There is a human tendency for people to assume that others are just like they are and that can cause some very great difficulties when two diverse groups must communicate (or negotiate) with each other. Psychologists call that tendency "Projection."
This month in the United States, the Democrats, who believe that default would cause so much economic turmoil that it would be insane to choose that path, assume that the Republicans also think similarly. If, however, they are projecting they could be making a bit mistake. A catastrophic example of projection and some "what we have here is failure to communicate" unproductive bargaining sessions could soon produce a bad political situation for President Obama who will seek reelection next year.
Democratic politicians and liberal pundits seem reluctant to explore the ramifications of what becomes inevitable if the Republicans secretly wish to precipitate default. In the spirit of free wheeling and wide ranging informal analysis and strategy planning, let's cut to the chase and ask: "What if the Republicans want default?"
What would the Republicans have to gain and what would they have to loose, if that's what they get later this month?
For the Democrats, default will deliver a shitstorm of rancor and recriminations to the DNC headquarters.
Regret is a natural human tendency. (I'm sorry that I have to say that; but it's true.) Consequently if default occurs, some less than stalwart Democrats will lament the pain and chaos and ask the rhetorical question: "If Obama knew this was coming, shouldn't he have made more concessions?" (That ignores our basic premise that the Republicans preferred default and would ignore even a complete surrender on Obama's part. but people tend to act within the limits of natural human conduct and many surely would ask that question.)
That, in turn, will have the unfortunate effect of diminishing the number of Democratic Party member votes for Obama's reelection in November 2012. The precise number of voters thus lost is immaterial because if he looses: one that number will be irrelevant and two because of the degree of uncertainty caused by the unverifiable results from the electronic voting machines the precise number of disillusioned Democrats will be unable to be accurately measured.
That alone could be sufficient reason for the Republicans to make default an example of existential philosophy in action but there may be other bonus reasons for the Republicans to consciously work to make the default happen.
Default could bring on even more examples of mortgage loan defaults. (Can we get a public domain image of Snidely Whiplash holding the deed and tying Nel to the railroad tracks? ["Don't worry, Nel, I'll save you!"? Hah! Not bloody well likely.])
[Note: we heard a report on the radio (CBS radio news?) this week that banks have resumed the practice of issuing mortgage loans to unqualified buyers. Isn't there a classic movie that asserts that every time a bank repossesses a home, an angel gets its wings?]
Default is almost sure to provide the folks with surplus cash (Wouldn't that mostly be Republicans?) some juicy bargains in the stock market. When a stock market crash occurs there has to be one buyer each time some panic stricken stock holder sells. The buyers love a bargain.
Default will prove to be a "job-killer" and thus precipitate a very intense round of the blame game. Can't you just picture it? If default happens some top Republican can shrug off that Party's role in the disaster, point to Obama, and say: "What a man wants; he gets."
If the default precipitates chaos, which political party will Fox News hold responsible? If Rupert and Fox lead, is any member of the mainstream media club strong enough to buck the trend?
There must be a downside for the Republicans to consider. There is. If default occurs then the exchange rate will change and vacations in Paris (or Perth?) will cost slightly more (or as the rich folks so quaintly put it: "A bigger lump of chump-change").
Did President Obama make a real bad Freudian slip and give away the game when he said: "Don't call my bluff." Luke was holding nothing but he made them think he might have a pair of kings. There is a difference.
It used to be that the political pundit's mission was to assess for his audience all the most likely possible courses of action. If all the available commentary on the ramifications of the debt crisis proceeds from the assumption that the Republicans aren't crazy enough to let that happen, then American voters are being cheated out of the opportunity to consider the likely effects of one of the potential outcomes.
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