Yesterday, Bloomberg News reported that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner may leave his post after the debt ceiling is raised. Within a few hours, a Treasury spokesperson clarified that Geithner has not yet decided whether he’ll stay or go once that happens. (There is, of course, always the possibility that the battle over the debt ceiling may be so protracted that Geithner’s departure is still eons away.)
If Geithner does at some point depart, though, the administration will face real challenges getting his successor confirmed. It’s a safe bet that Senate Republicans will condition the confirmation of his successor on the administration’s caving on some fundamental policies. They may insist on disestablishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They may hold out for repealing other sections of Dodd-Frank. They may want to put us on the gold standard or have us revert, Sharron Angle-style, to a barter system. Reality does not constrain them.