The GOP has a major problem and its name is Eric Cantor. Eric Cantor is the House Majority Leader and the entire Republican Party is being held hostage to Cantor's obsessive ambition to replace Speaker of the House John Boehner. Cantor's actions in the debt ceiling crisis seem designed more to embarrass Cantor's boss Boehner first and foremost. Embarrassing Obama seems to be a secondary concern, and the need for good policy decisions that help Americans recover economically does not seem to enter into Cantor's calculation at all.
The course of the debt ceiling crisis as it is now structured is all about Eric Cantor, and that is precisely how Cantor seems to want it.
But is chasing Cantor's selfish personal goals good for the rest of the GOP? Eric Cantor has among the safest seats in Congress. The 7th Congressional District of Virginia has been gerrymandered into a Republican fortress. Eric Cantor can pretty much do anything he likes and get re-elected, and Cantor knows it.
Cantor can wreck the world economy by forcing default. Cantor can cut off Social Security, Unemployment, Veterans' Benefits, Government Retirement payments. He can do all of these things and still be assured of re-election.
But his Republican allies can't. Many of Cantor's most passionate supporters come from swing districts and they are going to lose their seats if Cantor wrecks the country. The Republican Party has turned over control of the party to someone who isn't accountable, will never face a competitive election, and has boundless personal ambition and a sociopath's lack of concern about others.
If Cantor succeeds in wrecking the nation, the GOP should recognize that they are riding in the front passenger seat without seat belts, and they will pay the price for Cantor's cupidity, even if Cantor doesn't.