GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor before debt-deal vote. (Getty Images)

Eugene Robinson, in his Washington Post column, says that history will hold GOP lawmakers responsible for Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. government debt rating.

The so-called analysts at Standard & Poor's may not be the most reliable bunch, but there was one very good reason for them to downgrade U.S. debt: Republicans in Congress made a credible threat to force a default on our obligations.

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This isn't the rationale that S&P gave, but it's the only one that makes sense. Like a lucky college student who partied the night before an exam, the ratings agency used flawed logic and faulty arithmetic to somehow come up with the right answer. No, life isn't always fair.

And no, I can't join the "we're all at fault" chorus. Absent the threat of willful default, a downgrade would be unjustified and absurd. And history will note that it was House Republicans who issued that threat.

There is no plausible scenario under which the United States would be unable to service its debt. If political gridlock were to persist, our government would be able to pay bondholders with a combination of tax revenue and funds raised by selling more Treasury bills. And in the final analysis, as Alan Greenspan noted Sunday on "Meet the Press," the United States "can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that."

Read Eugene Robinson's entire column in the Washington Post.