Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Republican Shut Down — No End in Sight

There was a flicker of good news toward the end of the week. Talks were started between the Republicans and the White House. The stock market went up 300 points in one day. There was movement. There was a possibility of a deal. That's what the news reported.

A few days later we are no closer to a deal on the Republican shut down but we are much closer to the fiscal cliff. Much much closer.

We've seen a great deal in the past week. There were the baby and the bully from the Republican Party. The baby is Rep. Marlin Stutzman who said:

Just ask Rep. Marlin Stutzman (Ind.). “We’re not going to be disrespected,” Stutzman told David Drucker of the Washington Examiner. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

You've been disrespected!? What are you 12?

Then there is U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer who confronted a park ranger at the World War II memorial and said she and the Park Service should be ashamed for blocking the vets from the memorial. She should be ashamed over something you caused. Wow just unbelievable.

Then over last weekend we had the Tea Party members of congress fanning out to the talk shows saying that default wouldn't really be all that bad. There were even people who said that by defaulting it would reassure world markets we were taking our debt seriously. Seriously!!!!

Several Tea Partiers were pressed on this view on the news shows. They essentially said they are right and everyone else including most if not all economists were wrong. Once again the denial of reality is stunning.

Speaking of denying reality, Ted Cruz. He said that the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, showing that Republicans were blamed for the shut down by the American people and an overwhelming majority in the poll think Republicans are playing politics on this issue, was in fact wrong. Why is it wrong because they went out and asked a bunch of Obama supporters what they thought not real people. These are the same polls that were "wrong" about Obama being re-elected.

To me what was most interesting this week was when the main stream supporters of the Tea Party finally realized that the Tea Party really could take the country over the fiscal cliff. The sudden movement by the Republican leadership (dropping the main cause of the shut down getting rid or a delaying Obama care went away) was because of this pressure.

I believe the phrase is reap the whirlwind. The Republican establishment saw in the Tea Party a way to go after Obama. As a way to win the House of Representatives and maybe the Senate and maybe even the presidency. They were right on the first one but completely wrong on the other two. The establishment also thought they could control the Tea Party. That the Tea Party rhetoric was just that rhetoric. They were shocked and stun when they couldn't control the Tea Party and that the Tea Party did indeed believe in their rhetoric (and existed in an alternate reality their reaction to Obama winning a second term being a prime example).

Now this Republican establishment is scrambling to blunt the Tea Party. The Post shows how much things have changed:

Trade groups such as the U.S. Chamber are also discussing an unprecedented step: supporting more moderate candidates in primaries. In the past, the groups have gone to enormous lengths to support mostly Republican campaigns — but only to beat Democrats, not other Republicans.

Until this week, many in the business community have been standing on the sidelines, trusting that the GOP, to which it has been allied for decades, would work out its internal squabbling. But with some companies already seeing a drag on their businesses from the shutdown, executives are getting involved far beyond the usual menu of interests such as taxes and regulations.

The article goes on and shows this very ironic (to me) comment:

Dirk Van Dongen, head of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors said he and others are considering ways to counter the impact of “far right groups” that threaten Republican members and their leaders in the House and Senate.

These groups, he said, “severely handicap leadership’s ability to be an intelligent firewall against Obama liberalism.”

Van Dongen is an avowed conservative who backs Republicans. But like other business leaders, he is upset about the brinksmanship strategy of tea party Republicans.

“Leadership and rank-and-file Republicans are scared to death of far-right groups who threaten to challenge them in primaries because they are not 100 percent pure,” he said.

How they did they not realize how dangerous these people were? They didn't care as long as the Tea Party allowed the Republicans to win. As long as the Tea Party could be used as a weapon against Obama. That's all that mattered to the Republican establishment getting back in power and defeating Obama everything and everyone else be damned. 

The moral of the story is: play with fire you sometimes get burned. Only in this case they are not only getting burned they are allowing the fire to burn down the entire country. 

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