By MARC MEWSHAW  |  October 31, 2012

Let that sink in. In order to get its way, the GOP is willing to not only crash the economy — but collude in realizing the very thing it opposes. After all, if a deal isn't reached, these tax hikes — Republican anathema — will take effect. You know you're living in strange political times when the minority party is dug so deeply into its trenches that it would rather watch everything it stands for burn than concede a single inch of ground.

What Republicans are counting on is that Obama will roll over if they hold firm long enough. This kind of brinksmanship has worked in the past — the 2011 showdown over the debt limit, for instance — so why shouldn't it work now? Only this time, Obama doesn't seem to be taking the bait.

So this is what it's come to, then. Politics circa 2013: a super-high-stakes game of chicken. If no one swerves, we all crash.

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