Manufacturing Armageddon


First, I grabbed this picture of Cruz from this very cogent Salon article by Brian Beutler. Doesn’t he look like a silent movie villain? Here’s Beutler’s money quote: “Boehner and other Republican leaders never wanted a government shutdown at all. They know a shutdown hurts people and that the political cost to them will likely be severe. But now they’re in it, they don’t think they can embarrass themselves by folding…It’s a monstrous application of the sunk cost fallacy.”

Or maybe it’s cognitive dissonance. Leon Festinger’s classic WHEN PROPHECY FAILS notes that cultists often redouble their proselytizing activities when their beliefs are publicly disconfirmed–provided that they held them sincerely and, most important, that sufficient social support is available, that they are a part of a community of confirmed true believers.

Second, though it’s usually conspiracists that accuse the government of “manufacturing crises,” this time around it’s the right that’s conjured one, and it’s no “false flag.” The scariest thing, though, is that a lot of them don’t seem to realize what they’re playing with–they actually think this is just political theater. Here’s Michael Reagan:

I don’t care if the United States government goes bankrupt for a few months. It’s no big deal in the long run. Congress will just pass another continuing resolution to fund government.

Then, two months later, when the debt ceiling is raised by Congress, as it always is, everyone who’s owed money by the federal government will be paid retroactively and it will be business as usual until the next debt “crisis.”

I was just on the radio saying how back in the good old days of the nuclear standoff, everybody knew what the worst case scenario was and nobody wanted to test it. When it came down to it with Cuba, both sides backed away from the brink.

But that wasn’t strictly true, even back then. Remember those Reagan era Dr. Strangeloves who argued that tactical nuclear wars were “winnable”–and that civil defense could make it possible to survive a first strike with acceptable casualty levels? Think about that the next time you read about how a default won’t be that bad. God may not play dice with the universe but there are a lot of people who would if they got the chance. And they just might, in a matter of days.


4 thoughts on “Manufacturing Armageddon

  1. Having read some of the scenarios that were plotted and planed in the Pentagon in the 60’s-there were plenty of scary people there then too. People like Michael Reagan and his ilk are -in my opinion-barely literate and have been passing off nonsense and exaggeration and distortion for years. In this case-we are not on solid economic foundations and these modern day John Calhoun or Joe McCarthy wanabees may do great damage.

  2. The Sedition Wing of the GOP wants to de-legitimize and subvert the Obama Presidency by every possible means.

    The Sedition Wing of the GOP does not believe in majority rule.

    Consequently, there is no “compromise” possible.

    I have watched and listened on TV to at least 11 GOP Congressmen parrot the new Big Lie which the Sedition Wing of the GOP is using as their current talking points.

    In this alternate universe, the GOP has demonstrated flexibility, reasonableness, and willingness to compromise because it has proposed several different policy options which the Senate has refused to even discuss. They are:

    1. Repeal Obamacare

    2. De-fund Obamacare

    3. Delay Obamacare for one year

    In other words, the GOP believes that “reasonableness” and “compromise” are demonstrated in the American political system by offering 3 poison pills — all of which are designed to eviscerate a law passed by Congress and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The self-evident GOP strategy is to somehow manipulate Congress into putting Obamacare up for re-consideration in the 2014 mid-term elections.

    Then, there is the most disingenuous GOP talking point, i.e. Obamacare is “not approved” by “most” Americans and, therefore, it is a train wreck which should never go into effect.

    I am waiting for CNN or somebody to ask the obvious next question to the anti-Obamacare adherents in Congress, namely,,,,

    “So…if public opinion polling shows that most Americans support Obamacare once it goes into full effect, will you change your position?”

    I guarantee that 100% of these folks would say not “NO”, but “HELL NO!” — because they have no interest whatsoever in what the American people actually think.

    Isn’t it odd (and revealing) that when public opinion polling showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans supported universal background checks for gun purchasers (including a majority of Republicans, independents, NRA members, and gun dealers) — nevertheless, the entire GOP leadership in Congress was suddenly totally disinterested in what Americans “approved”.

    If we had honorable people serving in our national legislative bodies, all the current incumbents would resign from office en masse. Since that will not happen — then, alternatively, we should require all Congresspeople to

    (1) FORFEIT their pay for every day after October 1st when they have not passed a balanced budget

    (2) PAY a $10,000 fine for every day beyond October 1st when a budget is not passed AND for any failure to approve an increase in the debt ceiling in a timely manner. And the daily fine must be paid by noon of each day or the Congressperson forfeits his/her seat. In addition, once forfeited, the person should not be permitted to run for, or be appointed to, any federal position for the remainder of his/her lifetime (including as a consultant)

    Only when we enact such draconian steps will we ever get a Congress that truly works for the people of this country.

    1. I was reading an old essay by Joan Didion called “Vichy Washington” yesterday and it was about the plan to bring down Bill Clinton and the people involved. They took that impeachment forward on the basis of Clinton “lying” and how important a law is no matter what the situation is -lying is still lying. Of course they have gone 180 degrees on that now-not that is an actual surprise but reflects on the sheer stupidity on people who actually listen to these idiots. Now of course a law passed and signed and upheld by the Supreme Court is not important.

  3. Cruz has gained infamy with a majority of the American public. If this was a PR move for the Tea Party, it didn’t work. It would same that people who support him are more interested in rendering the President’s influence null and void, than working for the better interests of the American people. Anytime you have Michelle Bachmann as one of you’re champions, you have to consider in all seriousness, if you are in the right political party or not.

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