Friday, January 18, 2013

The Charade Continues

The Charade Continues
P. Schultz
January 18, 2013

            Well, here it is: We have reached Nirvana. Here is a quote from a NY Times article on the Republicans and the debt ceiling from an article linked to below:

“But the proposal marks a significant retreat as well. In recent weeks, conservatives from the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal to the Tea Party-aligned Americans for Prosperity had called on House Republicans to drop their conditions for raising the debt ceiling. Business groups had joined in, and Republican Party elders were growing nervous about how House leaders were approaching the debt ceiling, as well as the deadlines for automatic spending cuts and refinancing the government.
“House leadership by and large understands this series of fiscal inflection points we face present a dire threat the Republican brand, which is already in big trouble,” said Vin Weber, a former Republican House member from Minnesota who remains close to the leadership. “If they’re seen as responsible for actions that further undermine the United States’ credibility in the world, and pushes us closer to falling into recession, Republicans could take a bath in the midterm election, which would be devastating.”

            So, in order to avoid “taking a bath in the midterm election, which would be devastating” to “the Republican brand,” it is now time to drop their obstructionism and get serious about negotiating spending cuts with the Democrats. And this is the result of the fact that conservatives across the board are calling for such action. 

            Alleluia! So now we can “move forward.” My suspicion is, however, that all this means is that the status quo has been successfully preserved. Those who wanted significant change, what was called by some “radical change,” have been silenced. Obama won the presidential election against the all-engaging Mitt Romney and the “fiscal cliff” disappeared into thin air. So now, there is only choice left, to play ball, as it were. Nothing new or nothing much new will emerge as those who propose significantly new policies have been dubbed “extremists.” And, of course, they must be: After all, even the Wall Street Journal can see that! 

            And it is amazing. This is said to be a victory for Obama and, of course, it is. But no one asks what that victory means. It seems sufficient to say “Obama won!” And the beat goes on. The charade continues. Not surprisingly, very little will change. It is exactly what is to be expected from a dysfunctional system where, as in a dysfunctional family, the goal is, always and continuously, to preserve the status quo. Because unless that is done, all know that the family or the system will fall apart like a house of cards.

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