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Blowing Up the House

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Posted on Jul 20, 2011
futureatlas.com (CC-BY)

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Media reports are touting the Senate’s Gang of Six and its new budget outline. But the news that explains why the nation is caught in this debt-ceiling fiasco is the gang warfare inside the Republican Party. We are witnessing the disintegration of tea party Republicanism.

The tea party’s followers have endangered the nation’s credit rating and the GOP by pushing both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor away from their own best instincts.

Cantor worked amiably with the negotiating group organized by Vice President Joe Biden and won praise for his focus even from liberal staffers who have no use for his politics.

Yet when the Biden group seemed close to a deal, it was shot down by the tea party’s champions. Boehner left Cantor exposed as the frontman in the Biden talks and did little to rescue him.

Then it was Boehner’s turn on the firing line. He came near a bigger budget deal with President Obama but the same right-wing rejectionists blew this up, too. Cantor evened the score by serving as a spokesman for Republicans opposed to any tax increase of any kind.

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Think about the underlying dynamic here. The evidence suggests that both Boehner and Cantor understand the peril of the game their Republican colleagues are playing. They know we are closer than we think to having the credit rating of the United States downgraded. This may happen before Aug. 2, the date everyone is using as the deadline for action. We have less time than we think.

Unfortunately, neither of the two House leaders seems in a position to tell the obstreperous right that it is flatly and dangerously wrong when it claims that default is of little consequence. Rarely has a congressional leadership seemed so powerless. 

Compare the impasse Boehner and Cantor are in with the aggressive maneuvering of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. He knows how damaging default would be and is working with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to concoct a way out.

McConnell can do this because he doesn’t confront the tea party problem that so bedevils Boehner and Cantor. Many of the tea party’s Senate candidates—Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska—lost in 2010. Boehner and Cantor, by contrast, owe their majority in part to tea party supporters. McConnell has a certain freedom to govern that his House leadership colleagues do not.

And this is why Republicans are going to have to shake themselves loose from the tea party. Quite simply, the tea party’s legions are not interested in governing, at least as governing is normally understood in a democracy with separated powers.  They believe that because the Republicans won one house of Congress in one election, they have a mandate to do whatever the right wing wants. A Democratic president and Senate are dismissed as irrelevant nuisances, although they were elected too.

The tea party lives in an intellectual bubble where the answers to every problem lie in books by F.A. Hayek, Glenn Beck or Ayn Rand. Rand’s anti-government writings, regarded by her followers as modern-day scripture—Rand, an atheist, would have bridled at that comparison—are particularly instructive.

When the hero of Rand’s breakthrough novel, “The Fountainhead,” doesn’t get what he wants, he blows up a building. Rand’s followers see that as gallant. So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that blowing up our government doesn’t seem to be a big deal to some of the new radical individualists in our House of Representatives.

Our country is on the edge. Our capital looks like a lunatic asylum to many of our own citizens and much of the world. We need to act right now to restore certainty by extending the debt ceiling through the end of this Congress.

Boehner and Cantor don’t have time to stretch things out to appease their unappeasable members, and they should settle their issues with each other later. Nor do we have time to work through the ideas from the Gang of Six. The Gang has come forward too late with too little detail. Their suggestions should be debated seriously, not rushed through.

Republicans need to decide whether they want to be responsible conservatives or whether they will let the tea party destroy the House that Lincoln Built in a glorious explosion. Such pyrotechnics may look great to some people on the pages of a novel or in a movie, but they’re rather unpleasant when experienced in real life.

E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 26, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

You know the Tea Baggers may have one thing in their sights which may be a worthy target. I know sacrilegious words here on TD.

The idea of floating the budget every year on debt instead of paying it off seems short sighted in my myopic view. But the rest of the Tea Bag agenda seems only supportive of their sponsors, the Koch Brothers, Alec and Norquest, so much for representative government by the majority.

Hypocrisy seems very alive and well with the Tea Bags, one only need observe their actions. Saying big government has to go, while they utilize big government to prompt their agendas, agendas against women’s rights, agendas attacking voters rights, and ignoring the Constitutions by dissing the separation of state and their church.

