Friday, July 29, 2011

A Civic Circumstance As Bitter (And As Self-Inflicted) As A Strong Cup Of Earl Grey

Sane Republicans -- the business community, in particular -- must be shuddering. They welcomed a couple of strains of virulence, religious kooks and Tea Party ravers, into their political coalition for electoral advantage. Today, they are horrified by the emerging evidence that the Tea Partiers did not merely talk crazy.

These are self-inflicted wounds, for our nation and for the Republican Party. The debt ceiling has been routine legislative housekeeping -- the legislature authorizes expenditures, and therefore must arrange corresponding credit if needed -- for decades. Republicans not only were aware of the deficits that require a debt ceiling increase but indeed pushed many principal drivers of the deficit (discretionary wars, tax cuts, prescription drug benefits).

Credit and equity markets are shuddering, too. If you have been wondering how the business community, the evangelical crusaders and the Tea Party ravers could form a coherent coalition, the Chamber of Commerce suddenly shares your concern.

We are fortunate to live in an economically strong, relatively free nation. We are foolish, however, to test the strength of our communities, whether by the sudden onset of ideological inanity in Washington or by the slow corrosion of ineptitude along Grant Street.

Infytune: Blowin' In The Wind, Peter, Paul and Mary
Infytune: The Times They Are A-Changin', The Byrds
Infytune: Like A Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan

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