Cross Your Fingers That House Ultras Reject Short-Term Debt Ceiling Hike

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 10 2013 11:25 AM

Cross Your Fingers That House Ultras Reject Short-Term Debt Ceiling Hike

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 09: Guys, we need a plan.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Republican leaders are now floating the idea of a six-week increase in the debt ceiling, which would essentially allow the shutdown fight to continue as a war of hashtags and anecdotes about National Parks while forestalling the serious economic trauma of a debt ceiling breach. Substantively, this move would achieve nothing. Procedurally, it's an effort to keep doing what John Boehner does best—keep his caucus together.

That's why the best hope for the country is to keep your fingers crossed that the ultras in the House reject the plan.

The key to the whole drama thus far has been that while mainstream GOP representatives don't necessarily approve of the course the least-compromising segment of their caucus has chosen, they don't want to actually have a fight with them about it. The "true conservative" brand has enormous strength and prestige inside Republican Party politics, and very few members actually want to find themselves in an above-board intra-party fight in which they don't get to be the true conservatives.

But that's a problem for Boehner and Eric Cantor and their supporters. For the country, the leadership's focus on caucus unity is a disaster. As Robert Costa says, if this gambit fails then the leadership may have no choice other than to accept the need to split their caucus and come up with a plan that Democrats will also support. That's what the country needs—bipartisan center-out majorities to reopen the government and avoid default, not strategies built from the right-in whose purpose is to preserve the strength of the GOP caucus.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The Ludicrous Claims Women Are Pitched at “Egg Freezing Parties”

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
Business Insider
Oct. 1 2014 12:21 PM How One Entrepreneur Is Transforming Blood Testing
Oct. 1 2014 11:59 AM Ask a Homo: A Lesbian PDA FAQ
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 10:54 AM “I Need a Pair of Pants That Won’t Bore Me to Death” Troy Patterson talks about looking sharp, flat-top fades, and being Slate’s Gentleman Scholar.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 12:26 PM Where Do I Start With Leonard Cohen?
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM Watch a Crowd Go Wild When Steve Jobs Moves a Laptop in This 1999 Demonstration of WiFi
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 12:01 PM Rocky Snow
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.