It has been stated Republicans and Tea Bags have been indoctrinated to the requests of their benefactors, this seems apparent, for they do not seem to support the concept of ‘common good’ or something known as compassion for their fellows.

Now I find the idea of waste as offensive as others, but the Republican decree of waste is not one I can embrace.

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By SteveL, July 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

The same moneyed interests that helped put the tea baggers in office may now get burned by them with the debt limit problems.  Live and learn.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 24, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

I couldn’t help laughing myself off my computer chair.  Today is the
day for laughs.  The disagreement in Washington between the
implacable starched-brained Republican TeaParty Controlled leaders
and the ever-head-swiveling, eye-rolling, self-grabbing intransigent
Democratics over the debt limit does lend itself to footlighted drama. 
We now have the Fandangoists, where yesterday Kabuki Theaterists
were popular political hipppodrome fare (and costing our recreation
budget plenty), and recently the stage was likened to Greek Theaterists
(which is really sinister, and no doubt it really is).  I admit to liking the
Fandangoist better, but I think the politicians are not lively enough, more
zombie-like, and I don’t see anyone clapping or clicking castanets, and
BTW: Where are the Guitars?!!!  From my illustrious ancestry, I will throw
in my own entertaining polychromatophiliacic portrayal of Commedia
dell’arte with Dr. Malatestas and Harlequins all over the place, both
bumbling through to the destruction of the United States.  What a laugh
riot!  Sort of like another Italian (or was that Roman? and is there a
difference?) Nero who laughed as Rome burned?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

I think the plan has been to have a fandango about the debt limit, but then call it off at the last minute.

However, there is always a chance that those who strike up the fandango may lose control of it.  They may signal to the orchestra to stop, but the madly dancing mobs may seize the instruments and play their own tunes.

For several years now, Tea Party types have been encouraged to believe that their politics would have no adverse consequences.  They have now run into what may be an immovable object: the determination of ‘the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party’ to hang on to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  These latter politicians have sworn to defend those programs to the last ditch, and unlike Mr. O’s, their oaths may mean something.  My Congresswoman is an old-school Irish type; she won her last election with over 80% of the vote.  She’s not going to back down.

I’ve already imagined Mr. O’s plan, which calls for selling out at the last moment, but the Democratic-wing part of the Democratic Party and the Tea Party may not let him do it.  Between them they may have enough votes to say ‘Ils ne passeront pas’ and ‘Fiat iustitia, ruat caelum’ and other high-sounding stuff.  We could be living in interesting times pretty soon. 

Is Hitler or Caesar in the wings?  I don’t see them yet.

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By aacme88, July 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

When all hell breaks loose in the nursery the adult in the room needs to stand up and send the little brats to bed without their supper.
Just invoking the Constitution, period, all deals off, is the only way to restore some sanity.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 22, 2011 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

You know pay back is a bitch, but not raising the deficit would be some sort of payback to the ass holes who got bailed out, though it will also screw the common people, possibly more than the wealthy, lets face it SSI, Medicare, VA for veterans, and any other government services are said to be stopped? If SSI is solvent, how does that work?

On my estimate the only good side would be if the wars happened to be forced to end?

It seems to me, if common people do not receive any of their entitlements, they will not pay their bills and obligations, it will create a snow ball effect, according to the experts?  The wealthy will still have their Private jets and yachts to show how hard they have been working all their lives, after hearing so much about the deification, I probably will not care, there will be a big demand on shopping carts.

Maybe it would be a kind of pay back, but more of a deadly compliance kind,... I suppose this is how Hitler took over Germany?

We can all know,... what ever happens, no matter how bad (not sure about good) some would love flaunting the fact by saying… it was gods will!

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By Azcat85, July 22, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

“The tea party’s followers have endangered the nation’s credit rating ”  Are you
delusional?  The actions of the Democratic Congress since 2004 have more
culpability for this fiasco then the Freshman House members.  The credit rating
was endangered with each authorization bill passed and each obligation bill
passed with out having the revenue to pay for it.  Talk about blind to the facts.

The House is trying to bring sanity to budgeting, actually passing bills.  When
was the last time Harry Reid’s Senate passed anything?  Over 700 days ago. 
Two years without a budget.  Outstanding way to run any organization.  Maybe
you Democrats run your own affairs that way, but, you are no longer going to
run the country that way.

