Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Self-Destruction of a Democracy, Brought to You by the GOP

Here's what the TeaPublicans' excellent adventure in trashing the United States looks like to sane democratic countries:

 The overwhelming consensus among the German press is that the Republicans are the most to blame for the gridlock. In a Tuesday commentary, SPIEGEL ONLINE's Gregor Peter Schmitz dubbed them the "kamikaze party." He attributed the gridlock to America's mercenary political culture -- where directly elected lawmakers run for re-election every two years and campaigns are privately financed -- as well as to the lack of party infrastructure compared to Germany's parliamentary model with its publicly funded campaigns. 

 "It's circumstances like these," writes Schmitz, "that explain why a brigade of Republicans conduct themselves like a bunch of Berlusconis -- as enemies of the state from within who want to cripple the country because that's the desire of their conservative voters at home." 

 When it came to the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, the German press was not pulling any punches. "There are fundamentalists within the world's largest democracy: The hardline wing of the Republican Party are once more crippling the United States," writes Nuremberg's Nachrichten. The Tea Party movement, it concludes, "does not engage in democracy, but in dogmatism." 

 "Here are fundamentalists at work who hold up their country to ridicule to advance their pure doctrine," wrote a commentator in Collogne's Stadt-Anzeiger. "What a tragedy!" 'Self-Destruction' of a Democracy.

'Self-Destruction' of a Democracy 

 Munich's national Süddeutsche Zeitung offers a slightly more depressing take, pointing blame at all sides. "What has already been apparent in America for a few years now is the self-destruction of one of the world's oldest democracies. And the great tragedy here is that this work of destruction isn't being wrought by enemies of democracy, greedy lobbyists or sinister major party donors. America's democracy is bring broken by the very people who are supposed to carry and preserve it: the voters, the parties and the politicians." 

The argument? The Republicans who have brought Washington to still-stand are repeatedly and democratically elected by voters and given a mandate to block. The parties themselves are fomenting an increasingly radicalized culture that deepens political, societal and geographic divisions in the country, argues the newspaper. And finally, there are few politicians in America who are willing or capable of thinking beyond their own electoral constituencies. "

At the moment, Washington is fighting over the budget and nobody knows if the county will still be solvent in three weeks," the paper concludes. "What is clear, though, is that America is already politically bankrupt." 

Another example from the Philippines:

 "Obama cancelled a planned trip to the Philippines this week due to the shutdown, but the nation’s commentators seem less offended than simply perplexed. 

The Philippine Daily Inquirer ran an editorial on Friday calling the shutdown “baffling.” “How did the world’s lone superpower come to such a sorry pass?” the editorial asks. 

It answers its own question by bluntly blaming Republicans: “We will not pretend that both the Democrats and the Republicans are equally at fault…Let’s just say it: Insurgent Republicans have a problem with their country’s first black president.”.

And here's what the TeaPublicans' excellent adventure in trashing the United States is doing to the GOP:

The political consequences of a government shutdown are bad, and they're bad for everyone. 

But there's good evidence that it may be far worse for Republicans than for Democrats. 

New polling out this week finds that Republicans are not winning either on their strategy or on the substance of the issue. Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to shutting down the government in an attempt to block the implementation of the health care law -- 72 percent of Americans oppose the strategy and only 22 percent support it according to a new Quinnipiac Poll. 

And they are basically split when it comes to how they feel about the law in general: 

45 percent support the law and 47 percent oppose it. 

That's not exactly a sturdy branch for Republicans to hang an unpopular government shutdown.


Shaw Kenawe said...

via Infidel753's weekly link round-up:

"According to conservative reporter Byron York, this whole thing is being driven by 30 of the most radical GOP House members. And nothing will convince them that what they're doing is crazy and wrong. Nothing. They're zealots. They don't care if the country suffers and they don't care if their party suffers. They have an ideology that tells them that the only important things are fighting government and fighting Barack Obama, by any means necessary. If you can't win at the ballot box, and you can't win in the ordinary legislative process, and you can't win at the Supreme Court, then it'll have to be blackmail. And if that doesn't work, then they'll find some other method."

