That’s how plenty of House Republicans, who remain the prime movers in the shutdown crisis, are looking at the terrain. They were told for years that a shutdown would be a disaster for the economy and their party. They were told the same thing about sequestration. Neither crisis has really lived up to the end-of-times hype, especially not in their districts. The worst effects, the ones constituents ask about, appear to them to be engineered by a vindictive Obama administration. And they expect the same if they fail to raise the debt limit—a crisis manufactured by Obama, not by them.
To be fair, the wingnuts have a valid point: nobody is really certain what will happen if the debt ceiling gets capped and the nation defaults.
This is despite the fact that there's a lot of financial experts - bank CEOs, Wall Street institutions, foreign investors - are freaking out that if the United States defaults due to the debt ceiling, the global reactions would be on the scale of the 2007-08 banking collapse.
To the Far Right Congresscritters driving this crisis, it's STILL all a bluff on Obama's part.
This is due to the fact that the Far Right are neither true conservatives - who by nature would be cautious and alert to potential hazards - nor real thinkers - they cannot perceive the potential of future effects, they can't ask the "what ifs". To these people, the only thing that matters is the immediate recognizable past and the immediate NOW, things that can be perceived and understood. And for what they know, the last time this was a crisis - in 2011 - the worst thing that happened was a slip in the Credit Rating from AAA to AA. The nation and the planet kept chugging along. And before that, the major disaster was the banks failing in 2007, which the Far Right still believes was a problem with housing markets and a corrupt Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac system (which is wrong in different ways).
The Far Right can only experience and understand the NOW, what happens in the moment and no further. And to them, there's really no sign that a default or refusal on the debt ceiling would really cause any serious, long-term, or even permanent harm.
This is akin to a car driver speeding along a narrow cliff-side highway overlooking the Pacific Ocean. They've been told in driver's ed class of the danger going off the road, and they've had gravity explained to them in physics and astronomy, but that driver really doesn't know what it's like to drive that car off that cliff. And it's not even a suicidal impulse on the part of the driver: he just honestly doesn't know what will happen once the tires leave the road and the car goes spinning off into the blue.
For all the Far Right driver knows, the car won't even get dinged up all that bad, that the impact into the water won't be that harsh, that there aren't rocks hiding in those waves, and that after all the car is designed to survive impacts or at least protect the passengers from serious injury. The Far Right driver can expect a thrilling rush, the taste of danger, and then let the airbags deploy and the driver can swim away and let the insurance company buy a replacement car.
And if that all doesn't work out, that Far Right driver can always ALWAYS fall back on the excuse that the car going over the cliff was Obama's fault. Even though Obama was in the back seat the whole time since the Constitution doesn't allow him to set the budget, uh drive the car, and Obama was the one screaming the whole time at the driver to fucking stop before that car went over the cliff. "Gee, if Obama didn't make all that screechy noise when the car punched over the guard rail..."
THIS now makes a whole lot more sense. The Far Right have no qualms about driving the entire government AND the entire financial sector over that cliff... simply because they really don't know, and they really don't CARE to know, what might actually happen if they do. The wingnuts seem to genuinely think the whole thing's a bluff to make them "surrender" to Obama.
Despite the fact that gravity is real. Despite the fact that defaults are real.
Welcome to The Long October.