Obama is not a leader and needs to step aside.  If the Dems truly cared about
the country and not the party, they would actually run someone against the
failed leadership of Obama.

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Alan Lunn's avatar

By Alan Lunn, July 22, 2011 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

The Boston Tea Party threw the monopoly tea in the
harbor.

Today’s tea party is selling the monopoly tea while
they drink it.

Not a subtle difference here.

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By NABNYC, July 22, 2011 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

The premise of this (and most) articles in the media seems to be that it would be shockingly irresponsible for anyone to oppose increasing the debt ceiling.  But that’s an invalid assumption.  We should be asking how in the hell our politicians managed to run up fourteen trillion in debt, who is responsible, who is going to pay, and how can we avoid this in the future.  Not just automatically vote to give more money to d.c. 

Think about it:  most of this debt was created by bush-cheney starting wars, failing to raise taxes on businesses and on the rich to pay for the wars, and instead cutting taxes for the rich.  They also allowed their republican friends to back their trucks up to the treasury and empty it out in the form of various corporate tax breaks and subsidies. 

Perhaps it is worth our time to look at the cause of the debt, not just automatically approve even more debt.

For example, we should have new laws providing that all the bush tax cuts, and the ones Obama extended, expire immediately.  End the capital gains special rate, and cap charitable write-offs at $5,000/family.  If people like Gates and Buffett and Clinton paid their taxes instead of stuffing their money into tax-free private charity accounts, that would take care of a big part of the problem.

So maybe the teabaggers are crazy, but then again the politicians are lying thieves.  Who will call them to account? 

I do not think it is reasonable to go along with this madness, including Obama’s new wars against Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, pretending that we have the money to pay for it (ignoring the illegality of all of these wars).  Maybe it’s time for a reckoning.

Why don’t you see the politicians and media getting hysterical about unemployment, frozen wages, jobs leaving the country, foreclosures, people being driven into bankruptcy and living in their cars?  The real things that affect the working people, 80% of the country, are ignored.  Instead, the politicians and the media create phony crisis and act all hysterical about it. 

Oh No, the government might not pay Wall Street.  Yeah, that’s gonna happen.  I wish they would default.  I wish every single American would just stop paying their bills, destroy the entire financial system, then we can start over.  To hear people worry about this is like imagining the condemned prisoners on death row headed for the electric chair worrying that the power is out.  We should all be celebrating and cheering for collapse, not buying into this silly distraction which has nothing to do with the real crisis in our country—Wall street has stolen all our money and bought our politicians, and the public is being crushed.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 22, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

SoTexGuy,,

If the Tea Party intends to blow up the house, I wonder if their libertarian benefactors the Koch Brothers and ALEC find this to their cooperate and libertarian benefit?

Too bad the Tea bags were not a third party for the people, and a whole lot on the smarter side, with a missing factor… compassion, they could have leveraged some demands which could have been a great change and eliminated disgusting K street lobbyists from running the halls of Congress and could have helped the huddled masses while making the country become a tad more represented by Congress. 

What a waste of a third party, it is obvious they have been manipulated from the beginning, to say what they are told.  By the Murdoch s , the Koche’s, the Roves and Norquests, and corporations (now people too)  these seem the entities they serve, not the people who vote and I suspect their are manipulations I can not even conjure going on.

It remains to be seen if United States is destroyed by Tea Bags or if it is a bluff.

One thing I know, I will not pay my bills if this happens, so chaos may ensue, I suspect the anarchists will be in their chosen land.

I suppose Obama will have to enact Marshall law, so much for the chosen land?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 22, 2011 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

SoTexGuy, July 22 at 5:58 am:

‘... Right now it looks like Washington and Wall Street wants more money to continue the same dance.. Maybe those ugly Partiers have a point?’

In a sense they do.  There really is a deficit—not just the Federal budgetary deficit, but the fact that the United States has been living generally on borrowed money and borrowed time while its ruling class wasted its wealth, social fabric and prestige on imperialism and kleptocracy.  The delusion of the Tea Partiers is that the cure is merely cutting taxes on the rich and beating down the poor and working class some more, that after they accomplish this, things will go back to a sort of normal.

