On the debt ceiling, Republicans will win if they're savvy enough to take the Democratic deal. But their longer term position is tenuous.
Everybody is talking about the latest David Brooks column, "The Mother of All No Brainers." A scathing attack on the GOP for its refusal to cut a deal on the debt ceiling, it's been called "remarkable" by political scientist Jonathan Bernstein, who says it's a big deal for the columnist to criticize fellow Republicans so harshly. Megan McArdle concurred with its contention that revenue increases are a necessary part of any bipartisan agreement to avoid catastrophic default. Tim Carney of The Washington Examiner says it's based on the false premise that Democrats are offering entitlement cuts in exchange for merely eliminating tax credits -- they're after increases in income tax rates too, he insists. Perhaps most notably, David Frum calls the column "a manifesto for our times," after explaining that "The Obama program can (and in large measure should) be repealed," but that default on debts "is not an acceptable tool of politics."
The column and the reactions to it are significant partly because one faction on the right, the establishment moderates, are sending a signal to Tea Party candidates and their supporters. They're saying, "We want you to win this game of chicken -- but whereas a faction on the right would rather crash than be first to swerve, that isn't the way we feel, and we'll blame you if there's an accident."