Look at it this way:

Start by claiming that raising the debt limit is a big ask to create a rationale for demanding a price. Then downplay the consequences of failing to act, so that Republicans keep their nerve, and the administration looks petulant for not agreeing to horse trade.

But both arguments are so unmoored from reality, you wonder why the GOP would bother making them if they didn’t recognize that their real play here is so politically noxious. “Cut Medicare benefits or we’ll gratuitously destroy the economy” isn’t a big winner.

But as much as they’d like to pretend otherwise, even the best-case-scenario post-debt limit breach would be hugely damaging to the economy.

When we are at the next “cliff” (the current version of “gate”). don’t say I didn’t warn you. The 2012 Election is not over; it’s barely begun.