This is how the world ends...
As I'm typing this, the current news out of DC is that the House, scrambling over the last few days to get any kind of bill up to send to the Senate to end the shutdown, pretty much failed to get anything done. The Senate is more amenable to getting a deal set up, but there still runs the risk of just one Senator - Cruz or Graham or Lee or another - gumming up the works by delaying the vote on it until the Thursday deadline on the debt ceiling passes. And there's still no guarantee there will be enough votes in the House to accept the Senate version.
The sentiment right now is that pretty much the House GOP, the Tea Party types and their abettors in the Senate like Ted Cruz, are going to let the nation default on the debt.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow...
I've noted a couple of times that the current Republican Party psyche is geared towards letting the whole thing fail. They WANT to see what happens if the nation goes into default, they've convinced themselves that it won't be as damaging as all the experts fear it could be. We're talking about a political party that for the last 20 years or so have been influenced, bullied, led by the likes of Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh and a legion of purity agents obsessed with voting out RINOs and moderates who would dare compromise and govern. A Republican Party where Norquist could openly pine for the chance to make government small enough - through massive tax-cuts and social spending cuts - to "drown in his bathtub."
Ask yourself this: which political party openly thinks that "government is bad" and which openly thinks that government can be managed and made effective and workable? The Republicans have been the "Government Is Bad" ideologues ever since the Reagan Era, ever since Goldwater when you think about it. So which one deserves the blame when government falls apart? Especially when the branch of government where all the destruction is happening - the House - is the one being run by the Republican Party?
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men...
The Far Right Republicans, the Tea Party faction, the wingnuts... they have expressed before their admiration of Ayn Rand, of Atlas Shrugged and the belief of enlightened selfishness. They have each of them in their own way expressed the desire to be as brave and noble and correct as John Galt, self-made Hero of the Revolution of the Elite over the base hollow men that seek to bring the Genius and the Artist to heel. They want to deregulate everything. They want to privatize every function of public service to corporations that won't answer to laws or accountability. They want to kill government to let their Utopia become reality.
But these wingnuts have all proved themselves hollow men, all so eager to tear down the world that other better Americans had formed over the last two centuries. Uncaring, self-serving, scheming, petty. Hollow to the core.
This is how the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
- TS Eliot, The Hollow Men
UPDATE: the deal's been done, the government's re-opened... but there's been damage done, and the Far Right are still seething. Hollow Men cannot be appeased until they're full of everything they want... and what the Far Right wants is to destroy the United States...