House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) told Politico, “I think it is possible that we would shut down the government to make sure President Obama understands that we’re serious.” (Of course, any member of Congress who would say something like that is by definition NOT serious).
GOP officials said more than half of their members are prepared to allow default unless Obama agrees to dramatic cuts he has repeatedly said he opposes. Many more members, including some party leaders, are prepared to shut down the government to make their point. House Speaker John Boehner “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their 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.”
…“For too long, the pitch was, we’ll deal with it next time,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a conservative from Utah. He said GOP lawmakers are prepared to shut things down or even default if Obama doesn’t bend on spending. “No one wants to default, but we are not going to continue to give the president a limitless credit card.”
Crazy as it sounds, many Republicans actually believe that a government shutdown is an acceptable course of action. You know what? Let them shut it down and let them pay the price. It’s not worth having a two-party system if one party is always trying to sabotage our country.
UPDATE: David Kurtz on TPM:
It’s increasingly looking like a government shutdown is the GOP’s fallback position on the debt ceiling fight. If a government default is too risky politically and economically, then a government shutdown still get Republicans a genuine primal scream moment, with arguably less severe consequences to the economy. As for the political consequences of a shutdown, Republicans seem more focused on the internal party politics involved than the larger body politic.
UPDATE: FDL’s Jon Walker:
Obama doesn’t want to get around the debt ceiling, he wants to beat the Republicans on it. Obama seems to believe he can win at a game of chicken, despite his rather abysmal track record so far.