I think we all love the story of King Solomon and the two women both claiming to be the mother of the same baby.
His solution, he told them, was to "cut the baby in half."
We know how that turned out. The woman who protested that solution and said to give the baby to the other was the true mother. The one who thought cutting the baby in half was the "perfectly fair solution" was not.
That's what we call a Solomon-like solution.
So who cares about the success of effective self-government in this country, in having a federal government that is credible - which pays its bills - that can be counted on when you buy a savings bond, for example, or when someone in the world invests in the US Treasury? Who cares about keeping alive that credibility?
And now ask yourself who doesn't. Who's willing to let that credibility be killed - or seriously damaged - in order to score an ideological point? Who's willing to throw the credibility of the United States onto the gaming table in a partisan contest of who will "blink?"
The simple, undeniable fact is this: The reason the new, hard right is ready for this country to risk fiscal default - to become the world's No. 1 deadbeat - is it doesn't give a damn whether government is downgraded.
It much prefers an every-man-for-himself world where the loudest libertarian has as much power as the people uniting together in self-government.
If there is some explanation to this crazed brinkmanship we are about to meet, please tell me.