In fact the ruling class has a dilemma:  If they divert more money from the working class and the poor to themselves, the present recession will deepen, which will have adverse political consequences—no one knows how extreme, but everyone has read the history of the 1930s.  If they ignore the Federal deficit and the trade deficit and so on, some sort of credit crash will certainly occur not too far down the road, as a result of the wastrel policies they have pursued thus far and do not know how to reverse.

No politician can afford to say this, however.  Winston Churchill could get away with offering the British People ‘blood and sweat, toil and tears’ because they were facing a visible monster.  The monster Americans are facing has been created their own ignorance and political fecklessness.  Many of them would like the poor to carry the load for them, but the poor can’t carry it any more.

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By SoTexGuy, July 22, 2011 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

The Tea Partiers are Storm Crows and Vultures.. they arrived with turmoil and now may thrive on this calamity.

The worse things get the more encouraged they will be. Their popularity among the general public and undecided may be lagging.. the more their aims are thwarted by Party politics the more intransigent their base becomes. They are not scared of a government shut down and would view any obstacle to further
borrowing as a victory, including a so-called default..

The tongue-wagging and shrill warnings of Washington wonks and leaders about not disappointing our creditors enrages them.. as they see those same people responsible for the mess we have. In particular taking on debt for every American plus their unborn descendants while the quality of life in America
spirals slowly downward for a great portion of the people. Especially working people.

Not being any kind of Tea Partier or Republican or Neo-con myself I nonetheless can see the truth in their perspective of our current situation.. So what if the leadership of both parties in the Congress is stymied and powerless? ... that just might be a good start to fixing these problems!

It’s of interest that in the propaganda cloud from all sides.. everyone warning of THE DEFAULT. Little is said of changing the way Washington does business.. Changing the system of deals and bureaucracies and more that have us in this mess. THe handshake between the Government and Business and Banking that leaves out the people responsible for repaying the debt..

Right now it looks like Washington and Wall Street wants more money to continue the same dance.. Maybe those ugly Partiers have a point?

Adios!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Your six-step political boogie, Anarcissie, reminds me of a dreadful
fairy tale whose title cannot be remembered by anyone, where all of
the characters are stuck in terrible circumstances, and worse, who
dream of nothing better!  It is remindful of an allegory of divine
deliverance emanating from a transcendent realm.  But, not really
astonishing, the narrative kinesics really are in the other direction,
and the protagonist (who really is us) realizes that no salvation is
coming from a non-existent “above” or “beyond.”  In the end, he(we)
finds he(we) has to save not only himself(ourselves), but also all of the
others.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

Nice prediction, to bad for me Tequila doesn’t have leaves to read in the bottom of my glass.

Really, as good a prediction as any others I have heard!

It may be safe to predict, the huddled masses will all receive once more the great shaft from the sky,... It would appear, Anarchists are not excluded?

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By gerard, July 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

As long as you keep your attention on the danse macabre going on on the extreme stage right, you miss the more agonizing, boring but more significant ACT V going on at center stage—the morphing of the country into aconfused, heartless oligarchy directed by the inept forces of Big Money and Irresponsible Government, with Big Surveillance waiting in the wings for its chance to bring down the curtain.

The main problem at the moment is how to stop being the hypnotized audience.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

I could be completely wrong about this, but it looks to me like Mr. O is practicing a little judo—not for the sake of the working class or the Democratic Party, but to advance his own career.  Here’s how it would work:

1.  Wrestle with the Republicans until the last moment, then cave in.  ‘We can’t afford a default’, etc.

2.  The Republicans now own the economy.  ‘I wanted to do some more stimulus, Medicare, easy money, and so on, to keep the economy going, but the nasty old Republicans wouldn’t let me.’

3.  Moving money from the poor to the rich is a really bad idea in a recession.  The economy tanks worse than it is now.  But now it’s ‘the Republicans’ fault’.

4.  At the same time, Tea Party types are encouraged to act even more crazy—after all, they ‘won’—thus offending more Americans.

5.  2012: Mr. O runs against his own record, which the Republicans have conveniently adopted ownership of.  Mr. O utterly trashes the Republicans, who fall apart into religious fanatic and libertarian camps.  The Democratic Party, only major party left, becomes a total business-interest rich folks’ party and rules unhappily ever after.

