Hopefully, this is a good sign.
Two influential conservative columnists are giving the GOP some good advice on the debt ceiling.
And that advice is this: Give it up, stop risking disaster, stop trying to change the US fiscal situation with just one house of Congress, and try to actually pass positive legislation and win some elections.
Philip Klein at The Washington Examiner called it "Maneuver X":
"The main character in the 1994 film 'Barcelona' describes a sales technique he calls Maneuver X. When facing reluctance on the part of the buyer, he says, a salesman should step back and remove all pressure to change the dynamic of the situation."
In practice that would mean:
"Consider, then, 'Maneuver X.' As modified to fit the current political environment, it would mean that Republicans remove all pressure. They should give Obama his debt limit increases without preconditions, and they shouldn't allow any government shutdowns."
Meanwhile, Republicans should use their majority in the House to pass bills that actually do address the nation's problems: its economic stagnation, rising energy and health care costs, mounting debt and so on.
At the same time, they can keep blocking major new expansions of government.
Now in a column up at The Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer basically says the same thing, that the GOP should give it up. The title of his note is: A new strategy for the GOP. He basically advocates the same thing, and says:
"Want to save the Republic? Win the next election. Don’t immolate yourself trying to save liberalism from itself. If your conservative philosophy is indeed right, winning will come. As Margaret Thatcher said serenely of the Labor Party socialists she later overthrew: 'They always run out of other people’s money.'"
Will the GOP listen to this advice?
In order for them to do so, they have to be convinced, as Krauthammer implies, that by stepping back and giving Obama what he wants, that they're somehow letting liberals hoist themselves by their own petard, and that it will become obvious that Obama is establishing a record of failure that will make him look bad.
The bigger point is that a growing number of folks are calling on the GOP to stop the kamikaze mission.
This reduces the odds that we're going to trip the wire.
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