Have you met this guy? You probably have. We all know him, don’t we? Way too many of us have just dismissed him as an idiot. And because we dismissed him, and we turned our back on him, now we find him standing over us, knife in hand.
In 2010, quite a few of us were demoralized. I was demoralized myself. But I understood that if I didn’t vote, that my friend from the pic was going to be the one who wound up in charge, because he ALWAYS votes. Well I did vote, but a lot of my like-minded compatriots did not. He did what his kind always does, and they wound up electing radical Rushpubliscum Governors and Legislatures. As a result of that, in 2012, my friend’s heroes held the House of Representatives, because the redistricting was drawn to make sure of it. Democratic candidates got quite a few more votes overall in 2012, but these people are still in a majority position in the House. Since they are still in the majority position, we continue to have a Speaker of the House who is a corrupt drunk who managed to secure his position by funneling lobbyist dollars to select higher-ups in the GOP. The drunk apparently wanted the prestige (and the bribes) that come from having the Speaker’s position, but it’s very clear that he didn’t want to be a leader. He has never, anywhere in his history, led anyone to anything. It’s too much work, and why work when you can bang a lobbyist, or let a lobbyist buy you a golf outing in some exotic location, all expenses paid? So, to sum things up, the House of Representatives is a chamber full of angry children, and Dad is passed out, yet again, in front of the TV set. Those of you who are parents, imagine for a moment a room with literally hundreds of angry children in it, and no adult supervision to be seen. Is there any way at all that a lot of things aren’t going to wind up broken?
Worse than broken, in this particular case. The children have found where Dad hid the matches.
The President is at least partially to blame for the situation we find ourselves in, both for negotiating the debt ceiling increase in 2011, and for not explaining just what the debt ceiling actually is. The debt ceiling isn’t a device for us to be able to go out and make massive spending increases. The Federal debt ceiling is raised to pay for expenditures ALREADY APPROVED by the Congress. Americans simply do not understand this, and thus are convinced that a refusal to raise the debt ceiling=a cut in spending. That is not the case. The President must make it crystal-clear to the American people that refusing to raise the debt ceiling means that we walk away from paying for a lot of things we already bought. Imagine yourself, for a moment, telling the power company that you’re not paying your electric bill until they install a street light right in front of your house. How well do you expect that would go? Or how about buying a new car, and then refusing to make payments on it unless the dealer installs seat warmers? Does it sound like anything a sane person would do? Understand that this is EXACTLY what the GOP House is proposing. The consequences of a default on the debt are going to be far more severe than a Government shutdown will be, because the whole world has come to rely on the Federal Government being a reliable borrower. Once they find out that we’ll take delivery on items and not pay for them, a whole lot of things are going to collapse, not only in this economy, but in the worldwide economy overall. People who used to make stuff for us will decide that it’s too risky to sell to us. Institutions and investors who have always been ready to lend money to us will dry that spigot up, and fast. No one who takes a big loss likes to jump back in with the bum who fleeced them before. This is beyond dangerous, but the GOP House is chock full of people both too radical, and too stupid, to care. They are doing basically the exact same thing that al Qaeda does-as in, you’ll do what we tell you to do, or we’ll destroy you. There is simply no way the President can even symbolically negotiate with them on the debt ceiling anymore, even if it does result in a default.
When we do default, however, one must remember the clause in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was put there for PRECISELY these kinds of shenanigans. I personally believe that allowing a default runs afoul of another Constitutionally-defined circumstance, and that one would be treason. Read the Constitutional definition of treason, and then read the 14th Amendment. It seems to me that there is no other way to look at a deliberate default. I don’t know what the Executive will do in the event of a default, but I know what I’d do; I’d find me an ambitious bunch of Federal Prosecutors, and present this to them. These terrorists have to be stopped, one way or another, and it may well be at this point that only a jail cell is sufficient to answer the threat that they pose.
I hope this post is academic, but I fear that it isn’t.
Incidentally…. I know I’ve been horrible in my neglect of the blog. This time I’m going to do better, and that ain’t no GOP-style promise