Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The US Debt Ceiling Deadlock

We get to the point where three things have become clear:

(1) The US is being governed by two political factions that are unable, even under the most extreme circumstances, to put the nation's interests above their own partisan goals. Are you surprised? I'm not. This is the fulfillment of a trend that has started decades ago.

(2) The President is poorly equipped as a negotiator. His political strength, the reason why he got elected, is that he's a messianic politician. But messianism is normally the reason why political crises flourish. Are you surprised? Given his track history in politics, I'm not.

(3) The radicalization of the discourse among the supporters on the two sides of the aisle only proves that each faction is fully capable of energizing the cliques on their sides.

McArdle for example argued that:
Obama, meanwhile, seemed to be going out of his way to isolate Boehner from his more militant caucus members--praising Boehner's willingness to cut a deal, if only it weren't for the crazies on the far right. Perhaps this makes Obama look like a nice guy to people who don't understand the GOP intra-party dynamics, but of course, it poisons an already poisonous relationship between Boehner and the tea-partiers. If I were feeling uncharitable, I might argue that Obama seems to be willing to lower the chances of getting a deal, as long as he raises the chances that the other guys get the blame. And frankly, I'm not feeling very charitable right now.
Maybe they will yet reach an agreement in time. But all of this is evidence that we're living through an unordinary political moment that may have significant global economic consequences, which won't limit themselves to the relatively simple and eminently technical negotiations regarding debt ceilings.

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