Here’s the way it looks to an ignorant man: A certain minority within the Republican party has decided that the Affordable Care Act, which passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law and was later upheld by the Supreme Court, will ruin this country. So instead of waiting for that to happen, they’ve decided to ruin the country themselves. A preemptive strike, so to speak. A matter of principle.
This small cadre of freedom-loving Americans knows that canceling government for a few days won’t quite accomplish that. That’s just the short game — a few geezers have to turn around their motor homes at Yellowstone and drive away cursing Obama. The real firepower gets rolled out in a couple of weeks. That’s when these stalwart defenders of liberty will refuse to pay the bills Uncle Sam has already incurred. They call it the debt ceiling, but really it’s this big gun-locker in the basement that panicky Republicans can open when things aren’t going their way.
When you buy things and then float the idea that you won’t pay for them, it worries people. Especially if you’re a superpower. It can crush an economy. That’s what makes it such a popular negotiating tool for those in the GOP who have become impatient with the concept of give-and-take. When you’re the only one with a gun, it facilitates compromise. The convenience-store clerk compromises and hands over the dough, or he’s going to take a bullet.
The Affordable Care Act may be a bad law, or it may turn out to be a pretty good one. I have no idea. Few do, I suspect. Like Social Security and Medicare, complicated programs take awhile to work out. But the same folks who just decided more Americans should be hungry are not in a patient mood. For them, the risk of collateral damage is way more appealing than the risk of Obama getting something right.
Just writing this, it occurred to me: These people are beginning to piss me off. They get up and string slogans together and hope it sounds like Thomas Paine. They are forever quoting “the American people” without actually knowing any of them. They drone on piously about freedom even as they work to subvert the system of government that allows it.
Finally, they oppose everything and propose nothing. They don’t have an alternative to “Obamacare” because they don’t think one is needed. Aren’t rich folks getting richer? So what’s the problem then?
Well, that’s something anyway. Let’s see if Wall Street gets worried in the days to come. Principle is one thing, but the plutocrats don’t like uncertainty in fiscal matters. If they start barking, even the Knights Who Say No will have to listen. Is this a great country or what?