Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Once more, the Debt Ceiling...with feeling

The Republican pitch sounds plausible--they won't vote for raising the debt ceiling unless the Democrats get serious about spending reduction, because the deficit is the single most important issue before America today.

But the more you unpack their pitch, the less plausible it becomes. And the real reason becomes more visible: the Republicans' attempt to achieve minority rule over America.

Start at the end. Not only is the deficit not our most pressing issue (not that it isn't pressing), but the behavior of the Republican Party has demonstrated a complete disregard for the deficit over the past 13 years.

You can't be sure of what a party's spending priorities are when it isn't in power. Nowadays the GOP acts as if a different party was in power during the Bush II era of misrule. As if they collectively had a conversion "on the road to Damascus" the instant President Obama took the oath of office in 2008. But it's the same people. Even the so-called Tea Party Republicans aren't new to politics. Nearly all Tea Party activists are long-time Republican activists who are both social and fiscal conservatives, but who conceal their social activism until they gain office, and then go to town on their pet social issues, mostly oriented towards retrofitting women to the 1950 standards Tea Party types fondly recollect.

So--why talk about deficits if you don't mean it? To conceal the real goal, which is to cripple the federal government.

Why want to cripple the federal government? To prevent them from being able to effectively regulate the rich and powerful, who almost invariably have as their life goals becoming even more rich and more powerful. Only government stands between the solitary individual citizen and the rich and powerful, especially since the American union movement has been largely destroyed outside the public sector (and that's well on the way down the tubes--in part due to public sector employee avarice, to be honest).

The other reason to trumpet the deficit deceitfully is Southern white revanchism. Many white Southerners (and their rural soulmates in other states) are still fighting the Civil War. Look at their near-psychotic hatred of President Obama for a hint about this. Leftists hated Bush, of course, given his unusual mixture of towering ambition coupled with mediocre abilities--but they never claimed he wasn't an American citizen. They never claimed he wasn't a Christian. They never claimed he hated America. They never compared him to a monkey. And, of course, Bush was by historians' estimates the 6th worst president in American history, while Obama was rated as 15th best. Meaning that leftists' dislike of Bush was also more justifiable.

One more sign of the deceitfulness of the GOP's talk about the deficit being the most important thing is their rejection of ending the Bush tax cuts across the board--which would be best for reducing the deficit in immediate terms. And their rejection of any cuts to military spending. And their unwillingness to state just which so-called entitlements they'd cut, beyond general platitudes. It all makes their talk about the deficit a hollow trojan horse.

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