Republicans are beating Democrats at a game of chicken in the Senate
4 min read
fairly easy
Let's set aside the distant possibility of the United States government defaulting on its debt. Despite what you are reading and hearing, there is no real chance of that happening. The United States Congress is going to raise the debt ceiling. Whether this game of chicken has any real-world effect —...
whether it lowers the US rating among crediting agencies, as transpired the last time around — is a different matter.

Make no mistake, though. It's a game of chicken and the Republicans in the United States Senate are winning. I would say, if we're going to be honest with ourselves, that the Republicans are humiliating the Democrats. Democratic allies are laboring mightily to obscure that.

They are pointing the finger at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, accusing him of hypocrisy. When he was in charge, the Senate GOP raised the cap, no questions asked, with the help of the Democrats. Now that he's not, he and all of the Senate Republicans are voting against raising the cap, despite knowing full well that if it isn't lifted, it would mean economic calamity for the country and the world.

Don't be conned by the Democratic partisans, though. McConnell is not a hypocrite. To be a hypocrite, you have to say one thing but mean something else. McConnell means exactly what he says, to wit: There are two standards. One for his party. One for the other. If today one thing works for him, so be it. If tomorrow the same thing doesn't, so be it. Being a hypocrite requires having some degree of dedication to moral consistency. McConnell has no such dedication. Never did.

This is not to praise him, mind you. Elizabeth Warren was entirely correct in asking Wednesday, "Are we hostage to Republicans who are…
John Stoehr
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