The House voted down a measure to extend the debt ceiling last night. It was purely a symbolic gesture; an attempt by the GOP to get the Democrats on the record as failing to raise the limit and thus steering the economy into ruin. After all, the Republicans know all too well how to do that.
Such a transparent attempt to try to trap them was obvious — even the members who sponsored the bill voted against it. The GOP was trying to get the Democrats to do something as stupid as they did when they all voted to kill Medicare back in April and thereby handing the DNC several tons of campaign material for any election coming up between now and 2012. The Republicans are hoping that the American electorate is not paying much attention to the machinations in Washington, only to the end results, and if that means causing global economic trauma and putting the full faith and credit of the United States on the line to score a political point or win an election in upstate New York, they’ll do it in a heartbeat. Why the hell not?
As usual, the House Democrats were torn about this; after all, they are torn about everything. And as usual, taking the Republicans seriously about stuff like this only enables them.