term election. In fact, sacrificing my party is Ok. We’ll just become like the House of Lords or something for awhile and let the rifts in the Democratic party deal with our new normal.
So, bring on the default. What do I care? This is what I was brought up and indoctrinated to do for the past 80 years. There is nothing more insidious than Social Security and Medicare. They’ve got to go even if we have to sacrifice our political careers and bring the world’s economy to a screeching halt. The general public still doesn’t really get what we are up to. It thinks this is about the deficit. That’s fine. They won’t know what hit them. Time is fleeting but it’s still on our side and nothing will deter us or deflect us from our goal.
Now, if I were a Democrat, I’d stop calling Republicans crazy.