Who Would Americans Blame?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 15 2011 @ 5:42pm

by Patrick Appel

John Sides predicts that Obama will take a hit if we fail to raise the debt ceiling:

[E]ven though this fight over the debt ceiling is unusual, I have a hard time imagining that Obama is going to emerge unscathed if the ceiling isn’t lifted and the economy suffers. After all, incumbent politicians are punished by voters for a thousand trivial things, even losses in college football games. I am hardpressed to imagine that voters will suddenly exonerate Obama from possible economic disruptions and simply blame the GOP. To be clear, I don’t think either party would come out of a debt ceiling meltdown smelling like roses. But let’s not pretend that Obama will somehow avoid that.

Chait differs. Nate Silver says it's possible neither side would win:

The public would not trust either side to carry out its agenda. The next several election cycles would be extremely volatile. Prospects for independent candidates for president and for third parties, whether emerging from the center of American politics or from the wings, would improve significantly. And within the major parties, power would tend to transfer away from those who hold it.