The class warfare issue: my working theory is that wealthy individuals bought themselves a radical right party, believing — correctly — that it would cut their taxes and remove regulations, but failed to realize that eventually the craziness would take on a life of its own, and that the monster they created would turn on its creators as well as the little people. And nobody knows how it ends. --Paul Krugman
I seldom agree with Congressman Pete King (Republican, County Antrim...err, New York) about much of anything. Certainly, we both have the Irish ability to prevaricate which enables him to see a difference between the Provisional IRA and al Qaeda or Hamas that really doesn't exist. Seriously, Franz Fanon could have written about Falls Road as opposed to Algeria, and same story. So, King's advocacy for gunrunners and money launderers for Green Power while absolute condemnation of anything pro-Palestinian or prop-Arab is interesting. Since I stopped drinking 23 years ago, it's harder for me to do that. I just run out of patience with my own bullshit.
Fortunately for the Republicans, John Bohener hasn't quit drinking. So he's able to babble insanely and push a legislative and economic agenda he doesn't believe in for a bunch of clowns he probably despises surrounded by a team he doesn't trust and NOT HAVE HIS HEAD EXPLODE! Fortunate for the Republican party in the short term, but bad for the country and the Republican party in the long run. But, with Guinness and Bushmills as opposed to Chardonnay comes clarity and Pete King has long since reached the point of cognitive dissonance and his constituents are probably telling him to knock off the crap and get something done. No Republican seat in downstate is a safe seat; to be successful, you have to understand people and compromise and the art of getting things done. So Pete King has a pretty good tether to earth and reality. Louis Gomert and Michelle Bachmann, not so much. So, he finds himself in something like the position of Lot in Sodom, trying to find a few more just men in the Republican Caucus. Good luck with that:
“We can’t be going off on these false missions that Ted Cruz wants us to go on,” King continued. “The issues are too important. They’re too serious, they require real conservative solutions, not cheap headline-hunting schemes.”
If you've been reading my rantings for any period longer than, well, this you know that I am a skeptic about most things but a firm believer that the rich and hyper-rich who are paying attention have pretty consciously been engaging in class warfare for decades. Paul Krugman's and Ezra Klein's analysis is spot on in this case. The question really is how'd we get here...and I suggest listening to The Talking Head's for the ontological answer. Or, Google the Senate Chaplain's Barry Black's opening prayer yesterday. As Alex Rogers commented at Swampland, Time Magazine's Washington Blog,
For some, at least, the only thing left to do was pray. “Eternal God, our ever present help in trouble, as our nation stumbles toward a seemingly unavoidable government shutdown, keep our lawmakers from sowing to the wind, thereby risking reaping the whirlwind,” prayed the Senate chaplain Barry C. Black on the floor before the vote. “Remember that all that is necessary for unintended catastrophic consequences is for good people to do nothing.”
Well, they certainly didn't do nothing. Rather, they kept doing the same thing, and frankly, it's hard to pick out the most egregious, disingenuous piece of bullshit spewed by the Republican conference. I particularly like the idea that the President wasn't willing to negotiate. WE'RE IN THIS MESS BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT REFUSED TO ACCEPT THAT THE REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE WERE INCAPABLE OF NEGOTIATING IN GOOD FAITH. If you have the patience for it, review the legislative history of the Affordable Care Act and the various budget issues over the last couple of years. I think in Barack Obama we are looking at the second coming not of Abraham Lincoln but of Woodrow Wilson. He's a reasonable man dealing with irrational people who are less interested in doing what's right for the country than in avoiding their "Base's" anger and primary action. Absurd. Wilson's ultimate failure was due to his inability to realize that some people won't see reason; Obama's history is yet to be inscribed, but I suspect that he'll have a similar fate.
I particularly like the R's decision to strip themselves and the Executive's employees of health insurance in supposed solidarity with what the American people are going through...despite the fact that there's a huge difference between the situation of the folks affected by the insurance coverage of the Affordable Care Act and the people who work for the Executive and Congressional Branches of Government. The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, doesn't really have anything to do with the members of Congress or their staff...They Already Have Employer Provided Health Care. This is grandstanding by plutocratic jerks and while nothing will come of it, the staff of the Republicans on the Hill should start sending out resumes now. Just what K-Street needs, more lobbyists.
I'm also enjoying the coverage of the stench of booze on both sides of the aisle; however, it seems like the Dems wait until the bill is actually passed and something is done. (It's also possible that the media is trying to be "fair and balanced" damning both sides. ) Well, now we know...for sure. Wouldn't you love to get a urine sample result from Michelle Bachmann? A breathylizer reading from Boehner?