October 8, 2013

UPDATE: My #GOP Shutdown Prediction: Obama Will Blink First, But If Not, Greek Style Forced Austerity Is Next

Here is where this is going.  If my working assumption that Obama is not prepared to deal with a post hit the debt ceiling world and that the GOP would be happy with such a universe is correct, the #GOP is going to mostly get its way. I think Obama is going to blink.  I think they are going to get right up to the debt ceiling deadline  and the House GOP are not going to back down, and he's going to blink.  He's blinked before and that argues for him blinking again. So far, he's played it like I would were I him, played it like somebody who has finally woke up to who he is dealing with, like he actually understands that his political foes absolutely want to crush his presidency. He's told the #GOP to pound sand.

But the WH has already hinted about being open on the timeframe of a CR.  He hinted first and that tiny questing shows his orientation to deal rather than take it to the edge. I think he'll offer a deal first and when he does, he's toast.  The only way he wins this political contest is to be every bit as willing to go over this cliff as the GOP is.  He's not facing re-election, maybe he's up for it, but his track record in these matters doesn't convince me he has the requisite ice water in his veins.

And those moderate republicans the MSM keeps saying would vote for a clean CR if they could get one? Not so much. They fear the base backlash they will surely get if they buck their leadership, a leadership itself looking fearfully over its shoulder at the base and asking "is this okay?" Take into account the House GOP's Dirty Thirty or so, who were all for a shutdown and say they are not backing down. They have whole communities of constituents, along with Rush, Hannity and the entire FOX Network telling them to stand fast or be put out of office at the very next primary. They say, hey, we won't default.  They say, "There is more time, the government can manage a prioritization of payments scenario if we don't raise the debt ceiling. It's all scare tactics coming from the administration of dire consequences if we don't raise the debt ceiling'.

Maybe it is scare tactics, but even assuming they can prioritize payments (this is the same government the GOP points out can't get health care websites to work, right?) that will only stave off the worst consequences of not raising the debt limit for a very short period.  After that, guess what? It's forced austerity, Grecian style baby. Because if Obama goes over the cliff, he will stave off default by making sure that those interest payments are made. But of course, then you start figuring out who you are not paying.

That's where this is going boys and girls.  And we already know what forced austerity looks like and who takes that hit, the middle classes and the working poor. Black folk are represented heavily in those two groups, with our grip on the former far more fragile than our presence in the latter.  The rich will ride austerity out just fine.  And the white working class base of the GOP, the ones cheering on the House Dirty Thirty, who will also take austerity in the teeth?  They are okay with that idea, I guess because they feel like "hey, a country boy (girl) can survive".

UPDATE: Well look at that. The Dems maintain unit discipline and the GOP caves like a house of cards.

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