Saturday, April 09, 2011

Grand Theft Politics

The problem Democrats keep having in negotiations with Republicans is that the Republicans aren't bluffing.  They really ARE as crazy as they seem to be, and until quite recently, I suspect that the vast majority of Republicans in the House simply didn't comprehend the disaster they were threatening us with.  But they rarely do. 

Mean Jean
It's like playing chicken with a guy who imagines he's in a video game.  Sure, he knows he can crash, but he still thinks that's the fun part.  Maybe it's their belief in God, I don't know.  After all, if the Big Guy has a plan for us, surely it couldn't be upset by a little government shutdown, could it?

And that's the main problem we're having with Republicans, is that the reality they're living in is so fictitious that they really don't understand that this shit is for real.  That's how it is that they can talk about "2nd Amendment Remedies" and the Secession of Texas, and then not understand why anyone finds such talk offensive. 

Because they don't really mean it.  It's all just a silly little drama for them, like professional wrestling, but less sweat.  Sure, it's real.  But it's just not "real" real. 

Negotiating with Crazy

And it's obvious that at this point Boehner and the few sane-ish Republicans left in the party are sitting in the backseat, begging for the Tea Partiers to pull over and let them drive.  But when they hear Obama say the same thing, that only makes them feel like they must be doing something right, so they put the pedal to the metal and drive even faster.

So what can Obama and the Democrats do, but swerve first, because they know the Republicans aren't bluffing.  But for as much as many progressives fault Democrats for that, and insist that this has something to do with cowardice, the real strength of our opponents is that they really don't know what they're doing.  Even their negotiating skills are laughable, but as long as they're holding America hostage, what choice do we have? 

The real solution would be to have a sensible media that dutifully called out the Crazy before they took office.  That's the answer.  Now Obama's stuck dealing with the wackos that the "gatekeepers" didn't keep out.  And yes, this is exactly why Obama agreed to extend the Bush taxcuts.  It's not that he agreed with them or because he's a wimpy wimpwimp.  It's because he knew he'd get a better deal in 2010 then he would in 2011.  History seems to have born that out.

Again, these people aren't faking the ignorance.  Congressional Republicans aren't pretending to be crazy as a negotiating tactic..It really is Mean Jean Schmidt and Michele Bachmann who are wielding great powers they don't understand. Normally, the party establishment would stash these bozos aside and only the ones who lasted a few elections would get any real power. 

But the Republicans gave the Crazies the impression that the Crazies are the most important people in the world, and now they're acting accordingly.  Crazy is as crazy does, and these people really are crazy...
Dr. Paul at the Office


Betsy said...

I've been thinking this, but it's so hard to believe. What worries me about this is the debt ceiling. I have been thinking that there is no sweat there because everybody realizes deep down (if nowhere else) that it can't be let go. However, what is these people ARE insane. What if they don't understand that the whole world crashes if we don't raise it? What the HELL DO WE DO THEN???? Or worse, what do the Democrats have to take away from us (My daughter is in very poor health and is on Medicare and Medicade) in order to keep the country from crashing down. I wish they had shut down the government, that might have taught them something before the DC crisis comes up.

makeinu said...

Thing is, the government's been through shutdowns before, in 1995/1996 when the federal government was largely shut down from November '95 to April '96, and three times during the Reagan and Bush, Sr., administrations. The three in 1981, 1984, and 1990 largely had no effect outside of the federal employees themselves, but the 1995/96 shutdowns were, like this one, completely ideologically driven.

What really pains me is again the media failing to do their job and tell the American people what's really going on.

Republicans are worried about the national debt? Really? That's a first, given that the current debt load can be pretty firmly laid at the feet of the Republican party. Insane spending increases and tax cuts during the George W. Bush administration, anyone? All largely put in place at the beginning of his first term, when he had an entirely Republican Congress more than willing to hand him anything he wanted, so long as the richest members of our economy got their yachts and gold-plated plumbing fixtures as tax writeoffs.

And the bailouts, oh my word, all I ever hear from every conservative idiot is "Well, the bailouts didn't work" blah blah blah "Obama really failed with those bailouts." Um, hello, retard, Bush started those bailouts! He thus bears as much "blame" for saving the American economy as Obama does, for, despite how much was done wrong around those bailouts, there's no way in hell that the banks and businesses in question could have been allowed to fail without nearly irretrievably destroying the American economy.

Aside from that, let's think for a minute about the National Debt. So many like to make these damning proclamations about how horrible it is that the debt is so high, and the unfair burden we're placing on "our children". Yet, no one ever wants to talk about how much of a disservice we do "our children" by defunding schools and failing to provide them with a proper, competetive education, not providing them with proper, reliable, affordable medical care, et cetera.

And how much does the national debt really matter anyway? Yes, it consumes part of the annual budget in interest payments, that's a given. Obviously, we'd be better off without that burden, but a mountain is consistently being made out of a relatively minor molehill. Here's the reality: the US economy is still one of the largest in the world. No one, no one, is going to stop lending the US money, nor will anyone ever dream of telling Uncle Sam it's time to pay up. That's just absurd! I mean, I have very little faith in human intellect and logical reasoning, but outside of our own crazies, I don't see anyone in the world willing to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Look at it from those lender's perspective: we always make our interest payments. Always. That's not going to change, not now, not ever. Recalling America's national debt would result in a lot of other countries losing the income they make from our interest payments.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see some proper "fiscal responsibility" out of Washington, as much as the next guy, but there are better ways to do that than freaking out over the straw man that is the national debt and the debt ceiling.

How about a reasonable tax structure that normal people can understand? One that doesn't slant so highly in favor of the richest citizens that they effectively bear no part of the burden of supporting the country that made them richer than the kings of old? Just for starters?