Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Crazies Rule The Roost

It has been clear for some time now that the Republican Party is The Stupid Party. But with today's shut down of the federal government, the Republicans have earned the moniker, The Delusional Party.  They are "rebels without a clue," Paul Krugman writes. Unless they can defund health care, they will refuse to raise the federal debt ceiling:

Now suppose it became clear that U.S. bonds weren’t safe, that America couldn’t be counted on to honor its debts after all. Suddenly, the whole system would be disrupted. Maybe, if we were lucky, financial institutions would quickly cobble together alternative arrangements. But it looks quite possible that default would create a huge financial crisis, dwarfing the crisis set off by the failure of Lehman Brothers five years ago.

No sane political system would run this kind of risk. But we don’t have a sane political system; we have a system in which a substantial number of Republicans believe that they can force President Obama to cancel health reform by threatening a government shutdown, a debt default, or both, and in which Republican leaders who know better are afraid to level with the party’s delusional wing. For they are delusional, about both the economics and the politics. 

And, remember, a minority of the party has got them into this spot. Instead of leading, John Boehner is being led. The tail is wagging the dog:

The votes to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling are there, and always have been: every Democrat in the House would vote for the necessary measures, and so would enough Republicans. The problem is that G.O.P. leaders, fearing the wrath of the radicals, haven’t been willing to allow such votes.

The Republicans made a Faustian bargain in 2010 and accepted the Tea Party into their tent. Now the crazies rule the roost.


Anonymous said...

Owen, as someone who agrees with most of your blog postings, I think you've missed the mark on this one.

As much as I normally disagree with the Tea Party, they're right in demanding a one-year delay in implementing the individual mandate. That mandate has always been the worst part of ACA and the GOP is right that polling shows the majority of Americans opposed to it.

The individual mandate forces people who can't afford it to buy bad policies with high co-pays that they also can't afford should they ever become sick. The individual mandate facilitates the transfer of wealth from the most vulnerable members of society to the rich insurance companies. That's not good public policy.

Owen Gray said...

If what they wanted was merely a delay, I'd agree with you, Anon. But these folks have made clear from the beginning that they cannot abide publicly funded healthcare. In fact, their previous bill defunded the health care bill entirely.

The Republicans will take a delay as the first step to getting rid of Obamacare.

Danneau said...

The Affordable Health Care Act is an inadequate stopgap and does little to expunge what really ails the health care system:inflated costs for drugs, equipment, construction and, most of all, administration. Profit from misery is a sign of a very sick and skewed society. The Democrats are only a whit better than the Republicans. They only look good in contrast to the absurdity spouted by pretty much anyone in the GOP, and we have the same situation here with Liberals and Conservatives. The NDP is really just Liberal slightly left, and really don't seem to stand for anything like an alternative to what's already happening. Increasingly, it looks as, in the present context, There Really Is No Alternative until we look farther outside the constraints of a system that creates and sells (through media and entertainment) us a straight jacket and shows us how to enjoy political and economic bondage. They've taken a page out of the Catholic Playbook, getting us to buy into a better life that's just around the corner on a merry-go-round.

Anonymous said...

In that case wouldn't it be smart for the Democrats to put on the public record an offer to agree to the GOP's one-year delay in exchange for a permanent end to all further attempts to get rid of the ACA?

In other words, throw the ball back into their court and let them either agree or deal with the fallout.

Owen Gray said...

The New Capitalism is actually the Old Capitalism, Danneau. It is Capitalism Unbound, free from any government restraints.

What is boils down to is privatizing profits and socializing costs and losses.

And those who do well are those who would not be remembered in Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage.

Owen Gray said...

The problem with that strategy, Anon, is that a promise by the Republicans to lay off the ACA simply isn't credible.

A year ago Boehner was saying that the ACA was established law. After all, it had been passed by both houses, validated by the Supreme Court and re-affirmed by Obama's re-election.

Whatever the law's flaws, Obama can't give in on this one.

Dana said...

Wouldn't it be nice if all US media went silent. The world needs a rest from the incessant yapping and schoolyard assholery emanating from DC.

The US can be as stupid a country as it likes of course but the rest of the planet needn't have it shoved in our faces all the time.

The great super power of planet earth is a moron. What does this say about us?

Anonymous said...

I read: Harper gives a speech in New York at the, Council of Foreign Relations. This was Sept 25/2007. Harper had fully endorsed the NAU.

Now we have, American Police operating in our country.

Harper is lining up Canada's cost of living, with the U.S.

Obama is trying to line up their Health Care with our's. We know Harper is going to take, much of our Health Care away from us.

Harper has lied to and misled, the Canadian citizens non-stop.

Harper's stance against our old and new war Veterans, is one of Harper's evil. I wonder which country Harper will run to, this Nov 11th?

The three amigo's of Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Have had many secret
meetings, regarding the NAU.

Both Canada and the U.S. are cesspools of corruption. The giant corporations are, bottomless pits of greed. They are behind all of this strife.

Owen Gray said...

I guess it says what David Halberstam said forty years ago, Dana.

The so called Best and Brightest don't deserve the accolade.

Owen Gray said...

And those who are presently in power have no intention of standing up to Big Money, Anon.