At roughly 6:15 PM EST on Friday, June 22, having passed the point where legislation could be hammered into shape and a crisis could be averted, John Boehner announced he was walking away from debt talks with President Barack Obama. No deals. The “grand package” that buoyed the markets all week was spurned yet another time. Do take note that Boehner made his announcement on the last day of the week after the financial markets closed. Was this with the knowledge that his actions would likely tank them and, rather than make the Republicans look like the bad guy(s), he waited until they were closed to announce the House had no intention of trying anymore?
I don’t know. In fact, there’s a lot I don’t know beside the gnawing in my gut that’s been there for the past four weeks. I know that I’ve been worrying about this quite visibly, much to the shock of family and friends. They’ve said, in equal measure, that I was crazy to think the country would ever go into default. They’ve said that I’m making myself sick over a charade, a non-starter, and that the last thing politicians really want to do is to piss off rich businessmen who hold the purse-strings to campaign funds.
And even so, here we are. Default has become an inevitability. Hell, the GOP’s rising star in their candidates pool for the 2012 presidential elections, Michele Bachmann, is demanding it and getting public support.
So yes, the stomach ache will continue, as will the questions about how I will handle all my family members who are senior citizens. Will they keep a resident in the nursing home if the checks stop? And to those who would say, “waah, waah, waah, cry me a river. They’re not entitled and a default wouldn’t affect me,” I have a few questions.
1) You’ve expressed no great trust in the banking sector, after all that happened with the housing market, the bad mortgages, and so on?
2) You still put your paycheck in the bank though, right? Or do you get direct deposit?No mattress full of dollar bills?
3) Wait a tick. The FDIC is the federal protection that makes sure that your money doesn’t magically disappear overnight, and if it does, you’re covered from loss or misappropriation. If there is no FDIC manning the office with a default underway, and a hacker just happens to loot the banks, do you still have money in the bank?
4) And what about those credit cards you cut up a year ago, only to reinstate prior to summer for that unforgettable vacation you really couldn’t afford? If those same banks are being threatened with insolvency, they’re going to want that money paid back right now, and to get it, your once fixed percentage rate doesn’t seem so anchored anymore.
Nauseous yet? Nauseous enough to let go of your Tea Party talking points? See, this does affect you. It affects you directly, and you can blame any or all of the parties involved. I, in fact, have chosen to blame the Democrats if you can believe that, but not for the reasons you might assume. When Pres. Obama was elected, he came in with a Democratic super-majority, and for several months, the party did drunken victory dances and “in your face” swipes.
When they stopped showboating, they immediately splintered, fractured and squandered the gift the American people gave them. They split off into Blue Dogs, Red Dogs, Green Dogs, Purple Dogs, and Puce Dogs and left the power of a unified front behind to save their own sorry hides in 2010 re-election peep shows. That weakened front left huge holes behind, enough to let the Tea Party through, and the TP is a Borg Collective, no splintering, fracturing or compromising. All within have been assimilated. So we can call the TP a bunch of big-eared, idiot inbreds bent on taking the country back to a gentler, simpler time when the poor and elderly had the good sense to just die already, and a black man’s place was nowhere near a White House, but the Dems allowed it to happen. Their short-term impotence has cost them dearly.
So what if the Republicans will suffer dearly in 2012? It’s still 2011. That means we have more than a year’s worth of suffering now.
You say that what the Tea Party is about is not wisdom. I say otherwise. I say they are wise and Machiavellian at the same time. Think about this: No senior citizen is going to vote to repeal Social Security, and senior citizens are still the largest voting bloc in the country, getting bigger by the Boomer. No career politician is going to want his face plastered all over a proposal to kill the New Deal policies. So, how do you kill the New Deal without being blamed for it, and without the input from the seniors who will kick you to the curb if you try?
You starve it to death, kind of like what would happen if we go into a default. There — problem solved. All the social violence you crave without getting the blood on your hands.
So can everyone please stop telling me I’m crazy, paranoid, worrying about nothing, and that everything is going to resolve itself? Can everyone just listen to me for a moment and believe me when I say, prepare yourself? This is happening. I’ve been wrong before but I don’t think I am this time and, God help me, there will be no sweetness or victory in my having “told you so.”
- New GOP hostage demand: Kill Obamacare (salon.com)
- Boehner Walks Out of Debt Ceiling Limit Talks With Obama (themoderatevoice.com)
- John Boehner walks away from debt talks (cbsnews.com)
- CBS Poll: 71% Disapprove of Republican Handling of Debt Limit Crisis (themoderatevoice.com)
- Blowing Up the House (themoderatevoice.com)
- Why The Tea Party Can Hold The Country Hostage (alan.com)
- The GOP’s Hostage Strategy (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Boehner Withdraws From Debt Talks With Obama (abcnews.go.com)
- Tea Party Fiddles as the U.S. Prepares to Burn (blogcritics.org)