At a meeting this morning with online writers, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tried to persuade progressives that the Democratic caucus won’t get rolled in future hostage standoffs. The theme of the meeting was reluctance to re-hash or second guess debt ceiling strategy and attempt to get people to focus attention moving forward on jobs. But one natural forward looking question is whether we’ll simply see the same kind of standoff again and again, starting with the expiration of appropriations at the end of September. Pelosi swore that’s not the case: “Suffice it to say—we won’t see a repetition.”
When pressed she declined to get into specifics, arguing that to do so would undermine the efficacy of Democrats’ tactical options. But she posited that “a default is a much more serious consequence than a government shutdown,” indicating that part of the strategy is to be willing to go over the cliff and fight it out in the court of public opinion. Later, revisiting the subject she did specifically caution “I don’t want you coming out of here and saying I’m going to shut down the government.” The clear implication, however, is that she does in fact expect Democrats to refuse to agree to further spending cuts even if refusal results in a shutdown.