Their political coup threatens to turn into an economic coup even though economic issues are being used for partisan political purposes.
Wall Street is doing some political bombing of its own to get the GOP leadership to try to rein in their renegade factions out to please a base, which is, in turn, funded by the billionaire Koch brothers and others with self-interested agendas of their own.
Schoolyard bullies have nothing on these guys who have been holding the political debate hostage to their simplistic message points, which are then drilled into the nodding minds of their base over the years by the likes of the Fox Views Network and their rightwing radio brigade.
The politicians will keep dancing and prancing until the music stops.
Our fearless President who has rarely seen a compromise he won't embrace is playing his usual double game, telling his supporters how firm he will be, and telling his avowed enemies he is willing to play in their pigpen if they would just be more "reasonable."
The whole point of their exercise is to posture at not being reasonable, to maintain the appearance of a united front to get as much as they can by way of concessions and goodies for their own districts while lambasting all government spending.
The New York Times points out that many of the Tea Party boosters on the hill are not shy about seeking government pork while they are blasting government excess,
"WASHINGTON: Freshman House Republicans who rode a wave of voter discontent into office last year vowed to stop out-of-control spending, but that has not stopped several of them from quietly trying to funnel millions of federal dollars into projects back home."
Progressive Democrats are furious and smell betrayal.
Here's what MoveOn had to say:
"Reports that the White House is negotiating a secret debt deal directly with House Republicans that could include deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security with limited or no immediate revenue increases are deeply troubling. Any deal that slashes programs for seniors and working families while doing nothing to make the rich and corporations pay their share is a total non-starter and Democrats in Congress should rule it out immediately.?
"The Democratic base did not work night and day to elect Democrats so that they could cave to Tea Party extremists who are intent on gutting the social safety net millions of us fought to establish and protect."
At the same time, Obama is following in Bill Clinton's footsteps, according to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich:
"After a bruising midterm election, the president moves to the political center. He distances himself from his Democratic base. He calls for cuts in Social Security and signs historic legislation ending a major entitlement program. He agrees to balance the budget with major cuts in domestic discretionary spending. He has a showdown with Republicans who threaten to bring government to its knees if their budget demands aren't met. He wins the showdown, successfully painting them as radicals. He goes on to win re-election.
Barack Obama in 2012? Maybe. But the president who actually did it was Bill Clinton."
This debt issue has been calculated to focus attention on government as the fount of all evil, and distract attention away from out of control corporate enrichment, Wall Street crimes and looting in form of higher and higher CEO bonuses and greed driven compensation schemes. There is little mention about how the failed and deceptive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drove the deficit up--with GOP backing of course!