What does it take to break a delusional political party? After all we have seen the Republicans accept (at least tacitly) without a whit of proof that there was something fishy with where the President was born. We have witnessed this Party deny science at every turn but especially where climate change is concerned.
The big Kahuna is, of course, the lies that were told and still are believed about there being any connection between Saddam Hussien and Al Qaeda, and that he had weapons of mass destruction prior to the Iraq war.
We’ve been brought to this point by a lot of factors, the growth of Fox “News”, the efficacy to the Koch Brothers and other Rightwing financial fat cats of having total morons who will spout any BS they are told to by their handlers; and the general Republican war on expertise.
This brings us to where we stand today, 19 days before we run out of emergency measures that have kept our nation out of default. It no longer the leaders of the Republican Party that are holding things up. It is the rank and file morons like Louise Gohmert, Michele Bachmann and Steve King, who yesterday took to the air waves to say that the whole issue of the debt ceiling and a possible default was a “misnomer”.
Leaving aside the fact that I am pretty sure that Rep. Bachmann can’t define misnomer (it is an interpretation of data that is known not to be true, i.e. what James Inhofe says about climate change being a hoax is a misnomer) there is a massive logical inconsistency here.
You see the Republicans are the ones who looked at the debt ceiling and said “We know this has to happen, it is better than unemployment benefits extensions! Let’s put the screws to the Democrats to get things that we never could under any other circumstances!”
If the debt ceiling is not a big deal, then why is there any leverage at all? Why in the world would the White House negotiate? But let’s play along with the three morons for a minute, let’s assume they have bamboozled the Democrats and the President to the point where they have the President ready to give away the Holy Grail of Republican ambition, restructuring Social Security and drastically cutting Medicare.
In the scenario, you would never hint to your opponents that you’ve tricked there and there is no danger if the debt ceiling is not raised. It is only because there is danger here that the Democrats are at the freaking bargaining table in the first place. You would have totally cashed you hostage taking by telling the Dems that you don’t have a real hostage, just a manikin that you dressed up like the U.S. economy.
I don’t subscribe to the theory that Republicans are super-villains with labyrinthine plans and have thought out every eventuality. I am more with Steve Benen of Political Animal who wrote yesterday that the Republicans are like “ a not-terribly-bright organized-crime family, run entirely by petulant children.” Today he says that is probably an insult to children.
My Mom used to say that if everyone else seems to be wrong, then it is probably not them, but you. This is something I wish that someone, anyone, would tell the Republicans of the Moron Caucus.
It would be one thing if there were any credible economist, anywhere on the planet, that were agreeing with them, but there is not. Today Moody’s announced that they are putting the U.S. debt rating up for review. That means they are ready to look at it and say it is not worthy of the triple A status it has always enjoyed,.
Bankers and money men from Hong Kong to Geneva to Wall St are calling up Republicans and telling them in louder and louder language that they need to get off their high horse and quit fucking around with this. Because the U.S. Treasury bond is not just our way of raising money to spend, it is the basis of the planetary economy.
How loud and blunt is the conversation with Republicans from the money people that nominally own them and their loyalty? Check this out:
Asking what the U.S. economy might look like after a possible U.S. Treasury default is akin to asking 'what will you do after you commit suicide,' " wrote Steven Wieting, Managing Director in the Economic and Market Analysis team of Citigroup, in a July 11, 2011 report.
If this is the kind of thing that is being said in public we can only imagine the yelling and gnashing of teeth that must be going on in closed door meetings. Still it seems the Moron Caucus of the Republican Party has taken the bit in their teeth and are not paying any attention to the people who hold their reins.
Even cranky old Alan Simpson has said that he does not think that there will be a deal done by August 2nd. Being the uber-putz he is he blames both sides, but that is just because he is a partisan of the first water and can’t really break Regan’s 11th Commandment.
All this leads to the question, will we really fail to fix this before the bond markets get to the same place that Simpson is? It looks darker and darker as we hear reports of the President being mean to Eric Cantor (good) and the hair helmeted Virginia Republican moving backwards not forwards on negotiations.
So, what happens on August 2nd or the day that Moody’s down grades our debt? The nation and the world are in for a serious return to recession. Maybe even depression. There will be a big increase in the cost of borrowing for the United States and a massive loss of demand as money is spent servicing debt instead of on goods and services.
It will mean another spike in unemployment and this time the economic pain will be far greater as it will be nearly impossible to get the kind of stimulus that we used (too small by half) last time to pull us out. With state budgets already being slashed and programs that help people in economic trouble reduced there will be a lot more pain than there was last time.
It is a bleak future that would probably put the period to the long sentence of US dominance in the world. It is impossible to estimate how long it would take to dig us out of this mess, but it would not be fast and would not be easy. Worse, we would be paying much higher rates to borrow for decades to come, as well as a vastly increased chance that some countries would move away from the dollar as the default international currency.
The one, small and tarnished silver lining is that it might, just might break the Republican base out of the insanity they have so whole heartedly engaged in. It would end the credibility of folks like Bachmann, Gomert (he had credibility?), King and Cantor. I know, Conservatism never fails, people fail conservatism, but still when you make a counterfactual prediction like they are and it is proven disasterously untrue, even for a Republican that is very hard to come back from.
While the breaking of the Moron Caucus is a thing to be hoped for, the price is way too high. I am usually an optimist but I find it increasingly hard to see a way that we get out of this hostage crisis with the hostage alive. All that will be left is to make sure that the hostage takers pay the price for their actions.
The floor is yours.