Hangin’ tough

Predictions are hard, especially about the future, but I think this is right:

If Schelling is right, one might plausibly expect the next few days of negotiations to be shaped by two contradictory forces. On the one hand, House and Senate Democrats and the White House are likely to hang tough, because they anticipate that the House Republicans will have no choice but to fold. On the other hand, the House Republicans may have a strong incentive to double down, because they fear that if they concede this time around, their future leverage (including their leverage over the debt ceiling negotiations) will dwindle rapidly. This may give further reason to Republican moderates not to dissent from the party line (they may not like that line: but they do not want to damage their party’s negotiating strength).

The GOP may eventually fold on this, but I expect a double shot of Wolverines! over the next few days.

The wild ones

Martin Stutzman and the GOP House in movie form:

(A side note: I never knew the band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club took their name from this movie til now.)

I got to get my props

The kind of winger who’s built to last (via):

“We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” — Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)

Like a vine that keeps climbing higher

Ron Fournier asks:

Before I get to my answer of who broke Washington (which you can probably guess), let me do a little set-up. Maybe you’re a little more cool-headed than I am — that certainly wouldn’t surprise me — so maybe this way of thinking doesn’t work for you. Suppose that every time you had an argument for a while, you told the other person “fuck off”, and everyone agreed that both sides had done it and perhaps commented that this just showed the strength of your convictions, the unity of your caucus, and the fact that we live in a center-you nation. What would you do next? You might be emboldened to start slugging the other person in the face. And imagine that the reaction was all the more “both side do it”, center-you nation etc. If you were me, it might stop there — I was raised by totebaggers after all — but I’m not sure it would stop there for everyone, especially not for the sort of borderline sociopaths that national politics attracts.

I don’t know anything about the more violent and chaotic parts of the world, but I suspect that once people figure out they can stab/shoot whoever they want without negative repercussions and even be lauded as tough-minded principled Burkeans for stabbing/shooting….

So I think what broke Washington was the realization, on the part of much of the Republican party, especially its far right flank, that there would never be any negative consequences for anything it did, no matter how irresponsible and, yes, treasonous. Both sides do it, and if you do it harder, then that just proves this is a center-right nation. So why not default on the debt?

Once upon a mattress

As we get closer to the debt ceiling deadline, I have to ask (seriously): it it time to sock all of our savings under a mattress, at least for a few months?

I can’t be the only person asking this, right?