I’d like PD’s response to this quick thought:

Regarding the debt, I think there’s a fundamental difference in the two sides’ aims. I believe the Repubs are actually interested in reducing the debt and either not raising the debt ceiling or tying it into real debt reduction. In other words, they have actual fiscal goals.

President Obama’s protestations to the contrary, I don’t believe the Dems feel that way. I’m convinced that to them, this is all just so much Monopoly money–meaningless in real life. I think their goals are political, to find a way to hang an issue around the Repubs necks that the Dems can exploit.

I’m not convinced that the Repubs understand this. I think they feel the Dems also want to reduce the debt and limit the ceiling and that the two sides just differ in the details of their approach.

This is a big PR trap being set by the Dems. All they want to do is to be able to say that Grandma won’t get her SS check and it’s all the Repub’s fault.

The Repubs could use this to their PR advantage if they knew how to frame the issue in terms the average, casually-attentive voter could understand and indentify with. (“If the President and the Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid don’t cooperate with us and find a way to reduce our debt and limit our debt ceiling, then the markets all around the world–from Wall Street to Europe to the Far East–will lose confidence in our financial system. Your 401k will be cut in half. Your retirement will be ruined. Your children will not be able to get a mortgage loan, and if they do, it will be at 20%. That’s what you have to look forward to if the Democrats don’t get serious. We’re serious—are they? This isn’t fantasy land and it’s not Monopoly money. It’s YOUR future they’re gambling with.”)

If Eric Cantor or John Boehner or Paul Ryan would call a press conference and make sure that that got on the news every day, boy the Dems would hop to it!

Alas, the Repubs don’t know how to play the game or work the media.