I am not convinced that a debt ceiling impasse would result in the predicted Armageddon or that signing on to a dubious bill would enhance the GOP's 2012 electoral prospects. But I am convinced that if we don't start working this debt down -- as opposed to whittling away at the rates of increase while the debt continues to expand -- we will experience real financial collapse, and sooner than we may think.
I'm also concerned that if this deal goes through, Obama will try to make the case that Republicans own the compromise bill as if they wrote it (because in part they did) and thereafter the terrible economy and the continuously exploding debt. If Republicans are so worried that Obama would successfully blame them for fallout from a ceiling impasse, why aren't they worried about being blamed if the compromise doesn't stop the growth of the debt, which it won't?
Indeed, no matter how inept Obama is at many things, he is a master at propaganda and negative campaigning. That's all he's got. The only policies he can bring himself to support cannot work. So as 2012 approaches, don't look for Obama to emphasize his record. Look for more deflection and scapegoating.
There is a historical parallel to Obama's approach. History professors agree that during his rise to power, Hitler built a coalition based on a negative assault on the Weimar Republic instead of a positive set of ideas or programs. His propaganda gurus introduced the idea of perpetual campaigning, in which they would focus on technique, not content.
In no other way am I comparing Obama to Nazis, but I am struck by the propaganda and campaigning parallels. Obama has no ideas except to foment phony crises, exploit real ones and demonize and scapegoat business, corporations, "the wealthy," insurance companies, oil companies, Republicans in general and -- President Bush.
Unlike some conservatives, I am confident that most people now see through Obama and are prepared to reject him as divisive, destructive and wholly without any solutions to our very serious problems. Republicans need to overcome the fear that now appears to be paralyzing them.