I think I was wrong about the shutdown.
I know, I know, mark the day – Annie admitted she was wrong.
See, I thought all along this shutdown insanity was just a case of a few Teabaggers going crazy. I even said as much on my personal Facebook page:
PLEASE STOP SPREADING DISINFORMATION AND FALSE EQUIVALENCIES. This is NOT a case of “throw all the bums out!” or “both sides are to blame!” because this is objectively false. There are sufficient votes RIGHT NOW to end the shutdown on BOTH sides of the aisle on a clean CR. The ONLY reason the shutdown happened is because approximately 30 officials supported by the House Speaker are not willing to accept the fact they have been unable to repeal a law that THEIR OWN PARTY proposed as a compromise after 42 attempts and the Speaker refuses to let a clean CR come to a vote. That is IT. You may have plenty of legitimate reasons to hate our federal legislators on either or even both sides of the aisle, but the shutdown is NOT ONE OF THOSE REASONS.
At the time, I truly believed that.
I even mostly believed it up until today.
But now, I’m beginning to come to the conclusion, however reluctantly, that this is – and has been, all along — the GOP design.
That the Republicans wanted the government to crumble and fail.
Here’s why I am now leaning towards this conclusion, as insane as it initially sounds and as sad as it makes me:
- They couldn’t win the two elections
- They failed to gain control of both houses
- ACA has been upheld in litigation by the highest court in the land, and they can’t make a dent in it
- And most importantly: They know they can’t succeed in impeaching Obama.
- So they’re doing the next “best” thing, in their book: shutting down Obama’s government and making it completely ineffectual.
Never mind the votes they’re losing (it’s a risky gamble but hey, they’ve been successful snowing the American public before – they might be able to pull it off one more time).
Never mind the lives they are destroying.
Never mind the incalculable damage they’re doing to American interests here and abroad, economically and politically.
They’ve said it all along – and in that light, it was OUR foolish insistence that they couldn’t possibly be serious that actually assisted them in this foul endeavor: Their only real target is Obama, and their only real goal is to destroy him.
Recently, I’ve read other people’s writings supporting this view and I always dismissed those views as conspiracy-theory nuttiness, unreasonable, silly – how on EARTH could the GOP really be that vile?? But here’s the kicker for me – the thing that threatens to push me off the fence and squarely into “the GOP leadership is fucking evil” territory:
If I am wrong in this, then the GOP behavior as a whole in recent days as the debt deadline looms near makes no sense at all.
But if I’m right, it makes perfect sense.
They don’t want to fix the debt ceiling problem because they wanted all along for this government to collapse.
And if that’s correct, then the GOP behavior leading up to and after the shutdown is sedition at the very least, and possibly treason.
Why does the GOP hate Obama so? The depth, and the intensity, of the loathing for this President is miles above/beyond even that which Clinton encountered in his second term. I think a large part of it is racially based, but I don’t think race is the only factor.
I think a large part of it is class, to be honest. I think to this flavor of GOP neocon, Obama’s resonance with the lower-income segment of the population is discomfiting, particularly in light of the growing hatred of Wall Street ever since the subprime mortgage meltdown. I think poor people in equal measure frighten and disgust this kind of neocon, who has now deluded him/herself into believing that Obama is some figurehead for a brewing populist French-Revolution “off with all their heads” rebellion. It’s every bit as much a holy war to these rich-pandering Republicans as the “he’s a Muslim” nonsense is to the uneducated, ignorant fundamentalist Republicans.
Whatever their reasons, if this is in fact what is going on – a de facto informal impeachment – then there should be criminal prosecutions.
UPDATE: I’m not the only one with this theory – see this post on The Daily Beast.
*- At least that’s my plan.