The circus is in town

For Your Consideration

Alan CheahMay 15, 2013 

Obamacare repeal; Benghazi and Syria; nullifying all federal gun laws; Heritage Foundation piece on blacks being intellectually inferior; Senator Inhofe talking of the "I" word (impeachment); Heritage Foundation's claim that amnesty will cost $6.3 trillion; influential economist Carmen Reinhardt and Ken Rogoff findings that economic austerity works; Looney Tunes sung by prominent House members.

What do these things have in common? They are all part of the greatest show on earth, replete with acts from the big tent, sideshows and clowns.

In the big tent we have a three ring circus of Obamacare, Benghazi/Syria and the debt.

Yes, for the 38th time House Republicans want to repeal Obamacare. Why?

This is what the public thinks of Obamacare on the component level:

89% like the credits to small businesses. 79% like the required easy-to-understand plan summaries. 80% like the health insurance exchange idea. 76% like subsidies for individuals to buy insurance. 70% like the Medicaid expansion.

The Supreme Court ruled it to be constitutional. Repeal has a zero to none chance of happening so why are House Republicans wasting taxpayer money beating this dead horse, especially when they are so concerned about spending?

The real answer will be revealed at the end of this program. House Republicans will tell you that Obamacare will bankrupt America. That is about as credible as the discredited findings of Reinhardt and Rogoff claiming a pro-austerity policy will help the economy. That act has since been taken off the side show program.

In the second ring we have Benghazi and Syria. We've been down the Benghazi path in the recent presidential election. The strategy was to hit Obama on foreign policy, but the people saw through that and re-elected Obama.

It's different now. It's a preemptive strike to destroy former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who is the front-runner should she run for president. Clever.

Imagine how much money the RNC saves by using taxpayer money to fund hearings and investigations in a witch hunt. Place your bets on whether clips of these events will be used in the 2016 campaign ads. As part of the clown act, Senator Jim Inhofe wants to waste more taxpayer money exploring impeachment.

And then there is Syria where the chicken hawks and McCain are calling for a direct intervention in Syria. You really have to be a true loyalist to take advice from those who were so wrong about Iraq, not in so many ways, but on everything, including its cost.

When all is said and done, Iraq will cost upwards of $5 trillion, a major contributor to the national debt, which brings us to the third ring in the big tent. We have a party so concerned about the debt that they are willing to enact austerity measures that hurt primarily the middle class and the poor. At the same time they are willing to spend potentially trillions more on a war with Syria. Just how genuine are those debt concerns.

Another sideshow event is the Heritage Foundation's prediction that immigration legislation will cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion. This is the same Heritage Foundation which predicted the Iraq war will be short and cheap and Americans will be greeted with open arms as liberators. As it turns out, those findings, like the Reinhardt/Rogoff report, are deeply flawed.

So why are Republicans indulging in such irrationality? I believe it is fear and loathing. The strategy to win the House back was to instill fear and loathing in the American people. They successfully did that through the Tea Party and they swept the House majority in 2010. Many Tea Party Republicans gained seats.

Subsequently, sensible mainstream Republicans were forced more and more toward the fringe and took looney positions acted out in the big tent.

The GOP has released the Kraken and now they can't control it. Even Lindsay Graham is under pressure to out-Tea-Party the next guy for fear of being primaried, a term coined expressly to describe a Republican incumbent forced out by a Tea Party candidate.

If you think this is some crazy poop going on now, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

What does this mean for Americans? More obstruction leading to a lethargic economy and regressive social policies? What's not good for Americans is good for the GOP and the Tea Party in 2014 and 2016.

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