Americans have raised the debt ceiling. It’s official. But I fear there was a cost. Global markets were destabilized and remain so, and people are afraid.
Behind closed doors, Republicans and Tea Party members spent the better part of the “debt-ceiling crisis” which they created eating away at the confidence of the people who voted them into office. They knew that the debt ceiling had to be raised. The alternative was unthinkable. But, instead of voting quickly, they kept their constituents on tenterhooks. It seems that before coming to the consensus officially, they wanted to make sure they were protecting their personal interest and the interest of those who funded their campaigns, i.e. the persons who got tax cuts. I doubt that ordinary people entered into the equation.
It is indeed altogether possible that, as innocent people feared the worst, Republicans and Tea Party members spent the final days of July politicking and they now claim victory.
If there was a victory for the Republicans, it was at best a Pyrrhic victory. You may wish to google your way to Pyrrhus and to Pyrrhic victory. But, the following may suffice. King Pyrrhus of Epirus is reported to have said: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined. ” (Wikipedia)
This may well be the case with the current Republican ‘victory’. Corporate America is taking its business to countries where workers will not demand high wages and, in the meantime, more and more Americans join the ranks of the unemployed, now facing the possibility that the government will not be in a position to come to their rescue.
At this time, the US should concentrate on saving its middle-class, educating the young, healing the sick, helping people keep away from fast food and eradicating abject poverty. Now that it has spent a fortune on two wars, it should be consolidating its educational and social security programs.
As for President Obama, he let democracy takes its course, except that as the crisis unfolded and grandmothers, veterans, the disabled and the unemployed worried, the unsavory spectacle of the debt-ceiling crisis was for the entire world to watch. Change has come to America in forms unsuspected in the not-so-distant past.
Indeed, while Republicans dithered irresponsibly, panic mongering, CNN invited commentaries from the most insightful individuals they could find, many of whom are on their staff. This was not second-hand, but direct reporting.
Wolf Blitzer was at his usual unassuming best and the remainder of the cast did not let us down: Anderson Cooper, John King, Piers Morgan, and CNN’s team of well-educated female reporters, anchors and commentators walked us through the entire show. Jessica Yellin, I love you. All examined every aspect of the crisis. We heard Fareed Zakaria, David Gergen, James Carville, and other inspired Americans.
However, as Fareed Zakaria stated, the damage had already been done. Markets are not rallying and jobs are disappearing. Having created the debt crisis, Republicans continue to erode trust in the United States by displaying no sense of nationhood, let alone a sense of responsibility.
My apologies go to those Republicans who acted responsibly, but this was a Nero-played-the-violin-as-Rome-burned scenario. In Nero’s days, there were no violins as we know them, but the Republicans were playing with fire as the world watched and people wanted to hide their money under various mattresses.
If he were still alive, Bin Laden would be funding the Tea Party. Not in his most insane moments could he have dreamed of so formidable a weapon of mass destruction as the group of duly-elected Republicans who fuelled the debt-ceiling crisis.
My pension fund has just taken its second beating, both engineered by the Republicans. I wish I could return to teaching, but my university retired me. Don’t ask me why as I may tell the truth.