Thersites said...
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Thersites said...
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Infidel753 said...

I've been reading about the reaction from other countries. They all think we're lunatics. A US government default would eventually have ripple effects on their economies as well. As frightening as the situation is for Americans, it's even more unnerving to those who have no ability at all to influence the outcome.

Daily Kos reported earlier that in spite of gerrymandering, the shutdown has put more than 20 House Republicans in danger of losing their seats next year, according to current surveys. So it's genuinely possible they could lose their majority. We need to get these vandals' hands off of every last one of the levers of power.

Gerry Mander said...

"That's the path we're on," Boehner said on ABC's "This Week." "I'm willing to sit down with the president, but his refusal to negotiate is putting our country at risk."

John Boner is a pus bucket.

Boner and his lunatic Tea Party wrecking crew want the president to delay Obamacare for a year. That's what they think is negotiating. Blackmailing the president into screwing around with a law that was passed by both houses of Congress and ruled constitutional by the Supremes. He and his worthless shitgangers want the president to cave to their blackmailing.

Anonymous said...
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FreeThinke said...

______ AN EVALUATION ______

For those in great pain
Expressing disdain
May oft prove a source of relief.

Showing contempt
Makes churls feel exempt
From the tenets of righteous Belief,

For those who lack humor
Fixate on each rumor
That tells them the mighty will fall,

And steadfastly dwell
On the hope of Hell
For the clever, good-looking and tall.

Pouncing on error
They hope to strike terror
Deep in the heart of their betters,

Who’ve made them feel low
By the virtue they show
With minds unburdened by fetters.

These churls wax pedantic
Whene’er they feel frantic
To prove to themselves they have worth.

What they do is invidious,
So an aura quite hideous
Soon blots out all traces of mirth.

They take what’s euphonious,
Then claim it’s erroneous
With captious and petulant wrath.

This conduct so odious,
Shrill, unmelodious
Irks even the plaster and lath.

Each animadversion
Is a form of incursion
That ruffles, then plucks out the feathers

Of birds––especially the dodo––
Who feels prey for the dragon Kimodo
That strikes fear and dismay in all weathers.

These attempts to assuage
A fierce jealous rage
Make it hard to find anything stupider.

The stupidest folk nurse a grudge,
Hold it long, squeeze it tight, and won’t budge,
And that’s the sad truth, by Jupiter!

~ Gagdon Hash

The Stupidity of Conservatism said...

"Shutdown, shutdown, shutdown. Stories about what we already know, but are nonetheless stupidly depressing, like the fact that planning for the shutdown was a long time a’comin:

A defunding “tool kit” created in early September included talking points for the question, “What happens when you shut down the government and you are blamed for it?” The suggested answer was the one House Republicans give today: “We are simply calling to fund the entire government except for the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.”
Genius strategy AND so great for the nation. Good job, GOP!"

George Whyte, August 2013 said...


-FJ said...

You look much better, George.

GOPT said...

What a crazy blogsphere we live in, eh?

Poor asshole conservatives and their courtiers are hilariously overcome with overwrought handwringing over the shutdown.

Let's call for a fainting couch for the conservatives, as it is clear they have been gripped by the vapors, based upon all the headlines screaming that the misery the conservatives have brought to the country is all their fault.

A Fox News Poll said...

A Fox News poll conducted Oct. 1-2 shows that 59 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, up from 46 percent about a year ago.

Democrats' unfavorable rating has risen less — to 49 percent from 41 percent.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect description of Ted Cruz by a conservative:

"He is narcissistic, self centered, tyrannical, unthinking, uncaring, unsympathetic, boorish, a bully, unresponsive, unwilling to compromise (although he keeps saying he is willing to work with the "other side" if they would just do things his way), a complete fool and the worst example of what a senator should be and do of any person ever to grace the Senate, In fact, he not only does not grace the Senate, he disgraces it."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
October 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM

How can one call oneself a liberal when her finger twitches upon the censorship button?

