Is driving the GOP’s latest strategy (to raise the debt ceiling, but fight on the CR)?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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If you’re looking to find out who is driving the GOP’s strategy this week, it’s not Ted Cruz or Speaker Boehner. Instead, it’s probably two conservative commentators closely tied to the popular conservative blog,

And if your goal is to actually extirpate ObamaCare now (without destroying the GOP’s brand), they seem to be the shrewder strategists.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a quick timeline:

– On October 4, Ben Domenech (a friend and co-founder of RedState) wrote this at his new site, The Federalist: “Republicans should consider rejecting this game [of combining the debt limit and the CR]. Why not give Obama a clean or nearly clean debt limit increase?”

– On Monday, Erick Erickson (a friend and the site’s editor-in-chief) wrote: “[T]he question is do we want to stop Obamacare or do we want to stop the debt ceiling increase? My view is that we cannot do both at the same time. We might dare to dream, but the debt ceiling will be increased one way or the other.”

Wednesday morning, Erickson continued: “Conservatives need to push the debt ceiling fight off the front burner to after Christmas. Republican Leaders are begging us to merge the continuing resolution fight and debt ceiling fight. They covet this with all their mind and heart.”

– Later on Wednesday, Heritage Action bailed on the debt ceiling fight, echoing Domenech and Erickson: “No, we should raise the debt limit,” Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham reportedly said. “My tactic is to focus on the CR,” he continued.

– Today, Byron York reports this: “Many House Republicans, including some key leaders, have decided they can live with a government shutdown but not with the threat of default.”

Of course, it’s not a done deal — and it’s possible I omitted some others who have been making this same point. But it seems like we were certainly headed toward combining the debt ceiling and the CR into one deal, until, that is, Domenech and Erickson spoke up.

Matt K. Lewis