With Republicans threatening an end to federal operations unless Democrats gut Obamacare, Scheiber expects a shutdown in October, since “neither side has an incentive to back down”:
In 2011, Obama was willing to give on his demand that revenue increases accompany spending cuts because he understood the apocalyptic consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling. In late 2012, Republicans knew that the alternative to a small tax increase was for taxes to rise automatically by a much larger amount. This time, on the other hand, every party to the negotiation has reason to welcome the government shutdown that would result if they can’t reach a deal.
He thinks a shutdown will be “a good thing,” since it “gives everyone a chance to sober up before we take on the substantially higher-stakes proposition of avoiding a debt default.” Elias Isquith is skeptical of this logic:
[W]hat I don’t understand is why we believe these Tea Party folks will be more susceptible to reason after a shutdown than they are now? We seem to be putting a lot of faith behind the power of public opinion — yet at the same time it’s well understood that many Republicans only fear a primary challenge from their right, and that top-line public opinion doesn’t sway them.