The Republicans have an Obama complex. Historically, they have liked certain ideas—pay as you go budgets, cap and trade, raising the debt ceiling—until Barack Obama endorses them. The minute Obama tries to compensate in his quest for the ever-elusive “purple politics,” the Republicans immediately back-pedal. How can he possibly trust their “goodwill and good faith” to negotiate economic issues?

All of which boils down to the question: is the GOP deliberately trying to tank the economy for political purposes? The Nation’s Washington correspondent, Chris Hayes, joins Rachel Maddow to explain why the Republicans are such fickle legislators.

Anna Lekas Miller