GOP Pulls Out of Debt Negotiations… Surprised?
I am a partisan. To many an extreme partisan. But those are my ideals. In practice, I have become more and more pragmatic in my aspirations to see functioning governance in the federal government. My turn to compromise is not because I do not want to see my ideology realized, but because it cannot be realized unless certain benchmarks are met, I have to sacrifice purity for progress. This message is lost on contemporary Republicans. As I have long been accustomed to in California, the rigidity and outright refusal of state Republicans to raise any taxes has hamstrung a state where the voters continue to approve mandated spending while rejecting every proposition to increase revenue. Apparently enamored by how the minority Republicans are able to exert immense power over the purse in a blue state, the congressional Republicans have decided to pursue the same “no new taxes” ideology. The problem is that they are using the current debt situation as a reason to dismantle NPR, Planned Parenthood, Medicare and unions, but are unwilling to actually rectify the debt by cutting in the middle and elevating taxes to a fairer level (say the 3% increase on the top marginal rate to the Clinton era, you know, when we had a surplus). The news that Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl pulled out of VP Biden’s debt talks because the Dems were demanding tax increases clearly demonstrates where the Republicans’ priorities lie. They do not care about the debt, or the recovery, but are strictly bound to an ideology that serves the top 5% of this country’s citizens (ironically enough the super rich often vote Dem and are in favor of raising their own taxes for the common good). Even though this was to be expected considering the political climate and public statements of the Republicans, I cannot help but feel upset at the shortsighted and illogical approach to negotiating that the Republicans are taking. Just to remind them, they control one chamber of congress, while the Dems control the other chamber and the executive branch (though the third branch is Republican, even if it still operates under the nonpartisan facade). That means they are in the minority and are in no position to demand an entire half of the equation to fix the debt be left out. Republicans have long played the jingoisitic, nationalistic, patriotic card to diminish the scope of Democratic electoral prospects, but it is clear now more than ever that the Republicans carry themselves in a most unpatriotic fashion.