Blackmailing Democracy

Watching the antics playing out in that formerly great country to our south, I am reminded of a 1930s gangster movie — ‘nice country you got here, be a shame if anything were to happen to it. Now just give us your money and no one will get hurt (that we care about anyhow).’

Given the rancor it would be easy to forget that what was implemented for healthcare was largely taken from the Republican playbooks. And not too long ago rapidly soaring healthcare costs had been identified as a major threat to the US economy. But successful lobbying and financial interests gutted the single payer idea — and everyone is left with what is probably the worse of both worlds, mandatory individual policies with the insurance companies still in control and taking their slice of the action.

The healthcare program is not the issue, not really. From where I sit it looks like a bunch of anarchists focusing on trying to destroy anything and everything the current president does. And overturn elections and the results of an orderly legislative process. And I suspect the real reason is not the programs but the person. But maybe they are just at war with the country as a whole.

What is really at stake is whether democracy will survive or whether we are seeing the start of another civil war. Blackmail and extortion cannot be allowed as public legislative methods. If not, what distinguishes the US from some of the dark regimes that have all too recently scarred this planet?

The New York Times had an interesting article about the extent of planning behind this whole business.  Makes me think that what we are really seeing is a new civil war, an insurrection from within. Perhaps the TP is a fifth column for some other group – al Qaeda or a nascent fourth Reich.

If concern over the budget and national debt were the real issue, why has there been so little effort? And why were the study group results discarded out of hand by the republicans? Maybe, after starting two costly wars with no thought of how to pay for them (or get out) the real problem is that they don’t recognize what balancing the budget means? Or its only OK if its what we want.

In an afternote – the October crisis was kicked down the road a few months. The government has resumed, but for how long. All the fuss over indiscriminate spying by the NSA seems to have taken attention off the situation for a bit. But as one party had observed, regardless of who is in the White House or running Congress, the republican right wing has been setting the agenda — job creation and growing the economy have been replaced with robbing the poor and giving to the rich. So, as it were, the situation continues to deteriorate.

Anyhow, dark days ahead for the world. Maybe the universe of Thunderdome is not as far off as we might like to think?


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