There is beginning to be a consensus among political pundits that Republicans are succeeding at creating chaos in Washington to hasten the federal government’s entropy as part of their war on America. There are those who think Republicans are in disarray and cannot garner the support to impose their Draconian policies on the people, and they may have a valid point, but it has not stopped Republicans from going forward with their plans to ravage the people with more cuts to crucial domestic programs despite the damage to the economy and particularly jobs. In a way, Republicans are behaving like evil tyrants who realize their policies are failing and instead of adjusting their message or changing their course, they have adopted a mindset that if they are bound to fail they will take the nation down with them. It is not that Republicans do not know their policies are damaging the country because they do; they are just unwilling to change because in the final analysis eliminating the government is their goal as their “war against Washington” crusade informs.
At this point, it is not that Republicans are intransigent and creating nationwide damage just to oppose President Obama, although as he noted two weeks ago, there are some in Washington who oppose anything he supports because he “had the gall to win the presidency.” No, Republicans are creating damage to the nation and its people as part of their bent to shrink the federal government and create a libertarian paradise with no central authority to give wealthy plutocrats free rein to operate without restriction or regulation. It is true that the Republican addiction to austerity is in part to make room for greater tax cuts for their corporate and wealthy sponsors, but as they openly admit; weakening the federal government’s ability to function is their primary goal. They will spend the next month convincing their supporters that crucial to shrinking government is eliminating funding for domestic programs despite the damage to the people, economic recovery, and the federal government.
Over the past month and a half Republicans have suffered defeats and failed to impose their economic agenda on the people because some in their ranks see the damage austerity is wreaking on the people and economic recovery. In June, House Republicans failed to produce a farm bill that exposed the level of inhumanity inherent in the extremist wing of the party who could not garner deep enough cuts in the bill so they eliminated funding for SNAP (food stamps). This past week, House Republicans discovered that the Ryan budget they champion as America’s economic salvation is unworkable when they attempted to pass a bill to fund the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Republicans could not gather enough votes to pass the bill because abiding Ryan’s budget cuts on top of cuts in the sequester were too damaging for some Republicans including House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rodgers.
Rodgers lashed out at Republican leadership and said, “With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago, thus, I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration – and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts – must be brought to an end.” Republicans could repeal the sequester with a simple vote, but they instead voted for the 40th time to repeal the Affordable Care act prior to heading home for a month to marshal support for holding the budget and upcoming debt ceiling increase hostage unless President Obama pays the ransom of enacting the Ryan budget.
If there is chaos in Republican ranks it is minimal because the effects of their economic austerity policies, including the sequester cuts, produce the very results they expected and were warned would happen. It is important to remember the mindset Republicans cling to when they know their cuts destroy jobs and slow economic growth that Speaker John Boehner expressed in early 2011 when he learned GOP spending cuts would destroy over a million jobs; he said “so be it.” Boehner gives lip service to easing the sequester’s damage, but in 2011 he said “he was pretty happy” about them and Republicans as a group celebrated their enactment in March of this year despite predictions they would kill millions of jobs and slow GDP growth beginning at the end of this year.
The sequester damage is bearing fruit as nearly 200,000 federal jobs are being reduced in a blatant display of failed Republican economic policy they limit to severe austerity. Most Americans are already aware of the number of poor Americans who are destined to sink deeper into poverty, hunger, and homelessness as a result of sequestration, including Republicans who made cruel and inhumane treatment of Americans their policy of choice. Unfazed by the damage they wrought, Republicans are gearing up for a budget fight predicated on deeper spending cuts, deregulation, and corporate tax cuts to reduce revenue and bring the government closer insolvency, and if they cannot have their way, they will shut down the government. There is always the threat of another continuing resolution, but even that creates doubt and mistrust about the nation’s ability to be governed.
Republicans are not in a state of chaos, but the federal government is and it fulfills their two year goal and they have no intent to alter their course despite the damage they have already caused. The idea of a government in chaos is the reason S&P gave for downgrading the nation’s credit, and they laid the blame solely at the feet of Republicans for obstructing governance. Let’s be clear, Republicans know what it takes to govern, grow the economy, and create jobs, but it means having the integrity to tell their supporters that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, the sequester is killing jobs, the bible is not the Constitution, and that their entire economic policy is an utter failure. Instead they will pursue their current course and create a nation that is, for all intents and purposes, ungovernable and in chaos.
The state of America’s government is exactly what Republicans have sought since Barack Obama was first elected President and their contention that the President is not willing to compromise is false, especially if one considers that regardless the concessions he has made, and continues to make, they have been rejected out of hand. Republicans successfully made the 112th Congress the least effective in decades, and they are on pace to exceed their dismal record in the 113th session with a view to creating another economic crisis when they return from their month-long vacation. What Republicans are demanding informs that their goal is a nation in economic crisis, because on one hand they admit their policies are unworkable and will damage the economy, but threaten that if the President does not enact their policies they will shut down the government or cause a default. Either way, they intend to succeed in creating another economic crisis and it is not governance or chaos; it is sheer evil.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.