Understanding the Debt Ceiling Crisis is Easy: It’s About Them, Not Us

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the little boys in Washington, D.C. who pretend to be the men who run our country have walked away from the single most important thing they need to do — keeping our economy from defaulting.  But at the rate that things are going, Speaker of the House John Boehner is doing his damnedest to turn us into international pariahs who create the economic equivalent of the Titanic, but where none of the participants are anywhere near as cute as Leonardo diCaprio and there will be no Kate Winslet mourning them when they seal their own political fate when they bring the stock market to the same precipice we peered over in 2008.

I know that my friends on the right will say these so-called negotiations that been been keeping people up at night are a two way street and that the Democrats will share an equal amount of blame if things aren’t sorted out in the next week.  But what Republicans don’t want us to focus on is that no matter how much President Obama is willing to compromise, it will never be enough.  As E.J. Dionne pointed out in his Washington Post op-ed on the current state of the debt crisis, Barack Obama has given Boehner most of what he wants and that the President has done more than the Democratic share in giving up on certain tax increases.  And that’s still not enough, at least to those who are calling the Republican shots.

Wall Street experts and those involved in global markets believe there’s no way the U.S. government will allow a default to happen.  The problem with that thinking is that they’re looking at the way things used to be, not at the way things are now with the Tea Party holding the Republicans hostage at every turn.  Even four years ago, there was still a hint of the ability to compromise.  Those days are gone, as extreme conservatives have found their voice and their platform in the Tea Party.

The one thing all those experts are missing is this — there are too many conservatives with Tea Party backers on Capitol Hill who want a default, regardless of what it will do to the global economy or to their own constituents’ livelihoods and futures.  They want a default.

That’s right. I’ll say it again.

They want America to default, throw the world economy into a meltdown and make things harder for Americans.  Because in about 16 months, they believe that will ensure a Republican victory that will send Obama back to Chicago and their candidate into the White House.

If Republicans can pin a default on President Obama and use their magic Teflon shield to keep the fallout from sticking to them, no matter how much they actually had to do with creating the current fiscal drama during the eight years they all voted for spending increases and tax cuts under George W. Bush, they KNOW they can win back the White House in 2012.

And that’s pretty much all they care about.  Mitch McConnell made that clear months ago — getting rid of our first African-American president is pretty much job number one for them and they don’t care what the stakes are to make it happen, even if it means having their own constituents and all their constituents’ kids suffer to make it happen.

There is one thing you can do if we default and global economic markets go into a free fall.  Primary elections for Congress are less than a year away.  Instead of spending that extra money on a latte today (and tomorrow and the next day), take that pocket cash and give it to a candidate who will take your economic future seriously instead of backing the ones who’ve made it abundantly clear that they don’t care about your future. The more of us who dig into our pockets and give to the candidates who will really listen to us, the better chance we have of never seeing this political childishness again.


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9 Responses to “Understanding the Debt Ceiling Crisis is Easy: It’s About Them, Not Us”

  1. Marketing Mommy Says:

    Watching the news has made me so mad, but I’ve had a hard time articulating exactly what’s been going wrong. Thank you for your post. I’ll share it far and wide.

  2. PunditMom Says:

    Thanks! There really doesn’t seem to be any other reason, because if they wanted to make sure Americans are going to be OK, they’d have acted by now.

  3. Amy S. Says:

    Agree with very word. I’ve been yelling at Boehner and Cantor on Twitter. I’m so sick of Congress I could puke.

  4. Angela Livingston Says:

    Great summary of the current state of affairs. I’ve been debating writing a similar post on my own blog. I’m so angry and frustrated I’m finding it difficult to put into words. You stated it beautifully, thank you!

  5. OmegaMom Says:

    There w as a postcard on Post Secret about this, a Republican person saying that s/he thought the current Republican leadership were traitorous for what they’re doing.

  6. Backpacking Dad Says:

    In a game of chicken, it’s the person who is most plausibly crazy who will win. The Republicans have had a long time now to prove just how crazy their Tea Party roots are, and that means they are going to win this game.

    To borrow another analogy, the Democrats will stand like the mother before Solomon, with no hope of winning the dispute over the baby, but giving it up so it has SOME kind of chance instead of allowing it to be murdered in front of them. Unfortunately, there is no Solomon here who will recognize true stewardship. The Republicans are willing to kill the baby, just so long as the Democrats don’t get it.

  7. PunditMom Says:

    The Solomon analogy is spot on. I wish it wasn’t. :( With the Prez addressing the nation on this, I’d love to hear him adopt that.

  8. Sheri A Farinha Says:

    This is a good explanation and I too will share it with many. Its sickening to see the Republicans use the elections to turn our country into a crisis of which we may never recover from, no matter who is President in the future – it may just very well create a domino effect so bad that we have no chance to “return”. So this play for hero in 2012, may never come to be, by then in short time we could be a 3rd world country, with a Gadhaffi as a leader. In fact, that is what Boehner is doing isn’t he? Premeditated national genocide. He should be arrested now.

  9. Lisa Stone Says:

    Wonderful post Joanne.

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