It is easy to forget in the heat of the moment, that what we are living through today will someday be someone else's history. It is sobering to review history from the moment that it "was happening". For example, I am sure Neville Chamberlain truly believed that he'd saved the day at Munich and could not have foresee what would follow nor the position he'd take in history as the great appeaser! As Boehner continues to bungle the Debt Limit I doubt he really believes that he'll be seen as the man who crashed to USA, but there are good reasons to think this may well be the case when history gets written.
History, we are told, is written by the winners, and it is increasingly clear that, no matter how they paint it, the Republicans will not be one of the winners. Whether the Democratic Party or the USA will manage to be one of those is still unclear (go below the fold to find out why).
History is also written with the luxury of hindsight which enables a story to be created, whether it is true or not, because humans like the remember things as stories. But how can we get that hindsight now? Well, on way is to take our cues from Morris Berman's book "The Twilight of American Culture". Depressingly, it seems to forecast in 2001 exactly the behavior we are seeing in the Tea Party today, namely the calcification of dogma over pragmatism. From there the rest is not pretty! While we can hope that Mr. Berman may be too pessimistic, he does make a compelling case that unless we do something to buck the trends being set by the Tea Party and currently supported by Mr. Boehner the only way is down! If that is really the case then it would be a simple inference that Mr. Boehner will be seen by History as the man to took the USA from the summit of its achievements and started driving it speeding downhill. When that happens, he too will join Mr Chamberlain as a historical actor who is known for one exceeding action and no much else. Let us hope this this is not how it will come to pass for the sake of everyone, not for Mr. Boehner.