Eugene Robinson (Washington Post): Here’s how to negotiate, GOP-style: Begin by making outrageous demands. Bully your opponents into giving you almost all of what you want. Rather than accept the deal, add a host of radical new demands. Observe casually that you wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to the hostage you’ve taken – the nation’s well-being. To the extent possible, look and sound like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
This strategy has worked so well for Republicans that it’s no surprise they’re using it again, this time in the unnecessary fight over what should be a routine increase in the debt ceiling. This time, however, something different is happening: President Obama seems to be channeling Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. At a news conference last Wednesday, Obama’s response to the GOP was, essentially, “You talkin’ to me?”
Obama’s in-your-face attitude seems to have thrown Republicans off their stride….
….The stakes are perilously high, but Obama does have a doomsday option: If all else fails, he can assert that a section of the 14th Amendment – “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law . . . shall not be questioned” – makes the debt limit unconstitutional and instructs him to take any measures necessary to avoid default.
Maybe that’s why, in this stare-down, the president doesn’t seem inclined to blink.
Full article here