With memories of last year's brutal debt-ceiling crisis very much on his mind, President Obama said last week, "We can't afford to go there again." He added, "The only thing the debt ceiling is good as a weapon for is destroying your credit rating.... I will not play that game."
This morning on Fox News, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) responded, "Yes, we will play that game."
Hostage taking again. Nothing has changed, the GOP still insists than Obama obey them. Benen is rather brutal in his assessment:
But even looking past all of that, the eight words to remember here are these: "We're not going to raise the debt ceiling." In other words, according to Lindsey Graham, Republicans intend to hurt Americans on purpose. They will, quite deliberately, hold the global economy and the full faith and credit of the United States hostage -- again -- until the president agrees to take benefits away from senior citizens.
Why this isn't a shocking national scandal is an ongoing mystery.
For what it's worth -- and to Lindsey Graham, it's probably not worth much -- American business leaders, investors, and financial sector are siding with Obama when it comes to the debt ceiling. In other words, "job creators" think Graham and his Republican allies are damaging the country with their antics, which have no precedent in American history.
That generally means something on the right, but for now, that's no longer the case.
As for the White House, it seems to be the principle should simple and repeated frequently: the president will not negotiate with those who would deliberately harm Americans.
If it's a fight Graham wants, then it's a fight he'll get. It's also a fight he'll lose, along with the rest of the GOP.