Welcome to America Held Hostage.
The reference is not just to the ongoing government shutdown that theoretically could be — but in all likelihood won’t be — over by the time you read this. Rather, it is also to the intransigence and extremism of the Republican Party, a brand of government-by-crisis political thuggery that made this confrontation inevitable.
And not just the Republican Party but more specifically, that collection of cranks and outliers within the party so addled by hatred of the president, so crippled by the mental disorder known as Obama Dementia, that they are incapable of rationality and reason. They are the right wing of the right wing, a walking id so fully divorced from reality that even many of their fellow conservatives are wary — and weary — of them. And these are the people who are running the show.
God bless us, every one.
This latest in a series of manufactured crises centers on the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s landmark health care reform. It may be a good law, may be a bad law, may be (and probably is) a good law with some flaws, but one thing is certain: it is a law. Duly passed by Congress, duly signed by a duly elected president, it has survived no less than 41 votes by congressional Republicans to weaken or repeal it — not to mention a showdown in the Supreme Court. No law in modern memory has been more thoroughly or energetically challenged.
Having failed epically and repeatedly to kill it, these right-wing Ahabs now embark upon an extortionate new tack that, even for them, is astonishing in its disingenuous gall. They have blocked passage of a routine resolution to fund the government unless the health care act is defunded. Then they condemn the president because he won’t “negotiate” with them.
It’s as if a Little League team lost a big game on a critical call. They complain to the umps, they look at the instant replay, they file an appeal with the league, but the call still stands. So they take the ball and go home and say they will not play again until the other team agrees to “negotiate.”