Wednesday, October 9, 2013
It's difficult to be objective as I write this. I am both very angry and concerned about the budget standoff. In my opinion, there is absolutely NO good reason for this to happen.
Of course ObamaCare has it's problems, but that is NOT a good reason to shut down the government. That legislation passed both houses of congress and was signed by the president. The time for Republicans to take a "heroic" stand against that legislation was before it passed - not now.
So what is going on? The current budget drama has to be looked at in context of a bigger picture. The Uranus-Pluto square cycle seems to be influencing events. The past year has seen division and polarization increase markedly in this country. The extremist "Tea Party" wing of the Republican party has dragged things so far toward the right that negotiation has become nearly impossible. And now some are openly boasting that they will drag the nation into default and ruin if Democrats don't cave to their demands.
Underneath it all, there must be unseen forces at work. A few hothead extremists would not be able to hold the government hostage without some help. In that case, the extremists are being played like a song. To what end?
It seems possible that the PTB are encouraging or engineering this confrontation. Perhaps their intention is to create a crisis that would justify martial law or push the nation to the brink of civil war. The divisions and fissures certainly seem deep enough to make the latter plausible.
The martial law option seems plausible as well. If Republicans stonewall until the brink of default, Obama could invoke one or more of the many executive orders on the books and take extra-constitutional action. Chances are, a majority of citizens would probably approve, although the chaotic situation would lend itself to rebellion in conservative states. In any case, the nation would be on a reckless path of drastic changes, even as Obama "saves the day" with strongarm actions.
Regardless of the outcome, the widening gap between mainstream and far-right politics is reason for concern. The extremist faction in the House is trying to repeal - not just scale back, but repeal food stamps and many other safety net programs. The form of class warfare is actually being funded by right-wing gazillionaires and corporate interests. The recent change has been that they no longer feel it necessary to even pretend that they are acting in the public interest. Willard Romney's infamous 47 percent quote seems to have unleashed a meme that says "To Hell with the underclass".
During the Great Depression, the hoards of hungry unemployed provided fertile ground for Marxist agitation. If not for the New Deal and the rise of labor unions, the US could have definitely faced a serious communist insurgency. Wealthy capitalists understood this, so they provided tacit support for the concept of a safety net for the poor. They understood that domestic tranquility was the best bet for expanding the economy and further enriching themselves
Now it appears that tacit support for safety net programs by the upper class is eroding. The infamous Koch Brothers and their colleagues are funding extreme-right political causes and working to undermine union organizing with so-called "right to work" laws. If they have their way, we could end up with a social and economic situation that resembles the 1930s. That sure doesn't sound good to this blogger.