I think it could be even worse than that. Biden administration officials insist the government would run out of money to pay its bills and prevent defaulting on its current debts sometime in early June. Defaulting would trash America’s credit rating and possibly tank the stock market, and with it, the wider economy. Government payments — including Medicare reimbursements, Social Security checks, and military pay — would be at risk.
A large swath of House Republicans don’t act like they care about this. A handful of them who openly loathe Biden and who — thanks to the Big Lie of 2020 election fraud — don’t see his presidency as legitimate would probably love to see the White House fail. It’s the defining trait of the 21st century GOP: nihilism.
Bunch realizes that "Biden's faith that a bipartisan deal could be reached is very much in line with his political worldview" while he "should have adopted a no-negotiation stance, declared that the 14th Amendment renders the debt ceiling debate moot, and allowed the courts to work it out long before the government runs out of money." (With a more detailed argument for this, see David Dayen.) He concludes
The White House is preparing for a hostage crisis when they’re actually dealing with political suicide bombers. I believe Joe Biden when he insists that he’s fighting for “the soul of America,” but to win that battle, you need to know your enemy.
Democrats have been hamstrung in this battle not only because the leader of their Party seems not to understand the enemy. They've been hindered for decades because they believe the media is their friend and thus expected that the debt ceiling crisis would be reported honestly. Instead, the left/center media has presented the controversy as another partisan "he said, she said" dispute, failing to emphasize that the Democratic Party wants to pay the nation's debts while the Republican Party threatens to turn the nation into a deadbeat. Representative Katie Porter explains this to a House committee interviewee and to the country:
Pramila Jayapal hits the nail exactly on the head. McCarthy and his right wing are following Trump’s instructions, heading to crashing the economy so Trump can sweep in and save the day. Disgusting. https://t.co/dqDNhmm3RD— Kathleen Ryan (@kat8888) May 24, 2023
But Jayapal did more when she remarked
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, that is exactly the problem, is when the media reports it as not their fault. And I'm just gonna- I know so many of you, I have so much respect for what you do. But let's tell the truth here. We are not tanking anything....
This is taking on the media Democratic-style. "I have so much respect for what you do but let's tell the truth here," as in "stop screwing up." It may be a little passive-aggressive but it's effective, and refreshing for a Democrat, finally, to put the media on notice- or at least to question it. The media is not the Party's friend, not their ally, as the current episode so obviously demonstrates.