I had my fingers crossed that I would not be writing about the country defaulting today.
Hooray for Democracy!
Instead, I get to write about how in three months the country’s broken political system will likely be stopped up again, mired in new, and yet the same, extremist bupkis that most recently closed down the government for 15 days.
Before we fast forward three months, let’s relish a little bit the extreme GOP’s defeat. After all, they led the country on this downward spiral over the past two weeks that could have imploded the still-recovering economy and embarrassed the nation before the entire world, or worse, all over a law passed two years ago and vetted by the Supreme Court.
A singular disgrace if there ever was one.
You know it’s bad when even Pat Robertson goes on television and urges Republicans to just give up. I may have heard wrong, but I think Pat said God told him that the Republicans should retreat, something about fitting a Koch brother through the eye of a needle.
And then there’s the right’s most precious wireless siren. What was it that Rush Limbaugh said?
Oh, yeah, he said, and I quote, “The Republicans have done everything they can to try to make everyone like them and what they’ve ended up doing is creating one of the greatest political disasters I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.”
I would pay good money for a t-shirt with that quote on it, perhaps alongside a drawing of Rush’s tears extinguishing a $25 cigar clamped between his meaty jowls. Real, good money.
Even Matt Drudge, of the ultra-conservative DrudgeReport, chimed in on the debacle. His take, a simple tweet: “Speaker Pelosi Part 2: Opening Jan 5, 2015.”
Welcome back Nancy, how’ve you been? (So loathed by extremists, and yet so ironic that their own suicidal tendencies threaten to resurrect her speakership. Go figure.)
You know it’s bad when Sen. Ted Cruz, who led the charge to defund Obamacare in the Senate, fails so miserably the largest newspaper in his state, the Houston Chronicle, the editorial board of which endorsed his run for senator, holds another editorial board during the shutdown and decides, eh, we really messed up endorsing this guy. Now that’s bad.
The newspaper then goes on to write about how Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, now retired, whom Cruz replaced, would have helped reopen the government, not close it down as her successor did.
The Washington Post had an analysis piece on its website Thursday that suggested perhaps House Speaker John Boehner, in order to marginalize the Tea Party wing of his conservative caucus, actually went along with their plan in order to let them fail — what better way of preventing them from trying such a stunt again.
Bravo! Speaker, Bravo! Genius, really. But don’t buy that malarkey for a second. Boehner will be feasted upon by extremist elements in his own party soon enough — he would have anyway had he not gone along with the shutdown in the first place, and now he will be roadkill because it failed so miserably.
The poor speaker couldn’t win for trying.
As for the tea party faithful, the culprits behind this spectacular political train wreck? Think they’re going to get kicked out of office over this, or shunned by their more moderate GOP brethren? Beaten back into the corner where they belong?
Probably not. And that’s why three months from now, we’ll be right back here again, another showdown, another embarrassment for the world to witness.
Why, because the extreme wing of the GOP in the House is virtually guaranteed re-election. It’s because they all mostly inhabit districts full of similarly, er, situated voting individuals. The big threat in these districts comes not from more moderate voices, but more extreme voices, if that’s even scientifically possible.
A New York Times report Thursday made a similar prediction. Its rationale for reporting it was that congressional seats are so gerrymandered that the insulated House members who led this charge will likely simply not learn any lesson from the defeat.
That makes sense. Same people tried to roll back ObamaCare almost 50 times and failing that decided to shut Washington down for two weeks. In three months, if history tells us anything, we’ll do this all again.