Charles Krauthammer: The way out
People aren't that stupid. They know a gratuitous abuse of government (lockout) power when they see it. Moreover, Republicans have been passing partial funding bills for such things as national monuments and cancer research, forcing Harry Reid's Democratic Senate to kill them with a stone cold heart.
Nonsense. It's been so used dozens of times going back at least to 1973 when Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale tried to force campaign finance reform on President Nixon. Obama himself voted against raising the debt ceiling when he was a senator in 2006.
That's why, as the debt ceiling approaches, the initiative will increasingly swing to House Speaker John Boehner. The real question is: What will Boehner do with it?
His answer thus far has been peculiar: He simply wants the President to sit down and negotiate.
Stranger still. You cannot negotiate if you don't know what you want. The Republicans need to present a simple, broadly popular set of demands to attach to the debt ceiling. The President will deal. In his Tuesday press conference, he'd already abandoned his original ultimatum of give me a long-term extension or I don't budge. Now it's: Give me an extension of any length and I'll come to the table.
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