America’s government is far from perfect, but it worked relatively well until 2009 when Republicans’ raison d’être became neutering the legally elected government at all costs to punish the electorate for choosing an African American man as President. Throughout the President’s tenure, Republicans fabricated one phony debt crisis after another to cripple the government’s ability to operate and keep the economy stagnating regardless the damage to the people. In fact, it is safe to say obstructing governance, and democracy, has been the Republicans’ only goal for four straight years.
Now that the government is due to run out of operating funds and hit its debt limit, Republicans have created another crisis over funding the government, paying the nation’s debt, and a three year-old health law they claim is an existential threat to the nation. However, the looming threat of a government shutdown and credit default Republicans promise are not about spending, debt and deficit, or even the Affordable Care Act; it is about ending the nation’s representative democracy and ushering in fascism and rule by oligarchy.
After the 2008 election Republicans acted as if they won control of Congress and the White House, and attempted to thwart President Obama and Democrats attempt to govern the nation. They have persisted in that vein throughout the President’s tenure and it drove credit rating agency S&P to downgrade America’s credit because “Republican political brinkmanship had shown evidence of America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable.” When Republicans revealed their ransom demands to raise the debt ceiling on Wednesday, they exposed their disregard for democracy and revealed their only goal is fundamentally transforming the way America is governed; even if they have to decimate the economy to achieve their goal.
It is obvious that Republicans reject the results of the last election or they would not threaten to rule by destroying the nation’s economy. Americans should not underestimate the Republicans’ threat because there is just enough support for a default that analysts including Chris Krueger from Guggenheim Partners, warned on Wednesday that “there is a 40% chance of a credit default scenario as a result of the looming fight over raising the debt ceiling.” Krueger did not inspire confidence that Republicans will pull back their threat because he continued that “the path forward on the debt ceiling remains a total mystery and our 60% probability that the U.S. will not enter into default is based on nothing more than blind faith.” Krueger’s blind faith aside, there are an overwhelming number of Republican and teabag voters supporting a default, and enough congressional Republicans willing to vote against raising the debt limit that the 40% figure is a serious threat to the nation’s economy. Crashing the economy may seem risky for demanding enactment of their agenda, but Republicans are intent on satisfying their wealth donors’ vision for America.
The Republican list of demands for raising the debt ceiling has nothing to do with the nation’s debt, and everything to do with implementing every single Republican legislative proposal for the past two years and the RNC platform voters rejected last November. Whether it is eliminating the EPA’s regulatory oversight, “repealing Obamacare,” eliminating the financial reform law, tax reform according to the Ryan budget, raiding federal employee’s pensions, or approving the Keystone XL pipeline, the ransom demands are a reiteration of Willard Romney’s first day to-do list had he won the presidency. The ransom demands represent the nation’s agenda if Republicans ran the government, but since they are not in charge they have made blowing up the economy a “valid legislative strategy” to rule unchallenged and contrary to the will of the voters.
What Americans are witnessing from Republicans and Koch teabagger extremists is an attempted bloodless (for now) coup d’état with the full faith and credit of the United States the price to pay for adhering to the Constitution’s mandate for running the government. Republicans are mesmerized by nihilists in the extremist conservative movement who believe that America’s form of government, and its Constitution, are worthless and so detestable that they have to be destroyed to give wealthy oligarchs power to dictate which laws are enacted according to their fascist vision. Boehner said as much a couple of months ago when he told an interviewer that Republicans primary goal is repealing laws their corporate donors oppose, and the list of ransom demands represent policies Wall Street and the Koch fascists lust for in their “fundamentally transformed” vision of America.
The Koch brothers, ALEC, and libertarian wing of the party have long plotted to dismantle the government departments they regard as standing in their way of controlling the course of the nation, and they found willing assistance from ignorant racists in the teabagger movement to support the fascist takeover. In 1944, Henry A. Wallace defined an American fascist as one who puts money and power ahead of human beings and uses demagogues and stooges as fronts for the power behind the scenes. In 2013, stooges and demagogues are the likes of Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee who are fronts for Wall Street and the Koch brothers who are calling the shots behind the scenes.
Republicans, Wall Street, and the Koch brothers lost the last two Presidential elections, and for the President’s first term they behaved like petulant little brats who took their basketball and stopped the game because they were losing. Now, Republicans and their wealthy backers are willing to puncture the ball, blow up the basketball court, and gun down innocent bystanders on their way home to pout if they lose the debt limit game. It is not governance; it is a group of angry losers willing to destroy the nation’s economy because the other side won the last election and the voters retained the President who demands the nation be governed according to the Constitution and not the libertarian vision of a transformed America controlled by a fascist regime.
The current debt limit and funding crisis are about subverting democracy and ushering in fascism under cover of “protecting Americans from Obamacare” and “reforming successful government programs,” and have nothing to do with governing according to the Constitution. Republicans, or the Koch brothers, are not running the government, but one would not know it based on their threat to enact their platform or cause a devastating credit default. America has functioned as a representative democracy for 226 years, but Republicans refuse to accept the voters will and appear ready to crash the economy unless their party platform is enacted under duress. President Obama said, “If we continue to set a precedent in which a president — any president, a Republican president, a Democratic president — where the opposing party controls the House of Representatives, if that president is in a situation in which each time the United States is called upon to pay its bills the other party can simply sit there and say, ‘Well, we’re not gonna pay the bills unless you give us what we want,’ that changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely.”
The President is right, and hopefully he understands that Republicans and their fascist supporters want to change the structure of this government from the constitutionally mandated representative democracy to fascism by oligarchs. With a 40% chance of Republicans following through on their threat of a credit default, one hopes the President has a plan to save the economy because with only a 60% chance America resolves its debt obligation unscathed, it will take more than blind faith to hope America survives.