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View Diary: Cliff Deal, Glover Norquist Thrilled, Robert Reich Stunned (37 comments)

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  •  I am of your mind (17+ / 0-)

    insofar as I find it frightening that one political party (which represents a shrinking minority of the electorate) has resorted to threatening to collapse the American economy in order to get what it wants, and that the other political party, which just won an election with a strong mandate, has accepted this as a legitimate and regular way of doing political business and is eager to concede to the bullies making these threats.

    Terrorism as means of gaining legislative advantage: this is the kind of breakdown of democratic institutions that beset the Weimar Republic in its last days.

    I don't see how this ends well. The debt ceiling will not be taken off the table this time (or ever), not even if Obama caves completely, and I am sure he will go a long way towards that.

    Why would the Republicans give up this all-powerful political weapon, when they can simply use it every time they want to wring a few more concessions out of Obama and get him to automatically give in? They would be absolutely stupid to give up power like that--and when was the last time the GOP ever gave up power without being forced to?

    Then at some point mere threats may not be enough. The GOP might be called on their bluff, and by the time they are, they might be emboldened and crazy enough to actually follow through. What happens then?

    No, we are on a path with dire implications for our democracy. This sort of power play could render Congress nearly unable to fulfill its functions and fuel popular support for a strongman to take unilateral action to break this deadlock. If that happens, say goodbye to even a trace of the old American Republic.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:13:31 PM PST

    •  I was somewhat euphoric an hour ago... (2+ / 0-)
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      limpidglass, blueoasis

      I had taken my laptop to my tennis club to watch at our get together after the game.  And then it seemed like there would be a deal, and although I had understood the forces I described that would motivate a Representative to vote against the national interest, I felt better being personally wrong, that these elected officials had the understanding of what was at stake and rose to the occasion.

      Now its almost worse, the Cliff and the Ceiling combined. Obama would even find it more difficult to reject the legitimacy of legislation to pay our debts now that he said publicly that he would be bound by it.

      I take it you read my essay on, Fiscal warfare, what would Lincoln do.

      If we had a parliamentary system he could face a vote of no confidence but that's not how our system works.

    •  It's Not the Whole Party, It's the Extremist (1+ / 0-)
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      fraction on remote control of super big money. Enough to make our system shut down.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:37:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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