On a slow news morning with a missing newspaper delivery, I’m happy to be able to find my weekly dose of Gene Lyons on Salon.

He still believes a face-saving solution to avoid a government shutdown will occur, even though a party controlled by insanity (Republicans) complicates things.


See, sane Republicans know perfectly well that default’s unthinkable. Alas, much of the Republican base has been persuaded by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and this year’s GOP pinup girl, Michele Bachmann — cuter, smarter and crazier than Sarah Palin by half — that it isn’t even a major problem. Of course, Bachmann too may be posturing, serene in the knowledge that default won’t happen.

Hence McConnell’s excellent plan, Sargent writes, “provides for Republicans to vote to ‘disapprove’ of each debt ceiling hike … But since they need a veto proof majority to block each debt limit hike, those ‘disapproval’ votes won’t actually stop the hikes from happening — keeping the business community happy and averting economic and political disaster.”

Except that Tea Partyers won’t fall for that. They’re itching for a showdown. Conservative columnists like David Brooks have begun complaining that the congressional Republicans who began this lamentable charade have committed the unpardonable sin of believing their own bull … um, propaganda.