Thursday, August 4, 2011

More baloney in the news

According to CBS news on the radio today (and other reports from many other news sources such as the AP), "Congress" is acting badly in this whole FAA matter. No, news media, it's not Congress, it's the Republican obstructionist party that is behaving badly. And the issue is not just some subsidies to rural airports. There are labor issues involved (and we know that the PTR is anti-labor); also, the airports in question are mainly in "Blue" areas of the country. At least 70,000 airport construction workers have been idled and the Treasury is losing millions a day in fees -- far more than the obstructionists claim the subsidies are costing -- due to the willingness of the Republicans (not Congress) to sacrifice everyone and anyone to achieve their wrong-headed ideological objectives.

In any case, this is simply part of the TeaScreamer/Republican attempt to discredit the U.S. government in the eyes of its citizens. The plan is to so thoroughly muck up the financing of important government agencies that they can't do their vital jobs properly.  This has been, quite correctly, described as political terrorism by several well-respected observers; terrorism as in: the willingness to injure large numbers of innocents in order to obtain political or economic objectives. (See, for example, Joe Nocera's column The Tea Party's War on America in the New York Times.) The Screamers and Republicans could never have achieved by either popular votes or even votes in Congress -- where they control only the House -- what they have achieved by outright extortion: "We will destroy the ability of the U.S. to govern itself and pay its debts unless we get our way."

Today's stock market debacle shows that the business community knows that this terrorism is working. In spite of a not-so-terrible jobs report, and in spite of the recent raising of the debt ceiling, the market knows that  we are not going to come out of this major recession by cutting and disrupting government. But this damage has just been done, and the enablers are only now beginning to realize that the forces they set in motion are turning against them and the country as a whole.

Where is the President? Where is the Democratic Party? Can gross extortion win without a fight?

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