Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"I Pledge Allegiance"

So we have all but seven brave Congressional Republicans who have signed a pledge to someone named Grover Nordquist, who has appointed himself the new God of the conservatives. All of the Republican presidential candidates, except for Huntsman, have signed it as well.

First there was the pledge to not raise taxes (or indeed to do anything to raise revenue—an interesting position for someone in government since our Constitution was passed in order to be able to collect revenue). Wonder whether they would consider such a pledge in business? Or is the business of the government something holy to them?

Then this Tealiban group has people signing marriage pledges that originally claimed that black families had it better under slavery than today since there were more "intact" families then. We could feel sorry for them because they are so ignorant but in truth they are worse than ignorant. And stupidity is no excuse for what is going on.

The irony of course is the signing of any pledge by these Über right-wingers to not raise taxes on pain of being abandoned by the tea party; what could be more unpatriotic? There should be more respect for the pledge they took upon taking office to uphold the Constitution. That pledge should trump whatever any outside conservative serves up. What happened to governance? Congress should not be controlled by pledging anything to some outside group. Their first loyalty should be to the country--the entire country!

And yet their intransigence seems to reserve the biggest sneer of all for the Fourteenth Amendment, which maintains without equivocation that this country does not default. This is so firmly ingrained in our history that from the beginning our Founders made sure they would not default on the debts they carried into the founding of the country. This hypocrisy, along with the rest of the GOP’s dishonest stance, comes to light when we realize that the debt ceiling was raised seven times during Bush’s tenure, and it didn’t make a ripple. Methinks that if Obama said “day,” they would say “night.” Sad, isn’t it?

The real loser unfortunately is the country, and most of these Tealiban don’t give a damn.

Tea Party favorites like Ron Paul know how to make everything appear so very simple. For example, he somehow believes that taking the country back to a bygone era will improve things; never mind that he never lived in those pre-modern eras when we didn’t really have a middle class but only the very rich and the very poor. There was a great deal of suffering for those not part of that wealthy upper class. And don’t forget, we were not a super-power or a force to be reckoned with in the world.

If the Republicans get their way, we will never be a major force in the world again. It only takes going back to 1929, with no regulations, no safety nets, and another crash looming in our future, and we’ve had it. It is no exaggeration. After all, we now have a Congress full of people who have never served in any public office before coming to Washington and they claim to know all the answers. They are so intransigent, they can’t bend, so I imagine they will break. My fear is that they will break the country with their sharp edges.

My experience has been with those who know all the answers that in the end they usually know none of them.

The Republicans maintain it is all right to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the most vulnerable in our society in order to preserve the wealth of the super-rich. Republicans appearing on various talk shows claim they are compromising if they sign a bill for the debt ceiling to be raised; this is the compromise.

It's a strange compromise they have in mind when they want every program created to help those in need gutted. As for the President, I think he can stand on his own just fine. The problem is that the Constitution says this is something Congress is supposed to take care of. And yes taxes have been collected since George Washington sent out troops to collect them from some citizens not overly eager to contribute to the running of their new government.

There seems to be a common misunderstanding about what raising the debt ceiling means. There is no room to fully explain it here, but rest assured it is not about spending a lot more money next week if they raise the debt ceiling tomorrow. What it really means is honoring our debts and obligations. Right-wingers claim that failing to raise the debt ceiling will not ruin our credit rating or our economy, or send the world markets into panic. What they base their claim on seems to be thin air.
The truth is the at present we are supposed to be the world's leader and when our credit goes, it could very well mean another 1929-like crash. That's why so many financial people (including Geithner, Bernanke, etc.) are getting increasingly panicked about the dangerously ignorant rhetoric. It isn't a game. It is the reputation and future of our country, and too many people like Paul et al. seem to live in an alternate universe where they happily imagine their simplistic nonsense as reality.

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