From House Speaker John Boehner, on President Obama’s request to raise the debt ceiling:
There is a price for everything.
I know this seems unexceptional, but really, it’s not. It’s gobsmacking. Ever since the election, Republicans have been acting as if financial catastrophe is purely a problem for the president. To listen to Boehner, you’d think that avoiding the austerity crisis (nee fiscal cliff) is a partisan goal, not something that Republicans are supposed to care about for its own sake. Likewise, default on the national debt is the president’s problem, full stop. If he doesn’t want markets to panic, then he needs to cough up some goodies.
What’s even more gobsmacking is that nobody in the press seems to find this at all out of the ordinary. The leader of the opposition basically shrugs his shoulders in public and says that if the president doesn’t want the national economy to collapse, he’ll have to pay a price. The response is another collective shrug. That’s Republicans for you, it says.