6.  Proggies celebrate Mr. O’s victory wildly, then go back to frothing angrily about everything he has done and will do, which indeed will include nasty stuff.

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By FRTothus, July 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So let me see if I have this straight.  The people bailed out the crooks and swindlers in their Ponzi schemes, with borrowed trillions, increasing the debt, diluting the value of all the money, all with no productive results, and now we are being told that debt is a problem?  It would not be a problem if we had not given all that cash to the banks, did not have a national policy of rewarding the wealthy and impoverishing everyone else.  We would not have such debt if the crooks were not bailed out, if the fantasy “free market” were allowed to work, would not have any debt at all if it weren’t for the wars that enrich the already too wealthy, if it were not for the FED banksters who create money out of thin air, loan what they do not have, and charge our nation interest for every dollar.

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By Marian Griffith, July 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the root causes of the whole political mess is the near permanent state of elections. What was intended to be the pinacle of democracy has turned into the opposite. Members of Congress and Senate are so busy securing funding and votes permanently that they are forced to turn towards the rich and corporate. Who are increasingly blatant about wanting influence and a repayment on their investment in politicians.
And while we are all blaming the President and the Tea Party, let us not forget that for most of the first two years the Democrats were only one vote short of doing whatever they pleased short of rewriting the constitution. And they left their President to hang on the first sign of Republican (and insurance company) intransigence on the subject of health care insurance reform. I am not overly surprised that Obama listens more to the Republican party these days, his own party has already proven to him that it will not back him in the face of even a little opposition.

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By Dena, July 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How comforting it must be for the media, neolibs, neocons and other establishment elites to be able to lay the blame for the past 50 years of bad governance at the feet of the very recently formed tea party.  The members of the “gang of six” whose ideas you champion, have had many, many years to solve the problems facing our country and have done nothing! This same gang of six has given us NAFTA and other supposedly “free” trade agreements which have costs many working Americans their jobs, they’ve give us war after war after war, they’ve bailed out Wall Street at our expense, they give American companies tax breaks to send jobs overseas, they want to entrust our healthcare to the insurance industry, they vote themselves huge pay raises every year, and yet… these are your heros?  I for one am tired of these self-serving politicians and am ready for some new ideas and I don’t care if it comes from the right or the left. Enough already!  Time for a change.

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, July 21, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

The sad part is that there was G.W. Bush long before the tea party, not to
mention Reagan. Neo-conservatism wasn’t invented by the recent tea party.
This bogus debt-ceiling issue isn’t really something new, but just another in a
long line of traps laid by Republicans for Democrats, who never catch on. The
Democrats are hopelessly lost, beyond repair, having forfeited any right to
support from working people.

The damage has been done, the Republicans successful, as usual:

Obama continues to fail miserably, and is at it again, after not backing Warren
and now talking of how he’ll accept “reform” of Social Security and Medicare. A
few Dems are resisting their leader, rightfully so. Then there’s Bernie Sanders,
just about the only sane one left in the Senate. Citizens don’t just see Capitol
Hill as a lunatic asylum; it IS a lunatic asylum. Thanks in no small part to
Republican strategy to “get” the President. It’s working, tea party or no tea
party. Remember the public option?

The fact Boehner and Cantor are momentarily trapped by the tea party is a
footnote in the history of damage done by both parties. The tea party might or
might not be dismissed by voters, when voters really need to dismiss both
major political parties altogether.

However, as matters stand, a very large percentage of Americans are opposed
to raising the debt ceiling. Not all of them, or even very many of them, affiliated
with the tea party.

Republicans, with or without the tea party, have been very successful at
thwarting everything the Democratic Party has attempted, which hasn’t been
much when compared to agendas of the party in the past. This isn’t FDR’s
Democratic Party by a long shot. It’s not even Carter’s. It’s Clinton’s in collusion with the DLC, that most despicable of them all, when it determined that winning mattered
more than platform, to the extent there was any worthy platform remaining.

Indeed, the best thing that could have happened to the Republicans was the
election of Barack Obama as President (see Branfman’s piece here earlier this week on what if McCain?). I’ve even started to wonder if they don’t
know that very well and so are happy to offer up Bachmann (speaking of the tea party) with expectation of defeat.) Or Palin or Romney for that matter.

