I spoke with my closest friend last night over adult beverages - a good, kind, intelligent man (who, if any of you out there are looking, is also single/profitably employed/cute) who is cursed with the bane of self-described ultra-liberalism.
Political wonk that I am, of course politics came up, specifically the current debt ceiling debate. He's of the view that the two major political divisions have become essentially religious in nature, allowing no compromise - yet, a mysterious "they" will not allow the nation to default (as the consequences would simply be too catastrophic to contemplate, let alone endure) and similarly wave a magic wand and prevent the assorted credit rating agencies from negatively changing the credit rating of the United States (an event with bad results of its very own).
I find myself rather more skeptical. The House GOP & Tea Party (currently unified in a single caucus, but at this pace, I'm not putting any money on it staying that way) has realize they actually *have power to affect things*. Given that all money bills must originate in the House, soon or late the Senate is going to have to accept something that the House generates.
This is complicated by the fact that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barrack Obama are all operating on the false assumptions that (a) they didn't really lose the House in Nov. 2010 and things can continue as if the Dem's held both Houses of Congress (with a little more bullying), and (b) they are dealing with the some old RINO GOP sorts that are conflict aversive.
Both of those assumptions are in error, and this is being brutally demonstrated. The Tea Party sorts, at least appears to have grown the spine that the GOP has largely lacked at a national level since Reagan left office. The RINO GOP doesn't know quite what to do with it, or them - and may, if they push hard enough, discover they don't have to as the Tea Party schisms into it's own caucus - creating something we've not see before (if ever) in the United States - a coalition majority in the Senate.
We live in interesting times. This could get exciting.