There are those who say that it makes sense for Republicans to crash the economy in order to beat Obama in 2012. Others say that it doesn’t make sense for Republican incumbents to crash the economy since they will be up for re-election themselves.
I think there’s tension within the Republican caucus about this kind of thing. A pragmatist like Boehner is probably thinking about helping Republican Congressmen keep their seats. A true believer in the People’s Glorious Conservative Revolution may believe that blowing up the economy to unseat Obama is worth it even if it means losing Republican seats in the House.
I think that’s one of the biggest differences between the two parties right now, the Palinese Liberation Army types have no real analog on the left (I know there’s lefty true believers out there but they are completely marginalized and probably much fewer in number anyway). Revolutionaries are willing to be a lot more ruthless and take a lot more risks. Scott Walker’s move to abolish collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin might end up being good for Republicans long-term, but it’s bad for Walker’s own re-election prospects, he may even get recalled now. Walker probably didn’t expect the public to react like it did, but he had to expect a reaction. The greater glory of the conservative movement demanded that he do it anyway.