Proving that they’re not satisfied with crashing the economy only when they hold the White House, Republicans are now determined to snipe at the survivors crawling out of the smoldering economic crater Trump left behind when he oozed away from office in disgrace more than two years ago. They’re doing this by playing games with the nation’s debt limit—and by extension its credit rating—in a transparently villainous bid to choke off the oxygen to the roaring Biden economy, either by cutting spending to the bone or toppling the whole edifice with their clownish refusal to raise the borrowing limit.
If you want proof that they’re acting in bad faith, you need look no further than cartoon supervillain and pimiento-stuffed circus peanut Donald Trump, who’s openly stated that he wants them to crash the economy. Because, you know, he’s no longer president.
But it turns out you don’t even have to look to Trump—you must be relieved, because doing so is akin to staring straight into Medusa’s eyes as she squats over a Folgers can in the woods while camping—because Rep. Matt Gaetz just said the quiet part out loud.
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In a recent interview with Semafor’s Joseph Zaballos-Roig, Gaetz specifically referred to “our hostage” when discussing the GOP’s demands.
ZEBALLOS-ROIG: “So would you say, then, the conservatives like yourself are becoming more pessimistic about the state of negotiations if, you know, there’s a bipartisan deal in sight, maybe, or how would you characterize the mood among your conservative colleagues right now?”
GAETZ: “I think my conservative colleagues, for the most part, support Limit, Save, Grow, and they don’t feel like we should negotiate with our hostage.”
All righty. Thanks for the clarification, Matt. Of course, these dangerous debt ceiling stunts are a decidedly recent tradition, and one only the GOP engages in. In fact, they’re of such recent vintage—the last one, in 2011, led to a downgrading of the nation’s credit rating—Gaetz is only interested in dating girls who haven’t been alive long enough to understand what egregious assholes he and his colleagues are being.
From the time we’re little kids, we instinctively understand who the villains in movies and TV shows are. And, with the possible exception of “Ruthless People,” the hostage-takers are always the villains. They’re the ones who refer to the hostage as a hostage and don’t really care if the hostage dies. Meanwhile, the good guys are the ones who not only want to save the hostage’s life, but also hope the hostage escapes with all their fingers and sundry appendages intact.
One of the biggest differences between Republicans and Democrats is that Democrats want people to prosper all the time, whereas Republicans only want that when it’s politically expedient (i.e., when they hold the White House)—and only to the extent that they can fool Americans into voting for increasingly revolting Rs. When the COVID-19 pandemic sent the country reeling, Democrats could have thrown up roadblocks to ensure that Trump’s economy went into a (bigger) tailspin. Or refused to agree to rescue measures unless they were granted major concessions on other issues (like, I don’t know, expanding the Supreme Court). But they didn’t do that, because they’re not psychopaths. Contrast that with Republicans’ approach in 2009, when they resisted heroic measures to save our economy after George W. Bush left his own smoldering crater behind. In fact, they openly sought to fight everything Obama did even as the world economy peered into the abyss.
Americans who are wondering who to blame in this latest standoff need only ask this: Who’s threatening to kill the hostage and/or lop off its dingus, and who wants to save the hostage? For that matter, who’s willy-nilly taking hostages until they get their way? And why didn’t Republicans do something about the deficit they’re now wringing their hands over when they had full control of the federal government—instead of going out of their way to make that deficit worse? Come on, now. You know the answer.
Supposed Christians who are egging on the hostage-takers need to review their Bible—specifically the story about King Solomon and the two women who each claimed to be a baby’s mother. Hoping to flush out the true parent, Solomon proposed cutting the baby in two and giving each woman half. But the baby’s real mother balked.
26 “Please don't kill my son,” the baby's mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don't kill him.”
The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”
27 Solomon said, “Don't kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”
28 Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.
Still wonder who really cares about people’s lives and livelihoods?
You can see where this is going. Republicans are increasingly acting like lowlife kidnappers, and they clearly don’t care what happens to the hostage. They just want to get their way and, ideally, grease the skids for full-bore fascism and the return of their disgraced, coup-coup Dear Leader. In fact, they’re so callous about the rights and well-being of our poor and middle-class citizens—who do you think will get hit first and worst by an economic crash?—they're now saying the quiet part out loud. The question is, are Americans paying attention?
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Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.