As an audience member, Republican Masterpiece Theater presentations of the last several days in which very deeply wounded, painfully bruised, obviously hurting Republicans plead before the cameras, “Can’t we just talk? Can’t we just work this out? Can’t we just compromise?” have sent me through several boxes of Kleenex. Oh, the pathos.
Would it be impolite to tell them, “Just go fuck yourself”? Because, in so many words, this is what Obama should tell them.
Empathy can be a useful acting tool, cynicism, not so much. Republicans have less than zero of the former to the chagrin and sorrow of a not very grateful nation, and far too much of the latter, certainly too much to credibly perform in front of America’s voters.
The shtick has become so contrived and hammy all but the teabagger rump are booing them and throwing rotten tomatoes. Under camera lights, these Republican elected officials nearly glisten with the coating of cynical, slick gamesmanship that is all that motivates them, their skin as slippery as they are now. This is a political party with no raison d’etre anymore other than tactics and strategy, absent heart, soul, ideas, and worse, ideological sanity.
So-called Republican moderates have failed spectacularly at modifying the behavior of the non compos mentis in their midst, at this point the Ninja Loonies squeezing the neck bones of the others in a gleeful chokehold.
This isn’t just about Obamacare anymore. And it isn’t just about democratic principles either, though they’re important. It’s about standing up to, and facing down a destructive radicalism that continues turning the nation upside down.
Minority rule has become extremely tedious, and more offensive to the gastrointestinal tract every day it persists. With sequester cuts permanently budgeted in, a nation that has expressed emphatic disdain for the Ryan budget, has now been effectively forced to adopt it.
Obama has coughed up far too many ransoms, Democrats have swallowed more than an intolerable amount of foul-tasting surrenders and huge concessions. We have witnessed enough bloody draconian chain sawing to the nation’s viscera, enough pointless and unnecessary harm has been endured by the economy, the middle-class, and worst of all, the vulnerable.
Coverage of the Big Showdown from the lazy, careerist nabobs in the major press, rarely gives so much as a squeak out about the harm done already by the sequester cuts: an estimated 1.6 millions jobs lost, and 1.2% off of Gross Domestic Product. Little is heard about the workers furloughed before the government shutdown by sequester cuts; the reductions in benefits to the unemployed, housing vouchers taken away from those who need them in order to pay rent, Head Start slots eliminated, or the host of governmental functions depended upon by a wide range of American citizens.
What Republicans hope to extract in their grand bargain or Very Special Negotiations appears to be blowing in the wind with the answer, my friend, since it may or may not involve Obamacare, depending upon who is asked and when, Republicans unable to provide a response coherent enough not to sound like a schizophrenic taking mescaline out for a spin. Is it Ronald Reagan’s picture on the American flag? Tax credits for investing in donuts? Oil drilling in Arlington Cemetery? Making the 47% wear their underwear on the top of their head? A new government agency called the Department of the National Rifle Association? Give us a hint.
I would direct any who may be interested to the Democracy Corps study of the Tea Party released today. It confirms what many of us knew instinctively, and from, you know, witnessing it with our eyes, which is that the mouth-foaming set only grows more exotic and more intransigent with the passage of time, fully endorsing the sorts of extortionist tactics and domestic terrorism and super tantrums we have seen before, and are witnessing now. It is the present, as well as the future until we back them down.
How long are we going to allow this minority fragment of bigoted, irrational, monstrously ignorant, endlessly entitled, science and reality denying, ideological mad dogs to drag the country further into its own backwater swamp of regression?
There’s nothing we can do about the structure of our legislative bodies, which inordinately and unrepresentatively empower hardcore Republican parts of the country and essentially cement minority rule. But we, fed up citizens, Democrats, elected officials and the Obama administration can bring down all matter of fire and brimstone on the heads of the Republican House and of Republican officialdom, a mighty swarm of intense pressure, shaming and excoriation that leaves them no choice but to finally cut the shit.
Does anybody work for Barack Obama? Last time there was a government shutdown in the 1990’s, Bill Clinton had James Carville, Paul Begala, Stephanopolous and a fiery army of others out in front of cameras 24 hours a day giving Newt Gingrich and Republicans hot, molten holy hell.
A default on the debt would be devastating to the American economy, and to the world’s. Make the Republicans in the House of Representative prevent it. Make them. If default comes, make them eat every last morsel of blame until they do relent. Or, to put it another way until testicles finally sprout from the groin of John Boehner.