On 8 October 2013, National Journal headlined, "Poll: Most Americans Don't Understand the Debt Ceiling," and reported that their poll of 1,000 adults showed that, "More than twice as many Americans believe lifting the limit means authorizing more borrowing "for future expenditures' than believe it means paying off the debts [the federal government] has already accumulated' -- 62 percent to 28 percent, respectively." Among Republicans, that 62% figure was instead 73%. Furthermore, this basic ignorance about the debt-limit was higher as a person's education-level was lower. Consequently, the aristocracy's suckers (moderate-to-low-income conservatives) believed falsehoods at a much higher rate than did other people. Whites trusted the Republicans more than they trusted Democrats on this issue, but everyone else trusted Democrats more. Overall, by 45% to 37%, Obama's position was trusted more than the Republican House's position. The next day, the AP bannered "AP-GfK Poll: Republicans Get Most Blame for Shutdown," and reported that, "People seem conflicted or confused about the showdown." However, on October 8th, Kristin Roberts at National Journal, clarified what President Obama wouldn't clarify, and she headlined: "Republicans Are Awfully Close to Violating the Constitution: Who cares if President Obama has 14th Amendment obligations? The critical sentence in that block of text should be read as instruction for lawmakers first, and last." She opened: "Have Republicans forgotten that they too must abide by the Constitution? The document is explicit in its instruction to America's federally elected officials -- make good on the country's debts. "The validity of the public debt of the United States,' the 14th Amendment states, "shall not be questioned.' That is not some arcane biblical reference that needs to be translated from scraps of parchment." She allowed, however, that if President Obama were to fail his fundamental obligation to enforce that provision, then he too would be violating the Constitution, and that impeachment of him for that failure would make sense, even if performed by House Republicans who were such traitors themselves -- which would not make sense.
Also on October 8th, Michael Hirsh, at National Journal, headlined "How the Shutdown Crisis Will Be Resolved," and he argued that Obama should accept the Tea Party's demand to make the debt-limit increase conditional upon slashing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and regulatory-agency funding. He advised the President: "You are still not going to win against the tea party movement and its perfect sock puppet, John Boehner, whose will is no longer his own. The tea partiers are simply not going away. Amply funded by the Kochs and grass-roots supporters, and even by Big Tobacco and some Wall Streeters, they will continue to pile on GOP primary challenges that will keep Republican incumbents in a state of electoral terror leading up to 2014. And as wild and unrestrained as their rhetoric sometimes is, especially in demonizing Obamacare, the tea partiers are not making their deeper grievances up. They are sincerely motivated by seemingly unstoppable tendency of the federal government to grow larger, and the failure of both parties to limit it over many decades." Hirsh falsified there, because the "sincere motivation" for an astroturf "movement," such as the Tea Party, is not to be found in its mass of suckers, but instead in its initiators and leaders, the people who funded and organized it. As I pointed out in two articles at Huffington Post, those leaders were motivated instead by their desire to take over the country and impose upon this country a dictatorship. The first of these two articles, dated 3 October 2013, was titled "How the Kochs and Their Friends Engineered the Federal Shutdown," and the second, dated October 7th, was "More on How the Kochs and Their Friends Engineered the Shutdown." As was documented there, these leaders' motivation was not patriotism, but the opposite of that: destroying the Constitution, and ending American democracy. The unacknowledged assumptions that journalists have are often false. Hirsh's assumption there is a good example of that.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .