Special Bulletin. The Debt Ceiling: Another Tea Party Tantrum

It is an overused cliché to say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Yet how better to describe the actions of the House Republicans in insisting that they must “get something” in order to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling? It is a demand that has the intellectual gravitas of a child refusing to eat her spinach unless she is given a cookie.spinach

In this case it’s even worse, because the right wing of the House Republicans (sometimes referred to here as the Oozlum Caucus) can’t even decide what kind of cookie it wants. Various possibilities have been floated: approval of the Keystone pipeline, repeal of this or that provision of the Affordable Care Act or rescinding cuts in military pensions. Whatever. It doesn’t matter.  The President will refuse to agree to any of them.  And although some of the fancied cookies may have merit standing alone, he will be right to do so.

It is fallacious to pretend that raising the debt ceiling is somehow doing the President a favor. It is not. It is simply a matter of Congress making it possible to pay for the costs that it has authorized by legislation. Some argue that increases in the debt ceiling have been made the subject of bargaining in the past. Regrettably, that is true, but essentially irrelevant. The demands made by the Republicans last fall were so outlandish, and their maneuvering so clumsy, that the reputation of the Republicans on this issue has been tainted for the foreseeable future. Amid the general disarray of the Obama Administration, the Republicans have invested the President with credibility to reject anything they ask for here.

Essentially, everyone in Washington knows all of the above and no one really expects the Republican procrastination to go long enough to cause, or come close to causing, a default. The spinach will be eaten. And if the Oozlums don’t eat theirs by voting for an increase in the debt ceiling, they will surely be going to bed without any cookies. The only question is how foolish they will make themselves and the Republican Party look in the process.

5 thoughts on “Special Bulletin. The Debt Ceiling: Another Tea Party Tantrum

  • Well said Bob Curry. Pundits have been crying out, to no avail, for a moral revolution in Washington for years.
    Being a realist, it seems we are now getting attention and with time, good things can and will happen.

  • Fund raising is difficult without broad support. Fear and deception works from the Tea Party Pulpit. That old song by the Mills Brothers jogged my memory; “You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all.”
    Doubtless, those who try to distance the themselves get reeled back in. Gah!
    It will take time, but it will happen. In the interim, I have to live with this hooplehead Ted Cruz in Texas.

  • I have read your comments with great interest,
    Your thoughtful comments written in a clear and precise manner jogs the inner sanity of hope,faith, and basic goodness of man. I do share similar thoughts. I am though much less optomistic about the sanity, honesty, and sincerity of those alleged leaders that have found there way,often by devious means ,into the once hallowed halls of once revered and honored institutions. In my opinion,the Republcan party and it’s’ proud and glorious history resides only in the past. The principles of the historical Democrat party have been usurpted and aborted by self preservationists. I despise being ignored as a concerned observer of our moral and proud heritage,
    Rember the words to that stiring song by the music director of OHS? John Crowley.
    “Give me some men who are stout hearted men, start me with ten and I,ll soon give you ten thousand more.” A truism, that has become a dream
    We are to blame, not the elected. We have allowed our moral compas to rust. We have trashed the principals of our founders. We have forsaken our children’s future by our intellectual laziness.

  • This reminds me of two athletic teams matched up in a big game. One team is really good and the other team is just not good at all. You start out watching the game expecting a blow out by the good team. As the game wears on, it becomes evident that the good team can never really get going because there is no competition to cause them to show their skills. The game deteriorates as the end nears and finally the unskilled team prevails much to the embarrassment of the strong guys.

    Not really insane but just human nature. The key to this would be stronger coaching which in US politics is sorely lacking. No cookies authorized for anybody!

    Does this make any sense??

    Jake

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