Bracewell Policy Resolution Group Principal Liam Donovan joined Ross Douthat, New York Times Opinion columnist, and Haley Byrd Wilt, associate editor at The Dispatch, for an online conversation about Kevin McCarthy’s speakership and how the divisions in the House GOP might affect American politics.
On the debt-ceiling fight, Donovan discussed the big gulf between what conservatives consider the lessons of the Obama-era negotiations and how the Biden White House remembers them.
Donovan: “This is the fundamental problem at play — a mutual comfort level based on shared experiences from the not-so-distant past that the sides took very different lessons from.”
“For Republicans, the showdown in 2011 was the signal achievement of the Tea Party: staring down President Barack Obama and forcing the cuts associated with the Budget Control Act. It validated one of the animating forces of the right over the past decade-plus — that the party’s failures are a result of weak, feckless leadership, and if they fight, they win.”
“For Democrats, including Joe Biden, who as vice president had a front-row seat to the deal, it was evidence of why you should never negotiate under these circumstances, because it enables and encourages ever more reckless hostage-taking. That informs their current posture, as does the fact that they actually won the last such game of chicken in 2021.”
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