Friday, July 29, 2011

Could the Tea Party Be America's Salvation?

No seriously, just bear with me for a moment.  Tea Party members of America's House of Representatives appear intent on bringing their government down.   These excerpts from der Spiegel illustrate what's happening:

..the [US] system only works when all branches of government play the role designed for them. For almost 235 years, the system worked reasonably well. But, about a year ago, things started to go wrong in the US capital; the system began to melt down. The friction is no longer propelling the country to greatness, rather it is hastening its decline. Members of the right-wing conservative Tea Party movement, which is well represented in Congress since the last elections, want friction. But at the expense of results.
These lawmakers no longer view themselves as part of the political system. Instead, they identify themselves as its enemy. They see themselves as outsiders, even as they sit in Congress and enjoy the kinds of job benefits they would like to strip from their fellow Americans.

...Experts agree that America can only reduce its vast mountain of debt by both cutting expenditures and raising taxes -- at least a little. Tea Party politicians are eager to slash spending, but they are adamantly opposed to allowing the government to increase tax revenues. Their refusal to compromise has led economists to warn of " Armageddon " should the US become insolvent.

In response to such "fear mongering," the Tea Party group Campaign for Liberty wrote on its blog that, even if the debt ceiling isn't raised, "the sun will still rise in the East and set in the West, as it has for all time." What, after all, do the experts know?

As a result, America has come to a standstill . The branches of government were designed to both exercise and yield power. More than anything, though, they are supposed to work together. But working together would appear to be contrary to the Tea Party movement's creed. Members aren't interested in making Washington better, they want to annihilate it. Their Holy Grail is a stripped down state.

But maybe, just maybe, bringing the government crashing down would be the best thing for the American people.  It would certainly wake them up and make them look at what the radical right has been doing to their government.  They would see it and, more importantly, they would feel it.  Let  them see what this homegrown radical insurgency would do if it ever gained real power.

A greater threat to America might be some harebrained compromise bill that adds more federal debt but does nothing to cure the malignant madness of the nihilistic far right.   A compromise debt bill that simply buys time may actually empower the Tea Partiers, expand their base and then what?

America should be saved but not at any cost and if the cost demanded is extortionate then the country could be better off by hitting the "reset" button.   The real threat facing America, as pointed out in the Spiegel article, isn't fiscal but governmental.   It's a structural failing and one that a debt compromise may only perpetuate.


Jim Parrett said...

Absolutely. The election of a Bachmann or a Palin to the presidency, while disastrous in the short term, would be all it would take to wake up Americans to the realization that braggadocio and appeals to 'patriotism' are fun for indulging but the business of governing requires those who have a grasp on reality and an adult nature. It would do wonders for Canadians, too.

Anonymous said...

We're certainly finding out what a mistake it was to let the neo-cons into the tent here in Canada....

The Mound of Sound said...

Jymn, I honestly thought Bush/Cheney was enough to make Canadians grasp the mendacity of the far right but Harper, with his authoritarian, secretive, manipulative and science suppressing ways, has proved me totally wrong. Maybe the train wreck that's underway in Washington could have some remedial effect up here but I've learned not to count on that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the train wreck that's underway in Washington could have some remedial effect up here but I've learned not to count on that sort of thing.

Haven't you heard? Things are different up here.

The subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. should have been a major wake up call for Real Estate in Canada. Unfortunately realtors, bankers, the CMHC and some politicians found the prospects either terribly inconvenient or even frightening.

Canada's had 3 years to deal with the mortgage and housing markets, but until very recently, the story's been 'housing prices always go up!' and 'it could never happen here'. So no remedial effect from seeing what happened to the Americans, and Canada's housing markets are slowing down.

The Mound of Sound said...

..until very recently, the story's been 'housing prices always go up!'

I don't know where you're getting that from. Vancouver, for example, has had a 7-8 year boom/bust real estate cycle. I know because I got a ton of work doing the bankruptcy side of the bust cycles. There were ordinary homeowners who did rather well out of buying at bust prices and then selling just before the market peaked again, renting for a year or two, and then buying again into the next bust market.