First things first: I believe we should raise the debt ceiling. I think Republicans who think that not doing so would not cause major problems are wrong. In the short term there would be a big deal of economic pain for the US and it could even get us into another depression. Politically it could also be very bad for the Republican party – I said it could because I am not 100% convinced that the public would only blaime Republicans if a deal is not reached.
But in any case, as a conservative I am always cautious about uncertainty. That is why I still believe a deal will be made. Probably a smaller deal, where the limit is raised just enough to get us through 2012 and then whoever wins that election would deal with a longer term deal.
But there is a more interesting side of this whole debate. The fact that we have one political party (elected by a landslide last year) actually doing what they were elected to do is pretty amazing. What Republicans are doing now is in many ways unheard of. Specially when you look at the recent performaces of the Republican party (Medicare Part D will come back to bite for quite a long time).
What Republicans are doing, for better or worse, is to follow through on their election promises. Democrats in their own clumsy way are doing that as well – they are pushing back on Republicans purely on ideological grounds, not some specific technical issue. The country needs to understand and learn that.
2012 will be a very interesting year.