Washington went "nuclear" this week and the big question is what kind of fallout will hit markets and the economy.
Republicans and some Wall Street analysts warn that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to blow up the filibuster on presidential nominations will lead to an even darker period of partisan acrimony, throwing into question the ability of Congress to pass a bill to fund the government past January and raise the debt limit in February.
"You will no doubt come to regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday, sounding like a sinister movie villain.
Some political analysts including Guggenheim's Jaret Seiberg and Qorvis' Stan Collender said they thought the so-called nuclear option raised the (still fairly low) possibility of shutdown and default.
But Democrats mostly laugh off these warnings. And they are probably right to do so. Democrats do not believe Republicans will do something clearly against their own political interest—the last shutdown crushed the party's approval ratings—just out of spite over Reid's move.
(Read more: Obamacare dividing Republican governors)
It's not that Democrats believe the GOP never acts out of spite. But they think political expedience generally trumps personal pique.
"They are going to get mad at us just because we fought back?" former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank asked me at breakfast event in New York on Friday. He added that he did not think the GOP would be any more likely to force a shutdown or debt limit crisis. "They will do what's in their political self-interest."
The White House, which pushed for Reid to invoke the nuclear option, also clearly does not think it increases the risk of another fiscal crisis that could once again slow an economy that seems poised for a solid 2014.
"I do think that Republicans have found that trying to shut down the government or threatening the full faith and credit of the United States of America over Obamacare was something that the American public had very little patience for," deputy press secretary Joshua Earnest told me at the White House press briefing on Thursday.
While in the building, your DCMNI columnist also spoke with senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, the administration's main liaison to Wall Street and the business community, and she had the same message.