The current debt ceiling fight that is being waged in Washington is rare, as it starkly presents clear differences between the political parties in ways that voters can understand on an issue of national importance. The result of this battle will likely have major implications of the 2012 elections, and, more importantly, on the fiscal health of our nation for the next generation.

Republicans, and primarily conservatives, have skillfully utilized this moment, to push fundamental budget reform uphill. The forces of the status quo, who have gotten fat and happy from federal spending levels of 24 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), are violently resisting the overspending straightjacket that the Cut, Cap, Balance plan represents.

It would be very easy for Republicans to wash their hands of a president who is biologically incapable of leading. If a speech or a lecture were necessary, he would be the most qualified person in the world for the task. But alas, what is needed is a statesman, a negotiator, a legislator, in the White House. Trustworthiness and commitment, not hope and change.

But conservatives and the more than 180 groups who have made up the Cut Cap Balance Coalition (for whom, in full disclosure, I have consulted) have driven this political battle from the very beginning. Now, as it nears some kind of conclusion, it’s important to consider the ramifications, on policy and politics.

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