Shutting it down and walking out

evil fanboys on looseSharp readers of my usual blather know that I do not pull punches when it comes to the Democratic Party.  Whatever problems our country has, it is abundantly clear, time and time again, that voting Democrat will not solve them.  Most of my readers are Democrats, and this upsets them, but I’d rather be right than conform to other people’s ideologies and accept their obvious flaws.  Their cognitive dissonance isn’t something I ever wish to explore.

Having said that, there are a number of narratives going around about the government shutdown and impending debt ceiling decision which hold the Democrats in contempt, or responsible, for both of these manufactured crises.  The Republicans, of course, blame the Democrats completely.  Some media outlets and other political actors take the tack of “a plague ‘a both their houses”; even my own party has recently made statements to this effect.  Placing the blame in this way is pretty easy, and it isn’t usually wrong…but again, if I’m standing on conscience, then it needs to be said: the former is absolutely ludicrous; the latter is just misguided.

So let’s speak some actual truth about what’s happening, or at least theories that are unfiltered through the Republican or Democratic lenses, and words which aren’t directly contradicted by actions.  These are indeed manufactured crises.  They were made by the Tea Party, which is another name for the far-right extremists of the GOP who at one point could have been called John Birchers.  Their ideology is populist Christian Dominionist, with a healthy dose of militarism and some added manipulation by the worst sorts of corporatist swine imaginable; the result leads to some loopy beliefs (“Jesus wants tax cuts”, etc.) and some truly hate-damaged people.

The shutdown was supposed to be about Obamacare; however, that is simply the most convenient reason.  The shutdown was not the tactic, it was the goal – and likewise, forcing the U.S. into default is the same written on an international stage.  Tea Partiers campaigned on that and similar anti-government actions, and were elected to do so.  Those who elected them often value their gun rights over their voting rights, conduct worshipful rituals toward members of the military (who may in turn take extra-military oaths as “Three-Percenters”), and carry Confederate memorabilia.  In short, the government shutdown is a dry run at secession, either from the GOP – as “too lib’rul” – or possibly the United States itself.  What is being gauged in this mostly intra-party showdown between wings of the GOP is who will stand with them – what segments of the military or the moneyed will come along when the more fateful and final decisions are made.  (The bourgeoisie must at least partially buy into the revolution, and right now that’s the only element that’s unclear.)

While the above might be far-fetched in the short run, it is certainly truer than any of the Republican talking points – to the point that anyone using them can be safely tied up behind the woodshed and forgotten about.  They cannot be considered as having any conception of reality (and, as secessionists, are quite willing to attempt to make their own, regardless of their lack of ability in that area).

As a Green I’ve seen Democrats pitch some similarly childish tantrums; however, we must realize that they are essentially bystanders in this drama.  Their point used as a rejoinder is that the government should never be shut down, ever – but of course they’ve threatened to do so in the past, and almost never for any decent reason.  Had I been in Congress at the time, and the opportunity arose for me to shut down the government to stop the disastrous attack on Iraq, I can’t say that I wouldn’t take that chance.  Even that would require deep consideration – the waste of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives.  The chance to nominally stop a law that provides health care (flawed and ill-considered as it is) does not enter the same territory even remotely – but then, of course, that wasn’t the point.

Like in any hand of Texas Hold ‘Em, the cards have already been played, and it simply remains for the hand to be played out.  This is still true even if the government is reopened tomorrow and the secessionists blink on the debt ceiling.  The resolution is still uncertain, but if there is one thing that is certain, it is that we will not learn it, or anything else, by listening to the explanations of those who have placed themselves beyond reason.

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