But if the debt ceiling isn’t a hill worth dying on – and it certainly isn’t – leadership should have explained this explicitly rather than leading on the base. It was only back in January when McConnell told the faithful on national television that some of “the most significant legislation passed in the past 50 years has been in conjunction with the debt limit. I think for the president to ask for a clean debt ceiling when we have a debt this size of our economy is irresponsible.” What McConnell should have added then is: but there’s nothing we can do about it right now. We have to work on winning more seats, and then we can stop this endless cycle of irresponsible spending.
Except that is a lie, too. Because they won’t stop the endless cycle of irresponsible spending. Reagan didn’t, though he tried – but the establishment GOP fought him. Nixon and Bush didn’t and, in fact, up until Barack Obama himself, Bush was the biggest spending President ever.