Posted on 16-10-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

After two weeks of grandstanding, it ended with a whimper.  To the rising outrage of Americans not in thrall to the right-wing media bubble and the bewildered consternation of the rest of the world, tea party extremists shut down the government and threatened to blow up the world economy by triggering the first US debt default since the War of 1812 (not including a short technical default in the 1970s).

Their quixotic goal was an attempt to defund Obamacare – on the delusion that a recently re-elected President Obama and Democratic Senate would give up their biggest domestic policy win in the last 4 years.  After years of infuriating his base by being overeager to deal with Republican extremists, the President finally channeled his inner Michael Corleone (video below) and told the teabaggers to go jump in the Potomac.

The Democrats remained united in their opposition to repeated one sided Republican ransom notes that the weeping orange occupying the Speaker’s chair delivered at the behest of the extremist loons and their puppet handler – first term Senator Ted Cruz.  The last few days the oligarchs who fund these nuts looked on in alarm as tea party nutjobs engaged in default denialism – that a default would not harm the economy.  Ted Cruz bloviated about the American people supporting his cause, even as opinion polls showed the Republican brand taking a beating and conservative hacks like Jennifer Rubin started questioning the worthiness of Republicans holding on to the House.

As usual sections of the establishment stenographers made fools of themselves by being unwilling to call a ransom a ransom. Michael Kinsley published possibly the stupidest thing written in the last two weeks (and there were many worthy contenders) by asking the President to surrender to terrorists.

Meanwhile, the tea party was horrified to discover that a shut down meant that national parks would shut down.  One buffoon congressman went on to berate a hapless (unpaid) park ranger about the World War II memorial being closed.  I had a Republican friend earnestly try to argue that not all Republicans were tea party whack jobs.  Yet these so called moderate/reasonable/intelligent Republicans (other than a handful like Rep. Peter King) saved their grumbling for the shadows as the tea party hijacked control of the House.  Two days ago it was clear that Speaker Boehner had lost control of his caucus and the adults in the Senate started a compromise.  A modified ransom note masquerading as a compromise from Senator Collins was shot down and Senators Reid and McConnell (who is facing a tea party extremist in a primary) worked out a deal.  Yesterday the brakes were hit again as Speaker Boehner wanted one last ransom note.  Yet his deranged caucus could not muster up the votes for even that.  Finally today the avoidable crisis ended.  At the cost of about 24 billion to the economy and a decline in job growth, the Republicans got what they deserved – NOTHING!.

The can has been kicked down the road where flim-flam man Paul Ryan will try to get his pixie dust budget through and Republicans are still dead set against any new revenues.  But one hopes that the Republican leadership and the cowardly moderates will not have the appetite for another struggle.

The irony in all this is that the Democrats had already conceded the point of funding the government at Republican levels.  A sane political party would treat that as a victory, particularly since the deficits have been declining dramatically.  But today’s Republican Party does not reside in our space-time continuum.

Here’s hoping the Republican Party goes the way of the Whigs so that the sane party of Lincoln can re-emerge.

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