Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), two weeks ago:
President Obama ... has already signaled an unwillingness to negotiate over the debt ceiling. This is unacceptable. [...]
It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), yesterday:
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said in Houston Thursday that Congress will not allow an impasse over raising the debt ceiling to result in the federal government defaulting on its spending obligations.
"We will raise the debt ceiling. We're not going to default on our debt," Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board.... "I will tell you unequivocally, we're not going to default," Cornyn said Thursday.
By any measure, the dramatic shift in posture is welcome news, and moves the nation further away from the brink on a self-imposed economic catastrophe.
But it's also further evidence that the entire Republican strategy is quickly unraveling. GOP leaders assumed, as recently as a few weeks ago, that if they threatened to crash the global economy on purpose, President Obama would scramble to pay their ransom.
Republicans, however, never actually came up with demands, were burdened by intra-party strife, faced pushback from every possible corner (including its allies in the private sector), and now appear eager to announce they have no intention of shooting the hostage.
This was a reckless plan executed incompetently, and it's reassuring to see GOP leaders like Cornyn reverse course.