Does Pelosi want a debt ceiling crisis?
After watching Nancy Pelosi on Sunday, Jonathan Chait speculates that she just might:
Think through what happens if the government defaults on its debt. You have an economic crisis. People get mad at House Republicans, which helps Obama, but the economy also teeters, which ultimately hurts Obama but does not hurt House Democrats very much. Indeed, a default crisis would seem to increase the chances of the 2012 elections producing a Republican president and a Democratic House. I suspect Pelosi knows that.
Granted, this is a highly cynical view of Pelosi. But I would guess many members of Congress care more about keeping their seat and expanding their influence vs. a member of their party winning the White House. And if the economy has to suffer in the process, so be it. I will also add that GOP leaders on Capitol Hill think a debt crisis would definitely hurt the party — just like a government shutdown — not to mention the economy.
Already the media is framing Eric Cantor’s departure from the budget talks as a case of Rs putting the interests of the rich and oil companies ahead of that of the average American. And the White House seems to think playing the populist, class-warfare card is a winning strategy. So it seems that both Pelosi and Obama want to push this to the wall.