Mitch McConnell, who passes, these days, for a sane Republican politician:

The reason default is no better an idea today than when Newt Gingrich tried it in 1995 is that it destroys your brand. It would give the president an opportunity to blame Republicans for a bad economy.

Please note: a bad idea not because it would in fact cause the economy to tank, not because it would impair the national credit, not because it would be in flat violation of the Constitutional ban on questioning the validity of the public debt (and therefore of the oath of office of any Senator or Representative who votes to bring it about), not because it’s dishonorable not to pay your bills when they come due, but because it might not be good for Republicans.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a party grossly unfit to hold any share of power.

Footnote One might, indeed, argue that hitting the debt ceiling wouldn’t lead to default on the debt. But that’s not McConnell’s claim. He claims that default would be bad only in partisan terms. Feh.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.