Our government has now given up the concept of right and wrong.
We have, in this deal, declared that we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all political incumbents are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Re-nomination, re-election, and the pursuit of hypocrisy.
We have, in this deal, gone from the Four Freedoms to the Four Great Hypocrisies.
We have superceded Congress to facilitate 750 billion dollars in domestic cuts including Medicare in order to end an artificially-induced political hostage crisis over debt, originating from the bills run up by a Republican president who funneled billions of taxpayer dollars to the military-industrial complex by unfunded, unnecessary, and unproductive wars, enabled in doing so by the very same Republican leaders who now cry for balanced budgets - and we have called it compromise. And those who defend it have called it a credit to a pragmatic president who wins some sort of political "points" because, having stood for almost nothing here, he gave away almost nothing for which he stood.
It would be comical if it were not tragic.
If you are expecting some kind of red meat call to primary President Obama, or a withdrawal of support, I'm afraid it's not as simple as that. It seems to me that given the choice between a Democratic president in 2013 and a Republican one - possibly one who is certifiably insane - I'm going to choose the Democratic one every time. I don't think a primary helps anybody but the GOP, and I don't think it even addresses the real problem that is suddenly starkly clear after this disaster.
The problem is that this is the new form of government: PR stunts with teeth in them. National Lampoon (correcting) Cover government ("Cut this deficit or we'll shoot this economy"). Prop-box pistol government featuring real bullets. Living with arsonists in your house government.
Well it's time for another option.
Where is the outrage over these Great Hypocrisies? Do you expect it to come from a corrupt and corrupted media, for whom access is of greater importance than criticizing the failure of a political party or defending those who don't buy newspapers or can't leap website paywalls or could not afford cable tv?...
Do you expect it from those elected officials who no longer know anything of government or governance, but only perceive how to get elected, or how to pose in front of a camera and pretend to be leaders?...
Do you expect it will come from the great middle ground of the country, with a population obsessed with entertainment, video games, social media, sports, and trivia?
Where is the outrage to come from?
I actually have an answer to that question. It is hardly fully-formed. But as it always occurs to me in these moments when the jaw-dropping stupidity of our elected officials numbs my mind, no solution has ever been achieved without somebody first saying "this here is wrong, and we need to do something about it."
UPDATE: Somewhat off-topic: I am told Congresswoman Giffords insisted on being flown from rehab in Houston to DC to vote on the bill, and will be returning immediately to Texas to resume her therapy.