Probably a strategy too clever by half, though still not all THAT improbable. Especially when the Repubs have no one to offer up.  Obama only looks worse for his supporters as time passes, as he sells out his rhetoric. Any cuts to Social Security and Medicare will be extremely damaging for millions. And the debt ceiling will be raised no matter what. Repubs are mostly getting what they wanted by instigating this phony “debate.”

Otherwise, I appreciated one member of the Black Caucus (whose name I can’t recall) saying they’d long been opposed to the formation of gangs—a bit of sane speech. Now, If only he meant what he said, but as usual the Black Caucus is shut out. What or who is this gang and who the hell do they think they are forming a cabal with permission of Congressional leaders? So much for even the pretense to representative government. What a farce, no less so and possibly more so than the tea party itself.

The tea party is loony but not all of its concerns are loony. The problem is that it doesn’t know causes for concerns—day-to-day operations of and by Wall Street, including purchase of government.

The problem isn’t simply political; it’s political-economic.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 21, 2011 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 21 at 8:59 am – ironically so.  I have a funny inside
feeling (a FIF) though, the next election will tell the Handmaiden’s Tale
and less tea will be served in the GOP as well as in the public afternoon.

Liberal as I am, I’ve always thought a clear Republican perspective is
needed to control the overzealous Democrats.  The Democrats seem
to have a tourniqueted sanguine character which occasionally needs
drained, whilst the Republican are as cold blooded as they can be,
which is probably why they call on the Christian god to help them.
haha

Yeah, the current crop of Democrats do seem awfully lazy.  Maybe a
crowd of Deep Blues will come along and infuse some high energy
drink (quite unlike tea) into the blood vessels of the politicians?  An
idle dream?  Maybe…maybe not.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 21, 2011 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Rand was writing to create an answer to “The Communist Manifesto” and “Capital”...but her plots were more interesting!

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By berniem, July 21, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Be advised: The T-Party is nothing more than the republicans’ version of the Brown Shirts. These people are nothing more than a bunch of moronic and intolerant ideologues doing the dirty work of the party and providing them with the cover of plausible deniability so willingly granted by a complicit media! The democrats for the most part are just as complicit and will cite the intansigence of the baggers for giving away the store. Fascism has arrived in this nation with two groups bickering over the best way to redistribute what’s left of value upward. Eventually, this squabble will be resolved by an Amerikan version of “The Night Of The Long Knives” and the more ruthless of the factions will prevail!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 21, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Actually, I believe the Tea Party helped the Democrats preserve their majority in the Senate, which they might well have lost in 2010 due to the non-enthusiasm engendered by Mr. O’s non-performance.

In general, the Tea Party is destroying the Republican Party.

This is not necessarily a good thing.  While the Republican Party needed to be punished for the Southern Strategy, its total destruction will allow the Democrats to become even more oriented towards business, corporations, the rich, and the military-industrial complex.

The actual Left is too miniscule and disorganized to threaten them, and proggies never seem to do anything, so the Democrats can just spread out and absorb every non-crazy square inch of political terrain.  This will make them even more lazy and corrupt than they are now.

I suppose they will thus be fit supervisors for the decline and fall.

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By Dr Bones, July 21, 2011 at 8:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can’t seriously blame the Tea Baggers, the debt was run up by Repugs and Dems.  A result of deregulation, bubbles of irrationality, illegal wars, and perks and bonus for the have-too-much already.

Perhaps we really should defund the criminals on DC because they sure don’t represent working and out of work American middle class, 95% of Americans.

