President Obama really wants everyone to know the only game he intends to play over the debt ceiling is chicken.
Republicans want to negotiate over the debt limit and President Obama says he won’t. When two sides take such contradictory positions by definition there can’t be compromise. As a result, there are only three basic ways this dispute can end. Realizing this, the bulk of the Democratic Congressional leadership has endorsed Obama using a form of unilateral action to address this issue.
In response, the White House has gone out of its way to say they will not go this route. Last year they shot down the 14th Amendment solution and over the weekend they took the platinum coin option off the table. White House Spokesmen Jay Carney said, “there is no plan B. There is no backup plan.” The administration wants everyone to think they mean it.
Effectively, the position of the White House is that this fight will only end if Obama folds or the Republicans fold.
It would appear the intent of the administration is to tell every CEO, Wall Street executive, and large bond holder who is concerned about the debt ceiling that their only option is to put the squeeze on House Republicans.
Obama doesn’t want to get around the debt ceiling, he wants to beat the Republicans on it. Obama seems to believe he can win at a game of chicken, despite his rather abysmal track record so far.