Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mo' Cliff, Mo' Drama

Deja vu? No, really. It's back... Or perhaps, it never really left.

Just weeks after narrowly avoiding what could have been the greatest manufactured economic disaster of our time, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Carson City) claimed he was "tired of the drama". So what did he propose to put the unnecessary and unproductive G-O-TEA induced drama to an end? Nothing! Instead, he vowed to participate in even more.

And now, his G-O-TEA "leaders" are doubling down on their kamikaze mission to fulfill their austerity death wish. Thankfully, Steve Benen is here to remind us of just how batshit crazy they and their kamikaze mission are.

Everything about [House Speaker John] Boehner's [R-Tang] reckless chest-thumping is nonsensical. Last week, Republicans wanted a debt-ceiling crisis over the Affordable Care Act; now it's over Medicare and Social Security. In the spring, Boehner wasn't prepared to jeopardize the full faith and credit of the nation; now he is. In July, House Republicans weren't calling for dollar-for-dollar cuts as part of the so-called "Boehner Rule"; now the Speaker is calling for exactly that.

Throughout the Bush/Cheney era, Boehner supported adding two wars, two tax cuts, Medicare expansion, and a Wall Street bailout to the national debt; now he's prepared to crash the U.S. economy on purpose unless Democrats offer him a debt-reduction plan he deems acceptable.

To reiterate a point from last week, Boehner, who should be slowly preparing to move his party away from the cliff, is instead making matters worse, playing a dangerously stupid game. His comments yesterday reinforce a simple truth: House Republicans are less a governing party and more a group of intemperate children who like to play with matches.

As we discussed last week, G-O-TEA internal politics is increasingly resembling a "Lord of the Flies" script adapted for TV. Who knew they were angling for a reality TV show? Do they truly think they can hunt and play all day while neglecting actual work?

And now, they're even more desperate than ever. Why? Treasury Secretary Jack Lew just moved up the official "hit the debt ceiling" date to mid-October, which is right after the deadline to pass a budget for the new fiscal year. And on top of that, President Obama is repeating his vow not to negotiate over the debt ceiling.

So now, Congressional Republican "leaders" essentially have their backs against the wall. They've been making wildly unrealistic promises to their whacked out base, but deep down they know there's no way to keep those promises. So what do they do? For now, it looks like they're promising more manufactured crises and threatening more economic hardship.

Because the TEA tinged hordes are demanding another manufactured crisis, we may be doomed to endure another cliff full of drama next month. However, it can't last indefinitely. Neither the American people nor the financial markets will allow for that. At some point, Republicans must pull their own party away from the cliff. Either they do that, or their party is doomed to fall off it.

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