Once upon a time before the advent of 24/7 cable news and satellite radio, politicians who were elected by their constituents to lead and govern the United States were regarded throughout the country and most of the “civilized world” as being distinguished and learned citizens.
Their noble and arduous profession has always been to legislatively serve the people who democratically elected them into office while simultaneously protecting the best interests of the Republic.
However, because humans are inherently imperfect and occasionally are doomed to succumb to primal fears that are deeply embedded in superstitions, prejudices and suffocating / hypocritical religious dogma, the very nature of voters, geopolitics and regional interests will sometimes make demands of their elected officials that are in direct conflict with the best interest of the United States.
What’s best for an individual state or collection of states may not always be what’s best for the entire Republic. Especially a Republic whose national and international reputation is based on fairness, equality and exceptionalism.
From 1861 until 1865 the American Civil War was fought to ensure that individual state rights did not supersede the aspirations and morals of an entire nation. Psychologically the United States has never completely healed from the bloody and agonizing throes of its civil war that ended nearly 150 years ago.
Scattered throughout the United States but especially in the South and Southwest, flags that represent the old separatist confederacy still fly high with unabashed reverence. It’s as though enthusiasts of the “Stars and Bars” are waiting for the ghost of their beloved confederate general Robert E. Lee to appear and lead them back to the “glory” days of old Dixie.
Perhaps connoisseurs of segregation, guns and bible quoting should re-read the book of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 24; “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
Currently in the United States the Republican Party is struggling to identify itself as one political party. Old Guard Republicans fully understand that they cannot exist much longer as two separate political entities that fly under the banners of the “Grand Old Party” (GOP) and the “Tea Party”.
The “Frankenstein monster” they created [the Tea Party] as a means of competing against President Obama and his Democratic Party has greatly tarnished their national image. Rambunctious and uncompromising the Tea Party is anti-immigration reform, anti-poor, anti-gay / lesbian, anti-civil rights and of course, anti-women’s rights.
An amalgamation of rebirthed Dixiecrats, John Birch Society members and a hodgepodge collection of Americans who foster a strong dislike for paying taxes and being governed by a “Yankee” federal government, they represent the very worst of “Rebel America”.
Food for thought:
It’s not a surprise that the Tea Party’s political base is cemented in the same states whose voting plurality reveres the names of confederate heroes Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson.
In the News…
According to Politico, on October 2, 2013 Texas Tea Partier Ted Cruz was summoned to appear before fellow Republican senators to defend himself against charges of reckless self-promotion and grandstanding without an exit strategy to end the current government shutdown that he instigated.
In its eighth day, the government shutdown is costing the U.S. billions of dollars in lost revenue. Furloughed government workers aren’t spending money on “extras” and both small and large businesses are beginning to feel the economic pinch.
The government shutdown is just one more example in an ongoing series of political meltdowns that has left Americans feeling extraordinarily frustrated with Washington, and in particular with the Republican Party. On the second day of the shutdown, polls showed that congressional approval ratings had fallen to an appalling 10%. Arguably, Lucifer has a higher approval rating than the Republican led congress.
Old Guard Republicans must now figure out how to put the “genie back in the bottle” and end the Tea Party fever that has rendered Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner “crippled and crazy”.
With the countdown to a government debt default dropping to nine days, Boehner who is afraid of losing his position as “Speaker of the House” by being voted out by a small but powerful contingent of Tea Partiers, is insisting that President Obama and Senate Democrats negotiate with House Republicans on the merits of raising the national debt ceiling.
Countering Boehner’s ultimatums, President Barack Obama has demanded that Congress raise the debt ceiling and avoid default without conditions.
On Sunday Boehner reiterated there will be no debt limit increase, and no end to the “partial” shutdown, unless President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats sit at the table and negotiate with House Republicans (Tea Partiers).
President Obama has repeatedly told reporters that he won't negotiate with Republicans to end the budget standoff "with a gun held to the head of the American people."
"I'm happy to have negotiations but we can't do it with a gun held to the head of the American people," Obama said of congressional Republicans.
Obama has been recently quoted as saying that Congress has two jobs, “Pass a budget and pay the bills”.
The inconsistent Republican / Tea Party message of why they allowed the [partial] shut down of the U.S. government to occur and why they currently threaten to allow the U.S. government to default on paying its bills has created a political divide within the GOP.
In the beginning the Tea Party demanded the complete repeal of President Obama’s affordable health care law, then they stated they only wanted to delay it for a year, and now Boehner says the government shutdown is all about the “national debt ceiling”. Quoting the fictional movie character Forest Gump, “Crazy is as crazy does”.
There’s little doubt that a U.S. default on paying its bills would be catastrophic to the world’s economy, sending interest rates spiraling out of control while concurrently causing global stock market shares to significantly drop in value. Immediately affected would be the value of 401K accounts and pension plans, causing nearly a third of Americans to plunge into economic chaos.
And for the record there is no such thing as a “partial government shutdown”. When people are out of work because of Tea Party temper tantrums, families and businesses are hurt. “Partial economic pain” only exists in the minds of politicians who are crippled and blinded by their ideological craziness.
When Minnesota Republican / Tea Partier congresswoman Michelle Bachmann was recently asked about how she felt about the government shutdown on Fox News’ “Hannity”, she replied “This is about the happiest I've seen Republican members in a long time.”
Somehow it’s doubtful that hundreds of thousands of furloughed government workers are happy.
In closing, perhaps if 24/7 cable news and satellite radio didn’t transmit the insane rhetoric of filibustering fools like Ted Cruz who spent part of his “informal filibuster” reading Dr. Seuss’ “Green eggs and Ham” in protest of 30 million Americans being able to buy affordable health care, then just maybe these circus barkers who call their self “law makers” would garner more respect from the American public. “Green eggs and Ham” Mr. Cruz? Really…Crazy is as crazy does. Thank God for 24/7 cable news and satellite radio.
As always the New Orleans Examiner is interested in what you think. Have Tea Partiers ruined the once respected political party of Abraham Lincoln by trying to purposely implode the U.S. government? And what should Old Guard Republicans do to rein in their Tea Party creation? Inquiring minds want to know.
Until next time, Good day, God Bless and Good fishing.