As of this afternoon, Obama has signed into law the passage of a bill to raise the debt ceiling, effectively ending the economic crisis this country found itself in as it drove closer and closer to a sheer cliff of ineptitude and seemed unable or unwilling to find the brakes.
However, that does not diminish the fact that this was an entirely manufactured crisis. There was absolutely no reason for it. And I’m no economist, but I’m fairly sure that all the panic that built up until the final vote — mere hours before the deadline — isn’t exactly good for the economy, and probably did more harm than any of the budget proposals floating around Congress would have ever done (well, most of the budget proposals floating around Congress, at least).
I admit I may be biased, but it seems to me that this comes down to one thing: a slowly dwindling number of Republican stalwarts who insisted on a bill that met all of their demands and none of the Democrats’. When the Democrats refused, the Republican party blasted them for not “compromising.”
Seriously? Not entertaining a single idea from the opposition is NOT MAKING A COMPROMISE. It’s imposing your ultimatum. It’s ruling by diktat. It’s not a tyranny of the minority — that’s too nice a phrase for it. It’s a goddamn hostage situation.
The days — weeks — leading up to this “compromise” go beyond brinkmanship. They were a colossal display of pigheadedness, obdurateness, and sheer disregard for the good of the nation. And, to top it all off, the positions of the Tea Party — those populist pugilists who claim to be working on a “mandate” from the people of America — have been repeatedly shown by the New York Times to be nowhere close to what the majority of US citizens want.
So: The Republicans have been all brainless spine. The Democrats, in turn, have just been spineless.
I am beyond fed up with federalism.
EDIT: Watch the Daily Show’s take on all this, especially the bit on Pee Wee Blitzer and the Tea Party. Let it be known that Stewart and I — independently, swear he didn’t call and ask me — came to the same metaphor.