(By American Zen
's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)
Except, unfortunately, the chemical used in this case was alcohol.
Perhaps nothing more indelibly delineates the sheer moral turpitude of the right wing than doing a Google search using only the keywords "Congress" and "booze"
and coming up with nearly two and a half million hits. Yet now our
federal legislative body and alcohol are forever inextricably entwined
as if they should be. And even as the Republicans commit DWL
(Drunk White Legislating), no doubt people such as David Brooks and
other wouldbe centrists are already lining up their arguments such as,
"But, but... the Democrat Party drinks on the job, too!" (And even if
they were, who could blame them?)
These would be the same low-information cretins who would actually try to
look for the penny in the corner of a round room (which is what the GOP
has been doing to them since the Southern Strategy, when they
successfully convinced these goobers that conservatism was the way to go
since everything the lib'rals want is evil, eviiiii
l, neatly explaining why red states are the biggest recipients of welfare, food stamps
and pink slips!): That the neverending temper tantrum put on by the GOP
since ObamaCare was in its earliest stages is going to be the
And, while it is
not, it seems like a suspicious coincidence that the government that
will go into this alcohol-induced coma will do so at midnight, which is
the same exact moment registration for ObamaCare will commence. And,
make no mistake about it, comrades, the Republican Party isn't nearly as
opposed to the Romney and Heritage Foundation
Affordable Care Act as they are to ObamaCare. Republicans are very
sensitive to the difference and have drawn a line in the sand infinitely
wider than the Mason-Dixon line.
Republicans are obviously strenuously ignorant of the history of
consequences that came with shutting down the government. The last time
they did so was in 1995 and again in 1996. Nate Silver reminds us a
pre-Monica Bill Clinton saw his approval rating shoot up to 53%
As a guarantor that history will once again repeat itself, the right
wing-leaning Rasmussen's latest poll shows President Obama's own
approval rating at a respectable 51%
And as in 1995-6, those in Congress didn't suffer,
their paychecks were still handed out in time, their health care
benefits continued uninterruptedly while millions dependent on certain
government programs needlessly suffered the most. Fast forward 17 years
later, the GOP is openly soliciting with gleeful abandon shutting down
the government they profess to hate so much while nonetheless gobbling
up its largesse in high salaries, earmarks, pork barrel subsidies,
franking and staff funding, junkets, disaster relief, grants, etc. For
the first time ever, this nearly inevitable shutdown will force us to
default on our debts and downgrade our credit rating since a national
credit rating was first instituted.
And it will all be the fault of the President for letting the GOP shoot
the hostage so they can say, "See what you made me do?" It'll be the
President's fault for finally growing a set after nearly five years and
getting sick and tired of the backstabbing and face-slapping to which
he's been subjected by a rabidly racist GOP.
It will be Mr. Obama's fault for refusing to delay the implementation
of ObamaCare because he's more than smart enough to know if he caves in
(yet again) to the GOP here, they will be back like 282 herpes sores a
year later and demand ObamaCare be shelved for another year and another
until he's a lame duck.
It will be
the President's fault that the Tea Bagger faction of the GOP is
squandering more of our national treasure crafting legislation they know
damned good and well will not fly in the Senate, will never be
reconciled according to their demands and certainly will never be signed
into law by the President who has no reason and no inclination to
defund or delay his most notable and signature piece of domestic
legislation. The President vetoing such a bill will be catastrophic but
not nearly as catastrophic as it would be for those with pre-existing
conditions to have to wait another year for the ACA's protective clause.
Some of them, obviously, would not live through that extra year.
But there's a crucial difference between the President and most
Republicans: he's not up for re-election next year. Or ever. All 435
House seats will be up for grabs next year and dozens more in the
Senate. And if the Republicans force him into a corner, he can always
blame the GOP for ruining our credit rating just as they're trying to
blame him. Except the President's waggling finger will have infallible
The Republican Party is like a
frenzied hostage taker on PCP who really wants to commit
suicide-by-cop, in this case the cop being the American people. They
really don't want to own a government shutdown any more than a hostage
taker wants to feed, clothe and otherwise care for an extended period
their own hostage. But they can't stop hearing those voices in their heads, in this case those of the Koch Brothers,
HMO lobbyists, 527's and other special interest groups, voices that coo
in their ears, "Go ahead, shoot the cunt. You never liked her anyway.
Let the voters give you the sweet, sweeeeeeet release of death."
So let them rip open their dress shirts like so many Supermen gone to
seed, let them expose those explosives strapped to their chests, let
them thumb the detonator button. The country will circle the porcelain
bowl a few more times, people on both sides of the political spectrum
will suffer and #44 will emerge from this smelling like a rose as did
#42. Let them belly up to the trough and pig out on the buffet. In 13 months, they will be handed a massive bill, courtesy of the American voter.
As we stagger and lurch our way into yet another
Republican-engineered shutdown, let us never cease making this crucial
distinction from now to Super Tuesday 2014 between al Qaeda terrorists
and the Republican Party:
Al Qaeda never takes hostages.