So after days of arm twisting to get far right members of the Republican caucus to vote for a debt ceiling/spending reduction bill that had absolutely no chance of passing in what we call reality, John Boehner amended his losing bill to make it even more radically right-winged and it passed the house on a party line vote, only to be completely killed by the Senate two hours later.
It was a complete waste of time.
Now, the Republican senators are refusing to support the Senate bill offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid, which shouldn’t matter, because the Democrats are the majority party, but does matter because the GOP will filibuster and not allow anything to pass.
And we are three days from defaulting as a nation.
Meanwhile, the clueless of the world insist on bipartisanship, which I now realize doesn’t mean two sides working together toward a common goal, but means Democrats caving in to the ravings of an opposition party that has lost its mind.
But here’s something else to consider. The Republican actions are done to placate an extreme, unreasonable base. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to go out of their way to draw Republican support, and in the process appear to enjoy going out of their way to piss off a loyal rational base.
Every Democratic action designed to improve our domestic situation has been reviled by the GOP and watered down to attempt to get Republican votes that never will come. As a result, our economy is collapsing, unemployment is rising, and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. Democrats cut government jobs because Republicans say so. But jobs are jobs, and every cut adds to unemployment, reduces the workforce that provide tax revenue, and leads to an economic shortfall that only widens the deficit. The Democrats reduced a stimulus bill because the Republicans said so, and as a result, the economy has stagnated, because that spending would have added jobs and reduced the unemployment rate. Democrats backed off the efforts to allow tax breaks for the rich to expire because Republicans said so, and as a result people on the top end of the economic spectrum can charter private jets to fly their kids to summer camp or build $200,000 playhouses for their four year old daughters, while people on the other end of the spectrum are barely surviving.
Maybe we shouldn’t be sniping on the venal behavior of the Republicans. One columnist used this analogy: They are the scorpions, while the nation is the frog they’re about to sting. Maybe we need a group Democratic legislators who are as loyal to or as fearful of their base as the Republicans are as loyal to or fearful of theirs. If you keep treating the base with contempt as Democratic leaders are currently doing, that base isn’t going to be around when the next election rolls around. Then, the scorpions win. And we all die.
- Senate Republicans say will block Reid debt bill (huffingtonpost.com)
- Debt Ceiling: House Rejects Democratic Proposal Amid Theatrics (huffingtonpost.com)
- House passes GOP debt bill; Senate says no (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Can Boehner Lead House Republicans? (outsidethebeltway.com)