If Henry Blodget writing for Business Insider is correct, the Republicans are ready to raise taxes on the whole country by allowing the country to go over the fiscal cliff. Good. And once we’ve done that would everyone please refrain from ever using the term “fiscal cliff” again? As Mr. Blodget says, it’s not surprising. I knew way back when they extended the Bush tax cuts and set their damned triggers up that this was the likely scenario and I said so in no uncertain terms to all five of my regular readers. Says Mr. Blodget:
Unfortunately, it always seemed unlikely that our politicians would agree to any vote that could be framed as their voting to "raise taxes"--which any deal before December 31 could have been framed as.
The more likely scenario seemed to be that politicians would wait until taxes increased automatically on January 1 and then heroically vote to cut them--at least some of them.
I’m not sure that there is any “likely” scenario unless it’s this one: When… and IF… the tax cuts are allowed to expire, the GOP isn’t going to be interested any anything but the same thing they’ve been interested in all along… obstruction of anything that doesn’t directly benefit their leash holders on Wall Street with their main “battle tactic” remaining the demonization of the President of the United States. It’s why we have the Tea Party in the first place… to do exactly those two things, nothing more.
They will continue to do just what they’ve done for the past four years even though it has brought both the US economy and the Republican Party itself to the brink of destruction. The people running the Republican Party… the ultra right wing and thoroughly misnamed Tea Party Republicans… today simply do not care how much destruction they wreak on the country if they have the slightest inkling that it will somehow either lead or return them to power and that includes the destruction of the Republican party.
In fact, as a political party, you might say that the GOP is already nothing but a fat, bloated, odorous carcass exuding nothing but the noxious gasses of hate and ignorance upon which the Tea Party vultures will continue to feed, urged on by their HBIC (Head Buzzard In Charge) and chief water carrier Rush Limbaugh, who has personally contributed to more hate and ignorance among the American people than any man in history, certainly any man alive today. The Moderates and Centrists in the party no longer have a say in the day to day agenda of the party and have found themselves largely marginalized or abandoned as the Wall Street parasites have found filthier lucre in the veritable gold mine of ready and willing hosts among the uneducated and incurious rubes and bumpkins of especially the rural areas of the deep south or as many are starting to refer to it again, the Confederacy.
Americans are becoming more and more fed up with this clot of ignorant hicks trying to dictate to the rest of us how we are to live our lives, school our children, worship our various deities (which if it’s not their deity means not at all), who we can marry, whether or not we have a place to live, food to eat and access to affordable and viable health care… the list goes on. Wall Street has only to snap it’s fingers and the GOP members of congress will fall immediately into lockstep in opposing anything that does not provide an immediate enhancement on returns to the almighty institutional shareholders and supporting anything that does while the intellectually challenged red necks in the rank and file… too uninformed (to put it as politely as possible) to know that they’re being played like a three string fiddle… tell the rest of us to go live somewhere else if we don’t like it. That one meme… “If you don’t like it go somewhere else” is probably the saddest testimonial to the ignorance of roughly half the people in this country as you’re ever likely to find.
As Dave Johnson put it in a CAF Blog piece last week:
Just how radical and extreme are the Republicans today? Republicans didn’t oppose Boehner’s radical “Plan B” because it would devastate American families and small businesses and destroy government — that was OK, in fact that wasn’t even enough destruction for them. They opposed it because it would raise taxes a small bit on the billionaires who grease their wheels. In other words, they opposed it because it was not extreme and radical enough.
To understand just how radical and extreme today’s Republicans are, it is worth looking at what was in the “Plan B” that Speaker Boehner tried to bring before the House. They hate government and they mean it. Plan B cut off unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans. It actually raised taxes on most Americans while cutting taxes on the billionaires. It moved every cut onto the backs of domestic discretionary spending, dramatically gutting government all at once. This would literally destroy the government and certainly plunge the economy into recession.
And a couple of days later Mr. Johnson offers a rundown of opinions by other prominent bloggers all of whom appear to have reached the same conclusion
Outrage is growing over Republican sabotage of … well, everything.
E. J. Dionne Jr. in the Washington Post, writing in It’s our system on the cliff, (emphasis added, for emphasis)
The United States faces a crisis in our political system because the Republican Party, particularly in the House of Representatives, is no longer a normal, governing party.
The only way we will avoid a constitutional crackup is for a new, bipartisan majority to take effective control of the House and isolate those who would rather see the country fall into chaos than vote for anything that might offend their ideological sensibilities.
Andrew Sullivan, also at The Daily Beast, says Enough!, (emphasis added, for emphasis)
Between the humiliating and chaotic collapse of Speaker Boehner's already ludicrously extreme Plan B and Wayne La Pierre's deranged proposal to put government agents in schools with guns, the Republican slide into total epistemic closure and political marginalization has now become a free-fall. This party, not to mince words, is unfit for government.
[. . .] Enough. This faction and its unhinged fanaticism has no place in any advanced democracy. They must be broken. … We need a new governing coalition in the House – Democrats and those few sane Republicans willing to put country before ideology. But even that may be impossible.
Mark McKinnon, also at The Deaily Beast, All I Want for Christmas Is a New GOP, (emphasis added, for emphasis)
But here’s the deeper point and the bigger problem for the GOP. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that the party is against everything and for nothing.
Nothing on taxes. Nothing on gun control. Nothing on climate change. Nothing on gay marriage. Nothing on immigration reform (or an incremental, piece-by-piece approach, which will result in nothing). It’s a very odd situation when the losing party is the party refusing to negotiate. It may be how you disrupt, but it is not how you govern, or how you ever hope to regain a majority.
And so, we have a Republican Party today willing to eliminate any prospect for a decent future for anyone, including itself, if it cannot be a future that is 100 percent in accordance with its core beliefs and principles. That’s not governing. That’s just lobbing hand grenades. If you’re only standing on principle to appear taller, then you appear smaller. And the GOP is shrinking daily before our eyes.
I’m a firm believer in the two party system and would welcome a three or four or more party system if any such were to be viably put into place. I don’t believe our republic would or could stand under a one party system… even if that party was the Democrats… than it could under the kind of tyranny that Wall Street and it’s dupes in the rural south have attempted to use the Republican Party to institute. We need a diversity of opinion leading to consensus for the good of all. We haven’t had that for the past thirty years and under today’s chaos masquerading as a system, in which a mere disagreement as to some policy or other is enough to trigger invitations from ignorant hicks to get out of “their” country as their fair share of any attempt to solve the problems any society as diverse as this one is prone to, we’re not likely to.
So bring on your damned cliff and let’s get it the hell over with and hope that even the most ignorant among us might eventually realize who and what caused it. I suppose when enough rednecks catch on to what’s being done to them, we might start the long slow crawl out of the abyss but for now, I don’t see any choice.