Government Shutdown Watch

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December 11, 2012 4:19 a.m.

I wanted to quickly follow up on that Mother of All Government Shutdowns on deck for February(ish). As noted earlier, the President says he will not allow another round of debt limit hostage taking. It’s been ambiguous to me just what the President means by this. Clearly, a debt limit increase is being entertained as part of a global deal. But absent that global deal, Republicans seem to be insisting on another round of debt-limit hostage-taking centered on the House. (Reid has made clear he can take the Senate out of the picture.)Here’s what Lindsey Graham said yesterday, though note that the fight really isn’t happening in the Senate this time and Graham himself is desperately positioning himself to avoid getting primary-ed next year.

“Here is where the president will have a rude awakening,” Graham said. “In February or March, you have to raise the debt ceiling. I can tell you this, there is a hardening on the Republican side. We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to let Obama borrow anymore money or any American congress borrow anymore money until we fix this country from becoming Greece. That requires significant entitlement.”

Here’s more of the dynamics of where this all seems to be going. There are a lot of arguments that the House won’t be able to manage the hostage-taking on its own and that they’ll have to fold. But I’m not so sure. I still feel like a major showdown is more likely than people think.

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