Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Irresponsible Government: Mitch McConnell's Debt Crisis Gambit and the Inauguration of Banana Republic U.S.A.

With Mitch McConnell's "creative" legislative solution to the debt ceiling crisis, the Tea Party GOP's kamikaze suicide bomber game with the U.S. economy has taken a turn from the absurdly dangerous to the theatrically tragic.

I wonder what Robert's Rules of Order would say about the following: Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate Minority Leader has proposed a solution wherein Congress surrenders its own responsibility for the debt ceiling to the President, he in turn raises the limit in face of the threat of an improbable super-majority vote to stop said legislation from being enacted, while the Republicans get to save face by issuing faux protest votes and resolutions in the face of legislation their own Senate Minority Leader proposed.

Color me confused and befuddled.

As David Brooks suggested in the NY Times, the contemporary Republican Party is a cult where crazed devotion to the most radical Conservative ideology has overruled all common sense and normal political behavior.

President Obama, a chronic compromiser, has rewarded this behavior at every turn through an almost slavish belief that the Republican Party--a group who have publicly announced that a Pyrrhic victory in 2012 in which the American economy is destroyed if need be--are working in good faith towards the common good.

Once more to a reminder of how a healthy democracy is dependent upon responsible political parties.

1. Political parties are to be responsible to the public because they are held accountable at the polls.
2. Political parties are to be responsible in government as they are working for the collective interest with an understanding that consensus and compromise are the foundations of good government.
3. Political parties are to be responsible as organizations where they act as gate keepers who put forth candidates for office who while appealing to their respective base, are also centrist enough to maintain a tradition of consensus in appealing to the healthy middle of American public opinion.

For a variety of reasons (the changing nature of mass media; the rise of opinion journalism and 24 hour cable news; a failed educational system; the transformation of the Citizen into the Consumer in an era where the State is expected to fail in its responsibilities; and an inability to confront the decline of American Empire in the new Gilded Age) the last few decades have witnessed a crumbling in the collective understanding of what good government and responsible political parties entail.

The antics of the Tea Party GOP in the Age of Obama have only accelerated this process.

Despite its troubles and a long arch where full democracy remains a work in progress, there was something to those heady, stuck on a broken repeat button talking point claims of American Exceptionalism by the Right--the country's political institutions were taken as models of healthy democracy and good governance throughout the world. With the politically skulduggerous, and twisted approach to finding a "win only for us" solution on the debt ceiling, Mitch McConnel and the Tea Party GOP has thrown that well-earned brand name into a fetid latrine.

In sum, the McConnell plan for solving the debt ceiling crisis is one better suited for a banana republic than for the world's "greatest democracy". Ultimately, McConnel's approach lacks transparency, avoids responsibility, abdicates legislative authority, and betrays Congressional power. Perhaps, and most importantly, it expands the power of the Executive branch in ways that border on the unconstitutional.

Consider the following for a moment. During the last part of the 20th century we have witnessed the rise of what Arthur Schlesinger Jr. presciently described as "The Imperial Presidency." Domestically, we have seen a surrender of responsibility by Congress as a short-term solution to the debt crisis. In keeping with the law of unintended (or are they in fact planned?) consequences, McConnel's plan is one more nail in the coffin of balanced government and restraint on the "unitary executive."

There is a soundtrack playing in the background as President Obama mulls the Tea Party GOP's offer of a parlay in the debt crisis. He is the victim in a horror movie going into the dark room or opening the closet door all the while the audience is yelling at him to run away. He is the trusting soul walking into a clear trap, willing to sign a Faustian bargain that gives his enemies even more ammunition with which to shoot him.

As President Obama mulls over if he should take the poison pill from the barb laced glove of Mitch McConnell, it will ultimately be the American working, middle classes, and poor who lose in this game of political chicken.

This is how democracy ends with a death of 1,000 cuts...and perhaps not with thunderous applause as the rich, the corporateocracy, and their gaggle win out either way. Mitch McConnell's debt ceiling gambit is sadly one more brick in that long trotted road.


Plane Ideas said...

I view McConnell offer as a surrender and retreat...I expect Obama to seize the moment and bring this fiscal insanity to an end...

It is what Black heroes do..of course in this nation which has a blind spot for Black superheroes& Black icons until we are dead we are in the thick of it and It is thrilling observing the empire not at the knees of truth..

I can't wait to start singing gospel tunes in my shower while reading Willie the Pimp while my neighbors blow trees into my patio while I wash my Black ass with body wash from the mother land...

nomad said...

Hmmmmmm. This has got to be irony.

John Kurman said...

It's quite simple. Cantor is bleeding out of his asshole from the withdrawal of Tea Party dick. He realizes he is fucked without reinsertion. Mutant Turtle McConnell is having sympathy pains (and no small amount of jealousy). Their masters (real masters, the corporate masters) are telling them "You boys have had your fun, now quit fucking around". Enjoy this while you can, because we still have another ten years of the Long Depression to go.

chaunceydevega said...

@Thrasher. Sorry for the delay. Traveling lately. So much to talk about and will be back to my regular schedule shortly. On that black heroes bit something soon.

@Nomad. Irony? How? Remember a slavish devotion to consistency is the sign of a lazy mind.

@John. Funny, Moody's, Citibank, etc. called this b.s. off the other day. Now that the leash has been pulled, will the tea party gop yelp?

nomad said...

Talk about a slavish devotion to consistency? How many times must a person sellout before you can recognize him as a sellout? Black superhero indeed.

Constructive Feedback said...

"Brother" Chauncey DeVega:

I can sense it in you.

You are running out of topics to TALK AROUND - aren't you?

Yield to the truth, "Brother".

Tell me something - for those who are so scornful of CAPITALISM - why do you couch your "social justice payments" on MAGIC MONEY that is created via a VOTE to raise the credit limit of one's own entity?

WHERE is the ORGANIC CREATION of competency that would have you to receive your "Social Justice" redistrubtion?

THINK for a moment. (Use my good friend Greg Thrasher's mind for a second)......
YOU are not seeking to REDISTRIBUTE TAXATION from "THE RICH" (ie: a PHYSICAL PERSON) you are seeking to REDISTRIBUTE from the system of CAPITALISM so that you might live another day.

Do sparks fly from your brain as you come to the acknowledgement that the very SYSTEM OF ECONOMICS THAT YOU CALL THE "GRAND OPPRESSOR" ---- you need to sup the LIFE BLOOD that flows inside of it - CAREFUL NOT TO KILL IT - so that YOU MIGHT LIVE ANOTHER DAY within your ideological encampment?

If CAPITALISM DIES - your theory which has "dibs upon it" due to your INDICTMENT also dies. (Brother Greg Thrasher knows about Economic Death)

chaunceydevega said...

@Constructive. Sorry I missed your comment. I got stuff for days brother, all night if you are interested and need it? Can I inject your tender booty with some wisdom, would that bit of joy juice excite and satisfy you? You are such a self-flagellate I felt obliged to offer.