Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Capitol Hill Compromise

Unless you were born or married on August 2nd, you have nothing to celebrate today. Unless the Tea Party is your idea of a wingding.

This is what the Republican Party has bequeathed to America, what Rush hath wrought, what Murdoch and Fox News have dished out and shoveled out wholesale—the undigested mental droppings of the untried and untrue. The Grand Old Party licked its lips, rubbed its palms together and threw open its doors for the Tea Party—it’s party-time!—and, here’s gratitude for you, they’ve snubbed its leaders, drowned out its conservatives and for all intents and ill purposes, all but high-jacked the GOP, taking the USA along for the ride (down). Whether bedecked as colonial clowns or congressmen and congresswomen, they see themselves as patriots.

I hold the Republican Party responsible for them. Now it, and we, are stuck with them—the bedbugs of politics, an infestation none of us can neatly get rid of.

Everyone in Washington, it’s become conventional to say, is at fault for the mess the country is in—a mess that neither began with the debt ceiling crisis or ended with “the deal.” Very American to distribute the blame, very noble to share it. That’s old boy, locker room, prep school nonsense. I could fault the Democrats for a lot of things that aren’t right, starting with the way the president has governed, or failed to, continuing with his advisers and the party leadership. But it’s the Republicans who kindled, stoked and fanned the debt ceiling fire, who fueled so much of what led up to it with their own prior profligacy, who paved the paths to the hell we just endured with anything but good intentions.

I wish I weren’t always so inclined to be rough on Republicans, but damn, they are so rough on the rest of us! I’m tired of them, tired of their shenanigans, their conniving, their hypocrisy. Unfounded?

Republicans keep talking about the legacy they don’t want to leave their children. But, despite being a party that doggedly opposes change, “the legacy” is never the same.

The legacy they say they don’t want to leave “our children” (No Republican answer is complete without citing “
our children.”) is, interchangeably, national debt, a welfare state, legal abortion, big government, gay marriage, et al. It’s also insistently de facto free immigration, de facto amnesty for immigrants, de facto but no statutory immigration law, “immigration” ad nauseum. In plain fact, they don’t want to leave their children with untidy immigrants.

It follows that the Party of No has effortlessly become the Party of Don’t, as well. But it’s high time to ask: what is its Do? "Cut spending" seems to be the only answer it has.

The ubiquitous
they say no one won the debt ceiling battle. That’s more conventional nonsense. The Tea Party won. Its unconscionably reckless members got what they wanted. But, get this, they’re complaining that it wasn’t enough! By giving in to them, both parties, Democrats and Republicans, have encouraged them. This ground gain isn’t an end for them, it’s just the beginning. Bedbugs don’t just run rampant, they suck blood.

In the scheme of things, it was the Democrats who capitulated because they were more reasonable. If you’re a Member of Congress and you can’t be a statesperson or a leader, you can still, at the least, be more reasonable. There is nothing wrong with being reasonable. Republicans should try it.


  1. The Republican Party no longer exists. There is only the Tea Party, and its sole aim is to make the whole country share in their madness.

  2. Very well said.


  3. I love your latest blog. I love them all, but this one is really so especially

    Thank you for your contribution to good sense and helpful hints on how to live
    life more sanely.

    Love, Joan

  4. Hi Ray,
    Our youngest daughter, Hallie, was born on
    Aug. 2nd- she is NOT a Republican, thank G'd!!

    The Conserve'a'me's(as my cousin would call them) are now showing their colors. Wisconsin is recalling some GOP State Senators. Maybe, Ohio and other states should do the same with their GOP State and Fed. elected officials.
    I really was hoping that our Pres. would have invoked the 14TH Amendment with ALL Democrats--keeping his promise of eliminating the Bush Tax Cuts on the Wealthy, eliminating Oil subsidizes, and making companies, like G.E., that paid no Fed. taxes at all, pay their fair share, and, yes, cut Defense spending.

  5. Hi Ray,

    It is great seeing your great posts.

    Stay well, my friend.

    Keep "fighting the fight" with wonderful wisdom
    and insight.

    My Bucket list includes meeting you and having tea together with some laughs and great stories.

    All my best, always,


  6. What makes "progressive" Americans so afraid of the Tea Party people? Does wanting your America forward mean following its out of control government off a cliff? The Deomcratic controlled Congress did not pass a budget for almost three years. The current occupant of the White House has criticized and cajoled Congress to get off thier collective derriers and get a budget passed yet has proposed nothing for them to work with. How is any of this the fault of people aligning with the Tea Praty? How is it the fault of Conservative talk radio? What did Reid, Pelosi and Obama do to stop the trebling of the debt they inherited?
    Does this blog represent the "civility" that the President asked for? We are ALL Americans, my dear Ray, and if we don't all work together to seek peaceful solutions to our common goals we will be driven to Civil unrest by the lunatic frings of both parties. ( See Greece, London)
    To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.

    GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to James Welch, Apr. 7, 1799