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Well, according to a piece on Countdown tonight, the Dems may be able to skewer the Repubs with the Constitution itself, making raising the debt ceiling a moot point, and at least temporarily taking away the possibility of a default.
The 14th Amendment states in section four: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
Apparently a number of constitutional lawyers are saying this means that the government has the Constitutional obligation to pay its debts and that a "debt ceiling" violates that provision.
The way it would work is, the President just says we're going to pay the bills. Then the Repubs in Congress will pitch a hissy and life goes on, much as what has happened in Libya. Hmmmm....
Won't it be interesting to see what the Tea Party thinks, since they are all about the Constitution. Supposedly.