Photo by Rob Kall (with image processing)
Do you smell something burning? Is that high-pitched squeal that seems to be growing louder by the minute coming from a fiddle? A tea kettle?
Perhaps one of the many ironies about the "neo-Neros" if you will, of the Republican Party -- as they fiddle along with the "throw out the baby with the bathwater" mind-set driving their movement to basically burn down the federal government through harsh "fiscal reform" -- might be that this mind-set is one that has resulted in virtually no movement of their companion "take back American culture" agenda.
The knowledge that the GOP fiscal reformers' hare-brained insistence on thwarting the Obama Administration in every way possible has thus far hamstrung its ability to take advantage of the Administration's capitulation to many aspects of the GOP's overall blueprint for social reform, should be a development which calls into question both the mind-set and motivations of this particular group of Republicans "who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
And what an opportunity it has been. Throughout Obama's presidency, there has been a steady stream of sacred cows offered up in the negotiation processes involving any number of issues. To the chagrin of many progressives, the Administration has repeatedly said "yes" to the demands of the "Party of No" for more and more of the lifeblood of the poor, the middle-class and older Americans. In the current debt-ceiling battle, the Administration has committed to tinkering with Medicare and Social Security and proposed a perhaps unprecedented three-to-one ratio in favor of spending cuts to revenue increases.
Yet, the GOP's basic response to this series of submissions has been: "What part of "no' don't you understand?"
Thus, as opportunities to advance their social agenda go, clearly the GOP is missing several golden ones due to its jackass-like stubbornness on the debt ceiling issue (Which in is a bit ironic itself since it is the donkey that represents the Democratic Party). Nevertheless, their refusal to agree to this simple adjustment, which for nearly all GOP congressional incumbents, has been a routine "been there, done that" exercise of formality in pre-Obama years, has served as yet another avenue for gridlock promotion by a Party hell-bent on fomenting enough political brinkmanship, one issue at a time, to snuff out the next several generations of potential inter-Party cooperation and compromise.