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By balkas, July 21, 2011 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

political thinking in a supremacistic region [also known as u.s] populated by
possibly a thousand ethnic groups and dozens of cults,may be deemed as
casting the narrowest look possible on events;each of which is connected to
each other.

however,both the organized religion and politics in u.s are treated as existing in
total isolation from events such as homelessness,joblessness,warfare,
exploitation,weapons manufacture,banksters,cia activities,war on
drugs,prostitution,dissemination of lies,loss of homes,etc.

thus, no elucidation is possible if one excludes what an organized religion
does-think from what the tea and uncle sam’s party do-think.

in fact,organized religions teach their followers almost exactly what the leaders
of the tea partiers and demo-republican leaderrs teach or misteach,if u prefer
the latter label.

what the said leadership[s] teach is what napoleon,bismarck,tsar nikolas,darius,
nefertitis,senacherib,herod the great,hitler,mussolini,chang kai shek,et al
taught.
and dionne follows these ‘great’ people! tnx

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By Shenonymous, July 21, 2011 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

The TeaParty isn’t going ANYWHERE until the voters unleash a
backlash on them and vote them out of office.  They won’t back
down—they have to be defeated and THROWN out. We’ve seen it in
Western NY, and a few other places since 2010, but Wisconsin next
month will be the test.”

Your perception is beyond dispute, ITW.  So our responsibility as
active liberals is to help wherever we can to make sure it happens. 
The DNC needs to send out alerts so local true liberal Democrats,
I call them Deep Blues, will get out the vote and circulate in every
medium they can why the liberal is the best choice and why the
opponent would put them in a situation of devastation.  Notice that
it was the progressive Democrats in New York and Wisconsin that
changed the political scenery. They can do it, if energized and with
good support and advocacy.

You did a brief but pithy analysis of Ayn Rand’s political ideology. 
Someone now ought to write the antitheses of Fountainhead and Atlas
Shrugged.  They would make a million!

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By SarcastiCanuck, July 21, 2011 at 5:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The tea baggers are now on the threshold of joining that exclusive club known as ‘The League of Extrordinarily Idealogical Fools’.All of thier fellow fools in history have not only brought themselves down,but thier entire societies as well.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 21, 2011 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

EJ:
You are fooling yourself.  The TeaParty isn’t going ANYWHERE until the voters unleash a backlash on them and vote them out of office.  They won’t back down—they have to be defeated and THROWN out. We’ve seen it in Western NY, and a few other places since 2010, but Wisconsin next month will be the test.

Also, a correction: Rand’s hero doesn’t blow up the buildings when he doesn’t get what he wants. He blows them up when he doesn’t get PAID for them.  His payment for solving a low-cost housing problem nobody else could was to have it built EXACTLY as he designed it. It wasn’t done so he wasn’t paid his fee. Serious difference.  Of course, in Rand’s simple world going to court to get relief, even if it meant demolition wasn’t possible because the Courts were corrupt.

Ironically, Rand’s view of the world in Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is a perfect mirror image of our world today.  Exactly the people she paints as heroes and villains are reversed.  The industrialists and bankers are the bad guys in real life and the heroes are liberals the few liberal-minded wealthy.

She had it all backwards, but, tragically, the end result she saw is happening, even to the lack of rolling stock to move freight and grain on our railroads!

Rand lost everything, including her country in the Russian Revolution and this colored her thinking till the day she died.

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By ardee, July 21, 2011 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

If one recalls recent history the conclusion seems obvious enough. Whether in the majority or the minority in both Houses, whether in the White House or not, Republicans have had their way, one way or the other.

Certainly the GOP looks increasingly foolish catering, as they do, to the extremism on the right that so benefited them in the past elections but now becomes increasingly troublesome in the normal give and take of politics and compromise.

But any analysis of the problems besetting our government must, perforce, reach the conclusion that the Democrats are their own worst enemy. Inability to communicate to the voting public, inability to put forth any plan for anything that fires ones imagination, compromising at the drop of a hat, even when they obviously had the better hand.

It seemed, sadly, that as the GOP moved further and further rightward the Democrats followed them , and past centrism as well. Instead of making a stand, instead of common sense appeals to the nations voters, the Democratic Party seemed focused only upon capturing the lion’s share of the corporate funding awaiting the coming election.

We the People have been abandoned by our government, and nothing shows that more plainly than the plan to end the deduction for mortgage interest. When General Electric pays no taxes at all on 6 billion in earnings, and is then rewarded with an appointment to a presidential commission on job creation for their CEO, one first laughs, then gags.

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By Frosty46, July 21, 2011 at 2:31 am Link to this comment

In a grand view of things politic I fail to see the problem with
Tea Baggers and Republicans exploding—in fact I like the mental
image of their body parts soaring over the capitol dome————
now there’s Karma at work!

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