We are told that "the Republican ideal embodies a strong father figure," but it seems to me that Republicans are more like dead-beat dads. The debate over raising the debt ceiling has made this abundently clear. But what dead-beat dads and Republicans in these debt ceiling debate do that is most damaging is that they not only make everything unpredictable -- and, thus, make it more difficult to move forward -- but they are prone to make everything into a crisis.
Maybe it's so they can stay at the center of attention. But I suspect that it's really a matter of control.
Republicans like to say that the debt ceiling is like our national credit card. But they don't take that analogy far enough. The national debt is just like any debt, and that means that we have an obligation to pay it off. The debt exists for spending that has already occurred, which is why they keep talking about taking away the credit card.
But if you cut up a credit card, that doesn't mean that you don't have an obligation to pay it off.
It can't surprise anyone that Tea Party favorite Joe Walsh is a deadbeat dad. It is more than a little ironic that Walsh's argument with his wife over his refusal to pay child support is so similar to his argument in Congress for why we shouldn't increase the debt ceiling:
In her December filing, Laura Walsh’s attorneys wrote, “The apparent availability of large sums of money from either his employment, his family or his campaign has allowed him to live quite a comfortable lifestyle, while at the same time, due to his failure to pay child support or any of his share of the education costs or medical expenses, Laura and his children were denied any of these advantages.”
Like deadbeat dads, Congressional Republicans -- especially of the Tea Party variety -- refuse to pay the obligations they have already made (or have been made for them). And, like deadbeat dads, Republicans have all kinds of excuses for why they shouldn't have to pay up:
“The thing that concerns me the most is a default,” Jeanne Marie Dauray, a 39-year-old paralegal, asked Walsh in a town-hall meeting. “Isn't this of concern?”
Walsh, bouncing on his heels, explained that he believes accepting a deal that doesn't mandate balanced budgets and deep cuts is more dangerous than failing to raise the debt ceiling.
Hear the voice of that deadbeat dad? Democrats (and divorced mothers) should just get over it. We're not married any more. We'll just have to live with less -- not because a legal obligation doesn't exist, but how are we ever going to learn if he just keeps throwing money our way?
Does the voice of the Republican argument sound any different than that of the deadbeat dad to the single mother? It's not just the deadbeat dad who thinks that the financial concerns of the family he left behind are "overstated."
Republicans aren't like strong father figures at all. At least, not the Tea Party variant. They're like deadbeat dads. All they want to do is move on. Republicans aren't interested in governing, they're not interested in taking the responsibility that comes from fathering a child or governing the remaining global superpower. They are mad as hell, but, hey!, they can just walk away. Right?
This is a harsh reality that is increasingly obvious. Republicans are no longer a responsible political party capable of governing this nation. We are paying for Bush's wars, Bush's domestic agenda, Bush's tax cuts, Bush's attempt to win over seniors, the ruined economy that Bush left behind. Republicans didn't say a word when they were, like the deadbeat dad in waiting, screwing us. But, when we elect a Democrat to the White House, Republicans -- like deadbeat dads -- just wanna walk away from the commitments they've already made.
Peter Wolson may have been right, that "the Democratic Party's vision of government is roughly equivalent to a powerful, nurturing mother figure." But the reality is that President Obama and Democrats have become the single mother of this great nation, and it's much harder to be a powerful and nurturing mother when the missing father is a deadbeat dad. This is not to say that we are, well, screwed, but all the responsibility has fallen on us. It's time to circle the wagons, stop preying on each other, and raise the kids. Because we aren't going to get any help from Republicans. Not while the Tea Party is in charge. Single mothers tend to be overworked, highly-stressed, overburdened and a little on edge. I can't think of a better description of Democrats right now. It doesn't help knowing that we aren't going to get any help from the Deadbeat Party anytime soon...