Republicans are anarchists and fanatics

The Daily Beast

The Republican refusal to countenance any way to raise revenues to tackle the massive debt incurred largely on their watch and from a recession which started under Obama’s predecessor makes one thing clear. They are not a political party in government; they are a radical faction that refuses to participate meaningfully in the give and take the Founders firmly believed should be at the center of American government. They are not conservatives in this sense. They are anarchists.

Their fiscal anarchism has now led to their threat to destabilize and possibly upend the American and global economy because they refuse to compromise an inch. They control only one part of the government, and yet they hold all of it hostage. I cannot believe they are prepared to allow the US to default rather than give an inch toward responsibility. Except I should believe it by now. Everything I have written about them leads inexorably to this moment. Opposing overwhelming public opinion on the need for a mixed package of tax hikes and spending cuts, drawing the president into a position far to the right of the right of his party, and posturing absurdly as fiscal conservatives, they are in fact anti-tax and anti-government fanatics, and this is their moment of maximal destruction.

I read George Will’s retread column from the 1980s today and simply cannot fathom what he is talking about. Except, I fear I can. He is channeling Mitch McConnell. Boehner and McConnell have one goal and it is has nothing to do with the economy. It is destroying this president and this presidency. They are clearly calculating that the economic devastation their vandalism could create will so hurt the economy that it could bring them back to power through the wreckage. And they will use every smear, every lie, every canard possible to advance this goal. The propaganda channel dreamt of by Roger Ailes in the Nixon era will continue to pump poison into the body politic, until they defeat the man whose legitimacy as president they have never truly accepted.

Coming from abroad, this country seems as if it is beyond dysfunctional. It looks like a banana republic on the verge of economic collapse. Now that Nixon’s dream has come true and the GOP is fundamentally the party of the Confederacy, it was perhaps naive to think they could ever accept the legitimacy of this president, or treat him with respect or act as adults in the governing process.

But this is who they are. I longed for Obama to bridge this gulf in ideology. But he cannot bridge it alone, especially when the GOP is determined to burn the bridge entirely, even when presented with a deal so tilted to the right only true fanatics could possibly walk away from it. And so the very republic is being plunged into crisis and possible depression by a single, implacable, fanatical faction. Until they are defeated, the country remains in more peril than we know.

One Comment

This defames the work “ anarchist” in its traditional meaning, though not of course in its meaning on the street that was propagated by its opponents. In the mid-eighteen hundreds there was a spit between those who opposed hierarchical rule between those who saw property as the problem and those who had property, soon to be named libertarians. You might say it was a split between the far right and far left, but they weren’t far apart. I have had close friends who were libertarian, often quite fine hardworking people who saw their properties has sacrosanct, but who just wanted government to butt out of their business. The problem with the libertarian cause is the size of property under consideration. When it becomes too large, the imposition on others becomes a form of hierarchical rule. Thus, corporate monopoly rule of choices, Wall Street banker rule of finance, and so on. This is libertarianism gone mad. In fact, the GOP and their corporate handlers have taken over the libertarian movement and corrupted its self-sufficient, anti-hierarchical, frontier origins – which many naive haven’t noticed. Those in the power hierarchies are leading us into catastrophe to protect their properties, in effect their powers, which includes those in bureaucratic government situations. I fail to see a trade off between the two. They both want to dictate how I act and believe.