I am the Jesus Christ of Italian politics. I’m a patient victim. I put up with everything. I sacrifice myself for everyone.
- Silvio Berlusconi, campaigning during the 2006 election
The Article: The Tea Party’s Murder-Suicide Pact by Joshua Green at the Atlantic.
The Text: Congress cut short its July 4th recess and returned to Washington this week to try and reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Or, rather, some of its members are trying – a growing number of Republicans responsive to the Tea Party movement seem dead set again this. They not only claim that the United States won’t suffer any negative consequences if it doesn’t raise the ceiling, but that refusing will have the salutary effect of forcing the government to live within its means.
A lot is at stake here. Just about everyone besides these Republicans believes that a debt default would be catastrophic. And most of them, including President Obama, would accept trillions of dollars in spending cuts to avoid finding out.