Obama’s view, which I share, is that the debt ceiling fight is far more important not only than the specific policies on the table, or even the catastrophic economic consequences of a debt breach. It’s a fight to preserve the Constitutional order. And conservatives have resolutely refused to grapple with that fact…If the conservative goal is to create the illusion of winning something for the debt ceiling, then they’ll come back next time to win more, and Democrats can’t allow that.
Absolutely, I will not negotiate. And the reason, Steve, is because if we establish a pattern whereby one faction of one party controlling one chamber in Congress can threaten default, that the United States of America is no longer meeting its obligations and fulfilling the full faith and credit of the United States unless they get 100 percent of what they want, then we’ve established a pattern that fundamentally changes the nature of our government. At that point, any president — not just me — any president is subject to that kind of blackmail continuously.
If you had a Republican president in here and a Democratic speaker said, “We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling unless you pass background checks on guns. We’re not going to pass the debt ceiling unless you raise the corporate income tax by 30 percent,” you know, that Republican president would find him- or herself in a similar position. That’s not how our Constitution was designed. Raising the debt ceiling is not raising the debt; it is simply saying Congress is authorizing the Treasury to pay for those things that Congress has already approved.
We have not seen this in the past. That a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being implemented, and helps 30 million get health-care coverage.
FLASH: CIA director David Petraeus has resigned, according to a U.S. intelligence source
A second intelligence source says Petraeus met with President Obama on Thursday. The White House says it will let Petraeus address resignation reports, adding that Obama will likely have a statement later.
More soon at Reuters.com.