Fuming over a fiscal cliff deal devoid of big spending cuts, the Republican Party is cranking up the crazy talk by pledging anew to hold America hostage in the brewing fight over raising the nation's debt ceiling.
Politico quotes GOP leaders in Congress as saying that "more than half" of Republicans in Congress are willing to let America default "unless Obama agrees to dramatic cuts he has repeatedly said he opposes." Still more Republicans are itching to shut down the federal government, a la Clinton and Gingrich in 1995-96, unless the president bows to their demands: Deep spending cuts to domestic programs, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but none to military spending.
What's most jarring about the GOP's willingness to default or grind the government to a halt is how brazenly political the party's reasons are for doing it, per Politico:
House Speaker John Boehner "may need a shutdown just to get it out of [House Republicans'] system," said a top GOP leadership adviser. "We might need to do that for member-management purposes—so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting."