[We] can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.
I still think the GOP is behaving in this way to more strongly negotiate with Democrats who have proven time and again that they will give away the store in order to avoid Republican political marketing in the next election (that they will face anyway). The GOP has no reason to believe that the Democrats will draw a line in the sand and start making them pay the political price for their own policies because they haven't done so since the Kennedy administration. What evidence do the Republicans have that now will be different?
HT: Andrew Sullivan, and Patrick Appel.
But here's the problem: even if the GOP does take this nation to default, they will not pay a political price for it. They own the national narrative, and can (and will) lay it all at the feet of the Democrats. They control the redistricting process, and have built themselves safe seats under any circumstamances. Past political organization decisions on the part of the GOP (focus on suburbs, exurbs and rural areas) and Democrats (abandon suburbs, exurbs and rural areas) mean the Dems have no political infrastructure in a majority of Congressional districts. The Dems simply have no political answer to make to GOP mandated default. None.
And that gives this "odd protest movement" more leverage than they know what to do with.