I didn't agree with the debt default argument that the Tea Party members were making. I do think their holding the debt ceiling over Obama's head was a good thing, but they tried to negotiate for the wrong thing (repealing Obamacare). Credit Boehner with incompetence on this one. Obviously, even Senator Obama was very supportive of debt control once upon a time. Debt ceiling shutdowns are actually not a bad thing. Democrats have done it more than republicans have. The last time a shutdown occurred for anywhere near the length of the last one was Gingrich laying the wood on Clinton, just before the economy took off. The credit rating downgrade was due as much to Obama's unwillingness to negotiate and even show any leadership on cutting spending as it was the "threats" that the republicans were making. And, the level of the national debt as a percentage of the GDP was also a huge factor (if not the primary factor). And that was largely due to Obama's unwillingness to reduce federal spending during hard times, and Obama's holding the economy hostage for two years while he worked on health care ("never let a good crisis go to waste").