This post will be one more self-inflicted wound to my dwindling chances for the famous peace prize Alfred Nobel began, and in my humble opinion, you should set your own aspirations aside as well. He invented dynamite, and how did that work out for peace? Once Henry Kissinger had received the thing it officially became a worthless tchotchke anyhow.
Observing the nation in another moment of helpless submission to another paroxysm of grave dysfunction inflicted upon it by a rabid, anti-democratic political movement, all of us retaining sentience and rationality should chasten ourselves with great disgust for having allowed it to ever happen.
The fact the nation has yet to shout down, to rise in full volume and outrage against such bullies and aggressors, that it has failed to avow a determination in the interest of its preservation to pound the cretins into political annihilation, may turn out to be one of the great tragedies in American history. At the very least, America has suffered an enormous amount of needless misery, challenges unaddressed, progress and advancement denied and delayed by who knows how many years or decades.
All this inflamed, this fanaticized minority in control of a mere one-half of one branch of government demands, a minority whose views on the issues of the day are supported by relatively small minorities of citizens, in order not to inflict significant harm on their own nation and their own citizens is to replace the agenda that the majority supports with that supported by the discredited and highly unpopular minority. All it demands is implementation of the losing presidential candidate’s prescriptions, the losing, the rejected party’s priorities in place of those of the president re-elected with broad support from the nation’s people. Any doubt that the bulk of the radicals’ allegiance is to their ideology and not to their nation has been eliminated once and for all.
And still, we have yet to quell the menace, to thwart the bully kicking sand in our face, stealing our resources, stealing our futures.
Where is the fury, where is the action, where is the determination adequate to the threat and to the level of potential harm? Where is the hatred to equal the hatred of those who despise us, who hold us in contempt, and openly say so every occasion they have, which is many, who threaten us and our institutions? It baffles me.
Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has written this:
Right now, if inherent importance were all that mattered, I wouldn’t be writing about the effects of sprawl, or the Fed succession, or even, probably, about China’s brick-wall problem. I would instead be writing all the time about the looming chaos in U.S. governance.
The trouble is that it’s hard to give this issue anything like the amount of coverage it deserves on substantive grounds without repeating oneself. So I do try to mix it up. But neither you nor I should forget that the madness of the GOP is the central issue of our time.
Anyone who writes of politics couldn’t possibly understand the dilemma he poses better.
There is a lot of blame, but that we remain at such a pass, trapped in such a domestic quagmire is unacceptable, it still shames us, it still decries our weakness and our confusion, our inertia and our foolish denial.
Give the media great credit for failing to regard not only the extremity of this force in American life and governance, but its rise to real power in the nation with anything resembling due alarm and attention. In fact, more often than not the American press is guilty of forsaking the pursuit and the exposition of objective truths about this extreme and destructive force, and that such a lot can breeze into power in a great nation is a prima facie condemnation of the American press.
Obama bears his share of responsibility for negotiating with these internal terrorists during previous Republican created “crises” and for handing them such substantial victories. They take him now for a punk and a marshmallow, and sad as it is to say, with some justification.
Furthermore, the nation’s capacity for informing itself and analyzing its own interests leave a lot to be desired. Way too many of our own citizens are hair on fire crazy, or fertilizer bag dumb. But the rest of us should have smacked the menace down by now. Whatever the combination of inattention, Pollyannaism, laziness, unjustified optimism or rank complacency that has been the cause, we are guilty of appeasement.
There is no equivalent in American history of any comparable radicalism from the left acquiring such a level of power. It would be as though early twentieth century communists and socialists, or the Yippies and SDS and Black Panthers and other avatars of the New Left of the 1960’s had achieved as prominent a role in the Democratic Party and in federal and state government as the radical right has now achieved in the Republican Party and government at every level. These movements on the left never came anywhere near, not remotely close to holding real official power, not as senators, not as congressional representatives, not as governors, not as mayors, not as state legislators, not as sanitation chiefs, Parks and Recreation administrators or referees in Little League.
So here we are: If you own a stock portfolio you’re depending upon for retirement, or to send your kids to college the radicals are coming directly at it. If you’re uninsured, or benefitting already from the numerous innovations in Obamacare they are coming to get your health care. If you work for a living or you run a business the economic consequences of a government shutdown or a debt default will be severe. If you depend on government for virtually any program or service it will be in jeopardy.
Here is what the radicals demand in exchange for sparing “their” country manifest harm and injury:
A one-year delay of the president’s health care law, fast-track authority to overhaul the tax code, construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, offshore oil and gas production, more permitting of energy exploration on federal lands, a rollback of regulations on coal ash, blocking new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on greenhouse gas production, eliminating a $23 billion fund to ensure the orderly dissolution of failed major banks, eliminating mandatory contributions to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, limits on medical malpractice lawsuits and an increase in means testing for Medicare, among other provisions.
It is not some other nation Republicans have threatened with harm in order to get their way, in order to replace the will and the agenda of the majority with that of an extremist minority, not some distant enemy or foreign adversary, but America, and America’s citizens.
And yet, as of now, we remain a nation of wet noodles.