The GOP's Debt Ceiling War: What Is It About?

Markets continue to drop as the partial shutdown of the federal government goes on. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Markets continue to drop as the partial shutdown of the federal government goes on. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, at his Hutchinson Report News, says that the Republican Party's debt-ceiling debate cannot be separated from its "never-ending hunt for any issue that can taint, embarrass and ultimately weaken the Obama presidency."

The GOP's goal has altered only slightly since Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's oft repeated, and failed, vow to make Obama a one term president. The GOP's slight course correction is to still to crush Obamacare, gut tax increases on the rich, scrap or water down to the point of irrelevancy financial industry regulations, a revamp of the tax code to further boost the rich, and coerce Obama to put Medicare and Social Security even deeper on the chopping block.

That's only the start. The GOP's take no prisoner's stance on the debt ceiling is also aimed at firing up its sometimes doubting, critical and lackluster conservative base, create dissension among Democrats, and make Obama appear to be an inept, bumbling and deceitful president.  If the plan works, it would sour a significant number of independents on Obama and by extension the Democrats, whip GOP establishment leaders into towing the Tea Party line, solidify the image of the GOP as the guardian of the taxpayer's purse against supposedly rapacious big government, and tighten its grip on the House, and maybe, just maybe, grab back the Senate in 2014. This would effectively politically neuter Obama for the remaining two years of his term, and make Hillary think twice about tossing her hat in the presidential rink in 2016.

During George W. Bush's White House tenure, the debt ceiling was an absolute non-issue. It was routinely raised in those years with barely a peep that the U.S. was in mortal danger of a fiscal crash and burn under the great weight of debt.


Read Earl Ofari Hutchinson's entire piece at the Hutchinson Report News.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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