And they do it, they relentlessly tell us, to save us all from "the train wreck" of the Obama administration policies. That is only the most obvious of their many lies and traitorous plots to unseat a president they are unable to accept in any way, shape or form.
The price of this intentional, unnecessary government shutdown and looming default, in dollars, is estimated to be $23 billion. When the Senate bill to end this destructive shutdown was adopted in both houses of Congress tonight, Americans and the rest of the world could be heard breathing a collective sigh of relief and, if the past is any indicator, they will quickly lose interest in this latest evidence of systemic disfunction and a loss of decorum in the nation's capital. But fundamentally nothing in our system of governance or in the plotters' motives will have been changed.
The bill to end the shutdown and allow the debts to be paid through federal borrowing is limited to three to four month, after which another radical right-wing Tea Party shutdown and default threat will certainly loom large. And, again, President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress will be put in the position of standing by, holding their breath, while the small cadre of conservative shutdown advocates are allowed under current law to bring the country, and the world's economy, to its knees.
Despite what you are likely to hear on the major networks' evening news, the cause of this crisis was not a matter of Congress' and the president's inability to compromise, although that disfunction certainly has been more evidence of far right-wing opposition to anything the Democrats and President Obama might want to do to address this country's real problems. If we had a Republican Party that favored compromise, we'd be looking at Congressional committees setting the budget, rewriting our immigration laws, bringing our roads and bridges into safety compliance, and bringing about a national firearms background check law for which polls show 90 percent of Americans agree. Without such responsible governance, in effect, Sen. Mitch McConnell's promise to make Obama a one-term president is poised to be realized.
No, this dysfunction isn't Congress' fault, but rather it is a concerted, long-term conspiracy among a small and billionaire-funded right-wing cadre whose hatred of our first African-American president and America's progress in racial, gender, and ethnic diversity explains their willingness to shutter the government and sink us into an economic Armageddon. It is a reckless, desperate attempt by certain monied interests to regain their self-appointed entitlements -- the economic and political power once held primarily by wealthy, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant Americans.
This effort by Republicans to seize power and stop the Obama administration isn't coming primarily from inside the Beltway, as too many pundits like to mention and most citizens are all-too-willing to believe. And it isn't limited to the federal debt limit and spending. Because of the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, political campaigns are allowed to accept untold millions of dollars from private donors. Which contributors, do you think, have been able to use this ruling to their advantage? The super-conservative, super-rich, super-pissed-off men who, finding themselves on shakier ground at the top of the country's centers of power after the last two presidential elections in which a majority of American voters rejected their privileged world view and elected and re-elected Mr. Obama, have made it their primary goal to reverse his election and buy their way back into unchallenged power.
What policies would ensue if these wealthy radicals find they have successfully hijacked complete control of our three branches of government? Let's summarize the targets likely to be destroyed based on those items already under constant attack by the Republican Party: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, public education, empathetic immigration reform, a woman's right to choose, public-worker unions and pensions, the belief that the federal government's spending, effectively harnessed, can encourage job growth and increased incomes for working families.... We could go on, but those items are high on the radical right's hit list. Make no mistake, any and all such government programs that serve the interests of people like you and me are in their political sights.
Instead, what these far-Right conspirators would deliver is more of the policies of racial exclusion and economic exploitation, such as their campaigns to constrain voting among racial and ethnic minorities and the elderly through Republican takeovers in state governorships and legislatures -- takeovers which in recent years are aided by the unmitigated influx of wealthy right-wing money. Such business donors also have a strong interest in maintaining an illegal immigrant underclass in order to profit from their desperation, as well as effecting a reduced influence of labor unions -- both of which will continue to keep middle-class wages low.
So why do I assert, you may ask, that our democracy is in such dire straits? After all, we hear some pundits calling this latest battle with the radical Right a victory for President Obama and Congressional Democrats. The president himself won this round through uncharacteristic bluntness, effectively comparing the contemptible right's strategy to extortion, blackmail, and hostage-taking. Amazingly, no one on the arrogant radical Right tried to deny that charge or own up to the damage that continues to radiate from their party's attempt to light a government bonfire.
But the Right's wrong-headed strategy and lack of shame is a tipoff to the larger, long-term threat to civilized governance in this country. To understand how the scenario plays out in the coming years, allow me to make an analogy to the true nature of the radical Right's blood-thirsty behavior and its seek-and-destroy mission. Recall in the Steven Spielberg film "Jurassic Park" the main villains, the flesh-eating velociraptors. Recall also the park's electrified fence walling off the park's administrative offices from those hungry predators.
The velociraptors hunted in teams, and were determined to break through the fence. They continually tested the perimeter, never letting up until they eventually located an opening and swept through in an attempt to feed on the people. That is how we common-sense Americans must view these small-minded, vicious, radical right-wing Tea Party Republican politicians and their wealthy sponsors -- as voracious, prehistoric, and relentless. The will stop at nothing to subdue their prey, and we Americans who cherish a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" can never let down our defenses. It is certain death for Democracy itself if these monsters break through.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Maitland, FL, United States