"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

GOVERNANCE FROM THE BED


By

ROBERT HARKINS

The unicorn is a mystical creature. A Greek mythos suggests that it is a horse, of a color purest white and sports a spiraled horn upon its forehead. Because the unicorn is a symbol of purity and grace only a virgin may capture it. This may explain its rarity for virtually no one has ever seen one—a unicorn that is.

The Republican unicorn while presently just as rare as the unicorn of legend, is a horse of a different color—and is unmoved by virgin purity. In November of 2010, in a now historic shellacking of a Democrat party gone rogue, the Tea Partiers placed in office a number of Republicans. They were everywhere ubiquitous as rabbits. They sipped tea and spoke of their cuddly affection for limited government and the American Constitution and such other fleeting banalities as they thought the people might like to hear.

The Republicans also pledged a serious reduction in the size of an increasingly lethal deficit. They pledged to confront and deter presidential and congressional arrogance. They pledged to constrain federal government to the enumerated powers narrowly granted by a sovereign people.

The Tea Partiers, like all Americans, while subjected to flatulent bursts of political rhetoric, nevertheless chose to forgive past Republican betrayals; and in their expression of a forlorn hope that “springs eternal from the human breast”[1] turned the House of Representatives and a good part of the Senate over to the Republicans.

Tea Partiers like most Americans are a plain cut, mature and steadfast people. They are impressed by the virtues of honor, justice and undaunted courage. They cherish most particularly this ancient promise:

“My word is my bond, or in Latin, the language of Rome, Dictum meum pactum. That which I promise; that will I bind myself to do.

Tea Partiers realize that they will not prevail in every battle but hope to prevail at last in a cultural, political and existential war. The stoic poet William Henley, in his splendid poem Invictus (Triumph) tells the depth and measure of their true, courageous and indefatigable heart.

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,


Black as the pit from pole to pole,


I thank whatever gods may be


For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance


I have not winced nor cried aloud.


Under the bludgeonings of chance


My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears


Looms but the Horror of the shade,


And yet the menace of the years


Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,


How charged with punishment the scroll,


I am the master of my fate:


I am the captain of my soul.

Republicans deeply engaged in the language of Orwellian New Speak, wooed conservatives to the idea that they would rebuild the trust they had betrayed. They claimed piteously that in the Bush years they had somehow “lost their way.” In fact, in lock step with Democrats, they worked into being a profligate spectacle of economic waste that would have beggared the wanton squander of a Persian king. In the end as the two parties raced every-which-way across the aisle to compromise, corrupt and cut their “deals” they and thereafter President Obama brought our country to this precipice of economic ruin.

Americans realize that the time for presidential dilettantism must end now. President Obama offered a budget with egregious deficits, spendthrift spending, tax increases and not one red cent in cuts. He proposed to increase federal spending of no less than 57 percent by 2021. So venal was the president’s proposal that Republicans and Democrats alike cast it upon the same trash heap of history that holds the tortured remains of failed socialist states. The president’s proposal was particularly odious in that he presented it to a people in crisis, a crisis obscured too long in the prurient wastes of presidential demagoguery, a crisis Americans must deal with now or fail.

The core of the American existential issue is this: Will the United States, its people, Creed, Culture and Constitution survive—or not? The Republicans may not yet perceive this as an issue. The Democrats most certainly have not heard tell of it. On the other hand, intensely personal concerns are more worthy of their consideration, the most critical being reelection; Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

One will never encounter Tea Partiers, standing in front of a voting station, decked out in para-military gear and uniforms, wielding clubs and threatening white men and women with a beating should they try to squeeze by them so as exercise their right to vote. While the Black Panthers who actually committed these crimes were given a free ride and their criminal indictments were dismissed, the Democrats, straight-faced, are now accusing Tea Partiers of terrorism. Ironically, a party that has for decades pillaged the substance and wealth of an American people now accuse the Tea Partiers of causing Standard and Poor’s downgrade. They are joined by yellow mainstream journalists supinely acquiescent to their every outrage provided only that they keep and maintain the borders of a dystopian Left.

To this psychotic libel the Tea Partiers may well ask, “Where are the Republicans? Where now is their courage? Will they speak out bravely in our defense? Or must we stand alone, again, our heads bloody but unbowed? Where are the deep cuts will save Americans and their progeny? Where may the Tea Partiers go to count the deficit trillions Republicans will shrive from a leviathan government unfaithful to its Constitution? What will Democrats and Republicans tell them now, these few and trusted men and women who swore to and betrayed their sacred oath.

If one adds to the 14.6 trillion dollar deficit-tax an additional 7 trillion dollar deficit this over 10 years; if one ignores the pretence of spending cuts, as has Standard and Poor’s, then the total increase in the tax burden comes to 21.6 trillion by the year 2021—give or take an unanticipated trillion or two for expenses along the way and not including billions of interest payments on the debt.

Before the downgrade Republicans switched once again from principle to pragmatism. They say that, “We got the best deal we could get.” But they got nothing, cut nothing, saved nothing; and as Dr. Thomas Sowell noted, were played and had by the Democrats! The rest is New Speak. The spending cuts are a myth as real as flying unicorns.

Standard and Poor’s is not done with America. The market as of this writing is down 635 points—in a single day. The American dollar inflated by the printing of money, that is, to use an Orwellian term, by Quantitative Easing, may well lose its status as the world’s reserve currency. China has given Congress and the President a humiliating and well-deserved tongue-lashing and is now demanding a new reserve currency.

The president who claims that Americans have a moral obligation to avoid default has embraced default by inflation. The Chinese own one trillion in American bonds. They have been devalued 30 percent by the printing of dollars, as has the dollar the worker takes home to buy his family’s bread, pay his mortgage or send his son or daughter to college. Government instigated inflation is a tax imposed by the fiat of President Obama, the support of his Administration and a yellow press.

What now is the American fate? It is uncertain. But we know this. The American people have again placed their faith in Republicans; and the Republicans have requited their faith with faithlessness. Nothing new here. In reaching a deal with the Democrats and President Obama the Republicans have surrendered the pretence of principle; and have slipped intimately between the coverlets of the Democrats’ bed where together they will govern. Republicans will point no fingers from the bed; for they are alike guilty of the deficit tax deal, future downgrades, the stock market collapse, and perhaps a decade or more of the same or worse—until such time perhaps as Hell itself freezes over. Is this the best deal the Republicans could get? Well, one more “best deal” like this and we are lost.



[1] English poet Alexander Pope. Hope Springs Eternal

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