The current battle to the death over the nation’s debt limit between the Tea Party-run Congress and the White House reminds me of Live Free or Die Hard, one of Bruce Willis’ later editions in his “Die Hard” movie franchise.
In that film, the hero confronted a villain — a vengeful national security consultant — whose purpose was to sabotage the entire infrastructure of the Eastern Seaboard with the ultimate goal of downloading and stealing all of the United State’s personal and financial records from top secret servers down in the bowels of a government facility somewhere in Maryland.
This current crisis makes me suspect that the Die Hard producers used Ted Cruz and Eric Cantor as script consultants for that film.
In every “Die Hard” movie, we have come to expect ultra-violent thrills, big crashes and near-death experiences that confront our hero, complete with ruthless villains and their evil accomplices willing to wreck the local infrastructure and the world. And so it seems now in Washington. As in Hollywood, so on your nightly news channel. We are now on a Plutonian roller coaster ride, with hills and valleys made more steep by Uranus. A period of absolutes. High stakes and do or die. Or maybe not.
I have learned in my short, happy career as a political blogger that you have to look through the veil to feel out what government and its constituent parts are really saying. It’s “reading between the lines.” That comes from being in government so long — 30 years long — that I know how its armpits stink.
It’s the Republicans suffering serious flop sweat. Speaker John Boehner, third in line for the Presidency and looking like he needs a drink just to deal with his own party, has lost control in the House because his Tea Party members know there is no leader there.
Then there’s Senator Ted Cruz from Texas who has no idea of what the responsibilities of an elected office are. This is the same Ted Cruz who, with Karl Rove, is responsible for putting “Compassionate Conservative” George W. Bush on the ticket for the 2000 presidential election. And we all know how that turned out.
Since Pluto digs deep, and since we have so many from our recent past to fulfill roles in this action-packed political disaster theater, it’s very interesting how this is all shaping up. Here is moderate conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan, mourning:
“The purge has worked, hasn’t it? There is effectively no Republican party anymore. There is a radical movement to destroy the modern American state and eviscerate its institutions in favor of restoring a mythical, elysian, majority-white, nineteenth-century past. This crisis is proving that more powerfully than even watching FOX. We need to see what is in front of our nose: a cold civil war has broken out between those properly called conservatives, defending the credit of the government, empirical reality, and adjustments to modern life and those properly called radical reactionaries declaring our current elected president and Senate as illegitimate actors, bent on the destruction of America, and therefore necessitating total political warfare, even to the point of threatening to destroy the global economy.”
Even more ironic, the people pulling the strings of the puppets in this charade in DC — such as the Koch Brothers, Freedom Works and Heritage Action, all major political funders for Tea Party candidates — are starting to get perturbed.
“the Koch brothers’ company sent a letter to Congress this morning, making clear that Koch Industries is not on board with the idea of tying the Affordable Care Act to the government shutdown. Around the same time, Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham told reporters he wants to defund “Obamacare,” but he doesn’t want this to be tied to the debt ceiling.”
When and how will they, not we, but THEY get their crazy djinni, the Tea Party, back in the bottle? I don’t necessarily want to celebrate the end of the Republican Party. You do need checks and balances to govern. You need a loyal opposition to the party in power to form the crucible capable of forging laws that will govern the country and serve its people.
And perhaps that is the deeper point behind what is happening as we observe this theater of the absurd. We’re finding out what it means to have a government at all. How all our lives are affected with and without it. That government does matter. And perhaps, when all is concluded, that maybe a third party does take shape, forming the next crux of the squares between Uranus and Pluto between now and 2015. And what all that means is anyone’s guess.
This is a litmus test for our country, checking if we are still a republic. If we as a nation succeed even during this crisis — that is, we continue to care about our country’s future, and build on our desire to continue it — then, given the polls showing growing disapproval of these terrible theatrics in Washington, it seems that we are.
Even the billionaires are worried that the debt limit crisis — pushed to the brink in this war between Boehner, the Tea Party and Obama, with the potential to destroy the full faith and credit of the U.S. and the world — DOES have an impact on their bottom line. Default would cut their wealth by half. That means the very Tea Party politicians they bought to sit in Congress are screwing them right now with this debt limit crisis charade.
Yippee Kai-yay, mother@#$%ers!