Shaw Kenawe said...

"How can one call oneself a liberal when her finger twitches upon the censorship button?"

Very easily, uninformed Anonymous.

This is my blog, and I decide who gets published and who doesn't. Spammers like you are not welcome.

The government has nothing to do with this blog, therefore, your First Amendment rights are safe.

The fact that I don't allow my blog to be spammed by folks like you has nothing to do with censorship, it has to do with keeping feces-throwing trolls out of here.

Thank you for allowing me to educate you.

And have a nice day.

Hitchens Fan said...

Can I burn down your house?


Just the 2nd floor?




Let's talk about what I can burn down.



Anonymous said...

You educated me, alright. On how dictatorial and very illiberal today's so-called liberals are.

I used no foul language, did not cut and past from loony righwing sites like WND. I merely challenged your groupthink, and to today's progressives, that is a crime.

Is it narrow in here, or is it just me?

Anonymous said...

"a law that was passed by both houses of Congress and ruled constitutional by the Supremes"

And then it was delayed for a year for all but the middle class and small business owner and worker.

For the party that says they are not for big business they sure treat them well. What the GOP is asking is delay it for all to get things worked out and so it won't be such a fiasco. If it is good for big business, why is it not good for small business.

BB-Idaho said...

It seems 'Hitchens Fan' above must have written Boehner's gameplan.

Shaw Kenawe said...


This may address some of your questions.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Myth: All employers will be required to buy health insurance for their employees under the Affordable Care Act.

Fact: The Affordable Care Act does not require businesses to provide health insurance to their employees.

■ Starting in 2015, businesses with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees that do not provide coverage or financial assitance for health care to their full-time employees may be subject to an Employer Shared Responsibility payment.

■ However, 96 percent of America’s businesses are too small to be subject to these rules.

Myth: There is a $100 daily fine for not providing notice of health options to employees.

Fact: There is no penalty.

Myth: HHS is eliminating employee choice in the Small Business Health Care Option Program (SHOP) marketplaces.

Fact: When the marketplaces open Jan. 1, employers in all states will have a range of insurance plans to choose from.

■ During 2014, in the non-state-based marketplaces, employers will select just a single plan to offer to their employees.

■ In states like California in 2014, and in all states starting in 2015, employers will be able to choose a variety of plans to offer to their employees.

Myth: The Affordable Care Act is causing health insurance rates to rise

Fact: The Affordable Care Act contains a number of provisions that help to slow the growth of health care costs.

■ Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies must publicly disclose and justify premium rate hikes of 10 percent or more. Starting in 2014, insurers will have to justify every proposed rate increase, even if it’s a 1 percent bump.

■ Tough new rules also make sure insurance companies are spending at least 80 percent of consumer premiums on actual medical care, not salaries and administrative cost.

■ As states like California are beginning to show, the competition fostered in the marketplace under the Affordable Care Act is helping to drive down rates for health insurance plans.

okjimm said...

annoy said //What the GOP is asking is delay it for all to get things worked out and so it won't be such a fiasco.//

oh, have another glass of Kool-aid!! a_ there is NO evidence that it would be a fiasco....b) Obama has called for conferne over nineteen times in the last year...all rejected by the GOP c) he has compromised....the .budget IS the sequester budget..basically PAUL RYANS budget. You are not making sense. Boehner stated today that there are not enough votes to 0ass a clean CR...yet he will not call for a vote. This is obstructionist [olitics at it's worse....and, know it.

Shaw Kenawe said...

okjimm, most of these Tea Party apologists live in an alternate universe.

Without exception, every sane person has acknowledged the insane demands and reckless behavior the TPs have engaged in.

Anonymous said...

Representative democracy I believe.