December 21, 2017

A Confederacy of Dunces: Act II

As I’ve outlined in previous posts, we get to the next exciting stage of how not to run a government. With a bizarre budget in hand, and tax reform promising to add to the debt, congressional Republicans now need to pass continuing resolutions to keep the government open for business.  All of this has been so goddamned predictable.

It’s most likely that comprehensive spending appropriations won’t happen until January, so this will be another temporary funding package.  At that time, the House Republicans will argue among themselves and patch something together, and then…and then, the Senate will need at least 8 Democrats to pass the bill.  So this part of the idiot play is where the Democrats will gladly agree to the continuing resolutions so long as their demands are met.  Demands likely to include some of these items: DACA provisions, Government funding to prop up what has just been undermined in the ACA via tax reform, long term CHIP agreement, and any other dollar for dollar spending on social programs that is on parity with defense spending.

This will add even more to the burgeoning debt and the Republicans will have to agree to it.  We could see this coming from a long way off, it’s easy to predict the budgetary sides of it through politics.  Financially speaking, this is all one big mess, what we haven’t mentioned yet is how the politics of this plays out.

I suppose it’s fairly obvious how Republicans can try to play ballooning debt as “all the Democrats fault,” and chances are, that’ll play decent.  I mean..come on, they’re going to shut down the government if we don’t add to the debt, right?  How far back we want to look at how this all started is the pivot point.  generally speaking, Americans don’t want to have to examine our Federal government in that great a detail.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be.  This is a representative democracy and the damned politicians are supposed to handle all of that shit so that we can concentrate on doing the stuff we’re doing.

The true cause of why we’re in the crap we’re in is because Republicans, in their current configuration, are simply not equipped to govern and the buffoon they have sitting at the top of their hierarchy ain’t helping none.  Plain and simple.  The facts of how we got here are undeniable.  The electorate’s desire to parse through all of it, however, is questionable.  Each fact of how we came to this point will be an internet meme, each truth diminished and tarnished beyond the recognizable.  Relegated to a “whataboutism,” as opposed to it’s actual causal relationship.

Here is a fine example.  Before Hillary Clinton ran for President the second time, she had occasion to be undertaking a paid speech in Brazil.  At some point in the speech, Clinton declared how ideal it would be to have, “Open borders.”  A nifty little accusatory catch-phrase we have with us today in conservative media and out of Trump’s mouth as a rallying cry against Democrats.  All of whom surely want to throw open the borders and allow the invading horde to pussygrab all of our fine young women….no doubt.

Did she say that?  Yeah she did.  She was at a conference of energy providers and she was referring to a distant point in time where there could be an open marketplace in which energy could be exchanged.  Those borders are the ones she was referring to: a theoretical open energy marketplace.  Did anyone listen when she half halfheartedly mentioned that in a rebuttal of Trump’s assault on her in their debates?  Nah.  Why?  because to listen to the full story would require our attention and examination of not only the facts, but why we would rather believe it not to be true.

Maybe we don’t want open marketplaces, so the point cannot be made to any effect.  Worse still, the real problem is, what is our aversion exactly?  What would be so wrong with being in a place where an economic plan exists where commodities like power flowed freely?  Are we afraid we’ll lose our identity, are we afraid of foreigners?  What elicits such a frightening prospect about the idea of open borders anyway, even if she had meant national borders? …which she didn’t.

The implications was, if the time came where we were at a mutually beneficial economic point where we could share power, why shouldn’t we?  The frightening extension of that is, what if we were at a point in time where we shared social, economic, and compatible cultural values with our neighbors, to the point that borders were no longer necessary?  Is that a bad thing?  What exactly is wrong with that?

Why should we have to think about such things?  It’s a representative democracy.  We hire politicians to mind the details of governance.  It is much easier to simply believe foreigners are, and always will be, “the others.”  We don’t have the time to understand how we got a couple words out of Clinton’s mouth wrong.  We certainly don’t have the time to be forced into admitting our fears have been played to great effect.

This is a problem.  Our government is simply requiring of us too much time to figure out their shit.  This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.  This administration, like all administrations should have begun it’s tenure with a real desire to do good.  It has not.  Congress should display a real desire to work hard together to create the framework by which our populace is afforded the environment in which to build cars, write books, perform plays, and cook meals to the best of our abilities without worrying about the crazy fucking shit going on in DC.  They have not.

They are instead beholden to their masters and vying for the real estate of our mindspace to plant the spin, the whataboutism of yesterday, the narrative; and to wholly purchase their ideologies which make every lie seem reasonable and much easier to digest without spending the time necessary to chase truth.

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