Friday, October 23, 2015

Talk Me Down Off This Ledge

It's been a week of Republicans In Disarray news, what with their little witch hunt turning into an 11-hour Clinton campaign infomercial and Paul Ryan holding out about 24 hours before caving to the demands of the Freedom caucus. Meanwhile, Trump and Carson continue to lead in the polls, while the Establishment candidates are all in single-digits. Can't anybody here play this game?

So with all this delicious Schadenfreude, why am I so gloomy?

Because as Steve points out repeatedly, Republicans are almost never punished for anything. Because perversely, Republicans' failure to govern often winds up working to their political advantage. Because there is a non-trivial probability that within the next year this will be demonstrated in apocalyptic fashion.

Less than two weeks before we hit the debt ceiling, there's no clear path to raising it. And as hilarious as Paul Ryan's fail may be, it just makes things that much more difficult, since he'll be as much a hostage to the Freedom Caucus as Boehner was. Maybe someone can see how this plays out without a default, but I can't.

And if there is a default, it won't be the Republicans who get punished. Sure, they'll get some bad press for a while. There'll be scolding editorials, maybe even calls from constituents. And...not much more.

But the longer-term economic consequences--we know who'll pay for that. If default throws us into a recession, if we're in a recession a year from now, the weakest Republican will beat the strongest Democrat. The GOP will strengthen their hold on Congress, and finally take the White House. At which point it's game over. All Dark. Forever.

And the Republicans incompetence or deliberate sabotage (likely both) will end up achieving what a billion dollars of Koch money couldn't.

That's my recurring nightmare. Someone, anyone, tell me I'm wrong about this. Please.


KB said...

I think you're right. Is there room on that ledge?

Duncan Watson said...

The way off the ledge is the Obama will finally be fed up enough to issue the damn coin or any of the previously floated executive action ways around the debt ceiling.

Bruce Webb said...

Wrong? Ironically not. Unless the Wall Street plutocrats actually DO rule the GOP. In which case the Default will not happen or be mitigated in a way that preserves the world economy.

Of course the GOP may actually be ruled by apocalyptical crazies. And the Davos-Bilderberg-Illuminati helpless against them .

So the fate of the world may rest on Goldman Sachs and Citi riding to the rescue. Sleep tight! And don't let the bedbugs bite!

Because we may be in the nightmare scenario of rooting for Jamie Dimon over Sarah Palin. "Invisible Bond Vigilantes and Confidence Fairies to the Rescue!!"

Unknown said...

Game over for WHO?

First, forget the coin. Minting the coin is admitting the fuckers won. Obama's said repeatedly, No coin. He meant it; he means it.

Second, the Freepdumpsters are the property of the Koch bros & the Club For Fuck You Up Good. Almost all the non-Freedumpster GOPers are hedge fund, Wall Street, Chamber owned properties. Ryans' cred comes from straddling the divide between those the orcs & monsters that own the former and the oligarchs who own the latter, but Ryan's prime directive definitely dervies from the latter. So, what we'll see, what we're ALREADY seeing the early staging for, is Thunderdome confrontation between Ryan and Obama.

Third: Obama's way smarter: he wins this.

But ...

Fourth: Obama's not there much longer. The next preznit isn't going to be a true believer in this bullshit, or a sell-out, or at least won't be up to this Thunderdome bullshit (the only exception being Sanders, but he ain't winnin' the DNC nod, especially not after yesterday.) That means, eventually, the orcs win.

Fifth: In the history of life on this planet, lots of top predators have come along to dominate, some for many many millions of years - then were destroyed, or died out, or for whatever reason lost the top spot & got gone for good. We humans are just another version of the Replacements, and compared to many (maybe all) of our predecessors at Top Dawg, we really don't seem particularly resilient or even especially likely to last at the top as long as any of them did.

Next up: bugs. Their turn, right?

Martin said...

Life in America is very very good right now. Cheer up and soldier on

Gerald Lillpop said...


Yastreblyansky said...

A frail and hesitant word for Team Optimist: The situation is pretty terrible, but it looks even worse than it actually is, the press doing what it can as ever to heighten the drama and gather the clicks. There's a glimmer of light on the immediate issue: the zombie Hastert rule cannot creep out of its grave until Ryan's coronation scheduled for Thursday, until which Boehner is the Speaker, and I believe he's really working on getting the debt limit through. A gloomy AP story says they just need 32 Republican votes to do it, which don't in fact exist yet, there are only 28, but we've been there before, and as our Unknown friend says, Obama is smarter, and the story admits at the end that some of the GOP members not counted in the yes column recognize that they will end up voting yes.

On the larger fate of humanity, sure, the bugs' turn is coming. For the medium term, who knows? One thing Trump gets right is that Republicans all act like losers, whether they're losing or not. They whine, they're paranoid, and they fight treacherously amongst themselves. There's a real war on between the orcs and the oligarchs, and the oligarchs are at cross-purposes too, between the productive economy and the rent-seekers. They are falling apart. Not that our side is very good at taking advantage of such things, but the advantage is sitting there waiting.

George said...

Would somebody please notice that the net effect of default is higher interest rates on safe assets?