Unfortunately, today, what we see is a political Party so ambitious in achieving its goal of creating a one-term presidency through uber-divisiveness and epic gridlock, that it spontaneously generates Tourette-like outbursts of "YOU LIE!!!" from even among its seasoned incumbents, and sends members of its leadership petulantly storming out of crucial budget negotiating sessions in a manner more reminiscent of a precocious middle-schooler than a polished, temperate member of an important deliberative body.
But then again, how else can Eric Cantor get John Boehner's job in the Tea-Party ruled House of Representatives?
Republicans will continue to re-write the history of the 2010 mid-terms, avoiding voters' dissatisfaction with high unemployment and instead harping on about how "the American people" issued a mandate to take a bludgeon to federal spending even in the face of any number of polls both partisan and non-partisan, which suggest that most Americans feel otherwise.
They will also continue spin out their richly sanctimonious but deeply flawed didacticism about the consequences of "out-of-control" government spending on "the job creators" (i.e. the filthy rich) in order to blow off the advice of apolitical economists and other financial experts and effectively ignore the specter of the issue's 300-pound gorilla: the historical record showing that the impact of dramatic federal spending cuts on a fragile national economy are similar to the effect of adding kerosene to an out-of-control brushfire.
Of course, it is appropriate to ask why this epidemic of Republican non-cognition is taking place. And, why now? What could be more important than the full faith and credit of the U.S. government?
Well, if you figure that the reason many Republicans enter politics at this level in the first place has little to do with governing and public service, but perhaps more to do with cultivating strong financial partnerships with certain-corporate sponsored special-interest groups in order to garner enough campaign contributions to outspend potential opponents; or maybe to set the stage for future employment into right-wing think tanks once their constituents eventually wise up and boot them out of office, it starts to make a bit more sense.
After having signed on to eight straight years of federal deficit construction under their Party's administration, it has taken a fortuitously well-timed fiscal epiphany to bring Republicans to the realization that indeed deficits do matter (at least for the remainder of President Obama's term). Yet, sadly, though not at all shocking, their only solution has been to put forward a political strategy to re-gain the Presidency seemingly based on undermining the financial status of the world's largest economy (according to the World Bank) thus jeopardizing the stability of the entire planet's economy. This from the same Party from which some members slandered John Kerry supporters with the charge of rooting for another terrorist attack on U.S. soil in hopes that it would undermine George Bush's "re-election" chances.
Presumably, we will arrive at a solution that will increase the debt ceiling without President Obama having to exercise the fall-back option of invoking the 14th amendment. Either way, what will follow will be a whole lot of carping about how once again, when the heat was on, the brilliance of the Constitution and the prescience of our Founding Fathers have yet again saved the day.
Yet, if the main story is about how the fabled greatness of the U.S. Constitution has enabled the world to avoid financial meltdown, then the back story has to be how easily the Constitution can be gamed by the likes of the Grand Old Party's fools on the Hill.
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