Earlier, I wrote on this blog site that President Obama is rope-a-doping the GOP on the fiscal crisis with a three-step strategy.
Step one is completed. The House Republicans have shut down the U.S. government and the public is coming to realize that the GOP is using political blackmail to nullify the Affordable Car Act (Obamacare) -- a law that was democratically enacted in 2010, ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2012 and politically ratified by voters when they reelected President Obama by a 5 million vote majority.
Legislating by closing the government is unacceptable to most Americans by a 3 to 1 margin according to virtually every poll on the topic, even though half the population dislikes Obamacare.
And as anticipated, the president's refusal to nullify his signature piece of legislation has been met by a GOP threat to default on the national debt in mid-October, which takes us to the second stage of the rope-a-dope strategy.
To underline how dire the situation is, the president is warning business and media leaders that the Tea Party Republicans are serious about defaulting on the national debt and that Speaker Boehner may be unable to stop them.
As that prospect sinks in, warnings about a default from many sources will become sharper and panic will begin to emerge in the financial markets. The American people are coming to realize that a debt default means that the federal government could only pay bills with the cash that was coming in from taxes and other revenues, which is less than what is needed. Payments for social security, medicare, pensions, federal workers and contractors would have to be made slowly or as partial amounts or as promissory notes. Even more federal services would have to be cut. A repeat of the 2008 global financial meltdown would be likely.
Former President Clinton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, among many other political leaders are calling upon the President to use his authority under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to pay for the lawful debts the federal government has made.
Interestingly, the White House staff are arguing that such authority is doubtful and thus only the Congress can raise the debt ceiling. By that, the president is deflecting attention back to Speaker Boehner, Senator Ted Cruz and the majority of Republican House Members behind this double-barrel financial crisis.
The public clamor for the president to save the U.S. from default will increase in the days ahead.
I conclude that the president will use his constitutional authorities and pay the national debt and do so with the gratitude of the American people. With that, step two will be completed.
Step three will come when an outraged tea party realizes that the president has outwitted them politically. They are likely to double down once more and try to impeach President Obama.
What matters politically is that the tea party Republicans will be trying to impeach Barack Obama for not defaulting on the national debt, regardless of how they try to justify their actions.
With that, the tea party Republicans in the House are likely both to destroy their own reputations and tarnish moderate Republican officials and candidates ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections.
More important, the president will establish the precedent that laws will not be nullified because of political blackmail and the debt ceiling will become whatever level the Congress appropriates, thus removing its use as a tool of coercion.
In sum, the nation is facing a constitutional and fiscal crisis. The President has a strategy and an end game. The Congressional Republicans do not and are likely to pay a steep price for many years to come.