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Political theater over U.S. debt ceiling could end 'in tragedy'

Let me finish tonight with this.

Let me finish tonight with this.

This is a time of political theater for our country that could end up in tragedy.

It has a comic flair right now but don't be fooled.  The people showing off - Ted Cruz leading the troupe, will be remembered, of course, as the cause of the catastrophe.

But the horror itself - especially if it comes to the first-ever default on the U.S. debt - will dominate everything - and everyone - else.

It's really one of those unknowns - like attacking Iran.  We know how it will start, with all the craziness and cock-suredness of Cruz and the rest, not how it will end.  What if the default lasts a few hours?  What if a few days - or a few weeks?  How large, how exponential could this calamity climb.

Jack Lew, the Treasury Secretary, has called the date - the day of reckoning.  Oct. 17 is when the U.S. Treasury runs low enough in case that it can't be assured of its ability to meet demands.  It can't be sure.  Not even the Treasury knows what day it will be when the numbers head into the red - that moment when the United States government is for the first time in its history not good for its chit.

Only a nutcase would take the risk.

As the days pass between now and the 17th of next month, we will know who they are.