Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Republican Gambling

Today in the Washington Post, Mark Thiessen, a right wing columnist from that bastion of right wing thinking, the American Enterprise Institute, wrote a strong argument in favor of the Republicans in government challenging Obama to a duel regarding the debt ceiling limit. He argues that republicans should put on a full court press, daring the president to call their bluff—another Gingrich-Clinton duel, with the stakes being the potential economic demise of the United States. Although Gingrich and his republican allies lost big time when he challenged Clinton to a game of Government Shutdown, Thiessen argues that republicans cannot lose this time, precisely because the stakes are so high. In other words, republicans are willing to gamble the entire financial credibility of the United States on a political bet—in short, they do not care about the outcome for the Nation. If we go down the tubes as a Nation, so be it—they will then blame Obama. That is their chosen political strategy for the future—bet the farm on anything and everything. If they lose, it isn’t their fault—“Obama made me do it.”

Essentially, this is exactly how they got Obama to cave on his health care system legislation, and on the insane issue of extending tax cuts for the űber rich. When republicans challenged him—extend the tax cuts and gut your health care public option, or we won’t extend unemployment benefits. He caved. They knew he would because he cares about the American people, and they don’t. And that is key to their chosen strategy. Republican leaders basically are sociopaths. They make decisions adversely affecting millions of Americans, because they do not, perhaps cannot feel their pain. They do not care.

So, now, with the need for a higher debt ceiling, they may play the big bet—do as we wish, or we crash the economy. They are now most closely akin to the hijackers on the 9/11 airline flights that crashed eventually into the World Trade Center, except this time, it won’t be two huge office buildings that come crashing down in New York City. It will be the entire US economic system.

How does one negotiate with political sociopaths, I wonder??
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