In an op-ed published this Monday in The Hill, former GOP Senator from New Hampshire Judd Gregg had some harsh words for his own party that are sure make a few waves.
“Most Americans these days are simply ignoring Republicans. And they should,” Gregg wrote. “The self-promotional babble of a few has become the mainstream of Republican political thought. It has marginalized the influence of the party to an appalling degree.”
Gregg became the latest in a growing chorus of Republicans who are slamming Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) along with their Tea Party allies in the House. Cruz’s unrealistic push to defund Obamacare which raises the risk of a government shutdown has widely been seen as an enormous liability to the GOP brand.
An approach to the debt ceiling that says one will not vote for its extension unless ObamaCare is defunded is the political equivalent of playing Russian roulette with all the chambers of the gun loaded. It is the ultimate no-win strategy.
You cannot in politics take a hostage you cannot shoot. That is what the debt ceiling is. At some point, the debt ceiling will have to be increased not because it is a good idea but because it is the only idea.
Defaulting on the nation’s obligations, which is the alternative to not increasing the debt ceiling, is not an option either substantively or politically.
A default would lead to some level of chaos in the debt markets, which would lead to a significant contraction in economic activity, which would lead to job losses, which would lead to higher spending by the federal government and lower tax revenues, which would lead to more debt.
Adding additional pressure to Cruz and Lee, the House passed a continuing resolution this Friday that will cut funding to Obamacare but will continue to provide funding to the government.
A poll released Monday found that a majority of Americans are opposed to shutting down the government or defaulting on the national debt as a means to defunding the new health care law.