To the Editor:
I am beginning to think the Republican establishment is so terrified of the Tea Party monster it created and nurtured in the wake of President Obama’s election that its members are prepared to run the economy back into the ground in order to avoid angering the Tea Party monster prior to the election.
What else can explain the brinkmanship the GOP is engaging in as the budgetary deadline set out in last year’s deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling looms ever closer on the horizon and the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30?
Without some compromise that leads to a budget deal by the end of the fiscal year, Fed Chairman Ben Bernancke issued a stark warning that the the economy will likely plunge back into recession.
In July 18’s English language Puerto Rico Daily Sun, the banner headline read “Employment Armageddon; industry leaders warn of job losses from looming budget cuts.”
The most severe cuts, by the way, are almost all being sought by Republican and Tea Party members of Congress. One knows something is very wrong when even many industry leaders, not generally known for their bleeding heart liberalism, are warning the reckless and draconian budget cuts the Tea Party extremists are insisting on will hurt the economy and cost Americans their jobs.
So, how did it come this? How has what is really a fairly small, but obnoxiously loud and angry movement — no more grassroots than the FDR-hating, rightwing Liberty League was in the 1930s — managed to create the illusion that it is such a powerful force the once-great party of Lincoln trembles before it and is even willing to risk another recession to pacify the beast?
One answer is “Fox News.” Or it might have something to do with the signs many Tea Partiers carried at their rallies in 2009 and 2010 that warned “If ballots don’t work, bullets will” and “By ballot or bullet, restoration is coming.”
The $64,000 question is, the “restoration” of what, a Tea Party -induced double-dip recession?
I am actually beginning to believe the GOP establishment is now so frightened of the Tea Party extremists it will hang tough with its reckless and draconian budget demands and hope they can — with the help of Fox News, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh — con the American people into believing that, if their recklessness and cowardice do cause the economy to slide back into recession six weeks before the election, it will all be President Obama’s and the Democrats’ fault.
Sadly, given that the attention span and awareness of politics on the part of many Americans, as Karl Rove himself once said back in 2004, can be measured in “nano-seconds, I’m betting the chances are better than even that such a con would be successful.
And that will be very bad news for the country, very bad news indeed.
Vieques, Puerto Rico