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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Krugman on the Elephant in the Room

Right now, if inherent importance were all that mattered... I would... be writing all the time about the looming chaos in U.S. governance... Republican leaders are about to reap the whirlwind, because they haven’t had the courage to tell the base that Obamacare is here to stay, that the sequester is in fact intolerable, and that in general they have at least for now lost the war over the shape of American society. As a result, we’re looking at many drama-filled months, with a high probability of government shutdowns and even debt defaults. Over the longer run the point is that one of America’s two major political parties has basically gone off the deep end; policy content aside, a sane party doesn’t hold dozens of votes declaring its intention to repeal a law that everyone knows will stay on the books regardless. And since that party continues to hold substantial blocking power, we are looking at a country that’s increasingly ungovernable. The trouble is that it’s hard to give this issue anything like the amount of coverage it deserves on substantive grounds without repeating oneself. So I do try to mix it up. But neither you nor I should forget that the madness of the GOP is the central issue of our time.
Today's Republican Party is the single most dangerous organized force in the world. That isn't to deny that the Republican Party has historically been a force for good, it isn't to deny that there are plenty of palpably evil reactionary movements in the world as bad on the substance as the Republicans are, it isn't to deny that not every Republican is a white-racist patriarchal homophobic forced-pregnancy advocating evolution-denying climate-change denying plutocratic autocratic theocratic macroeconomically-illiterate brainless bullying war-mongering gun-nut, but it is simply to point out that Republicanism is the organized voice of all that evil madness here, and that in the nation uniquely situated by history geography diversity richness to address its energy to the solution of planetary crises of anthropogenic climate change, militarism, wealth concentration, and precarity (most of which we were and are indispensable to the creation and maintenance of in the first place after all) the Republicans are actively, absolutely, resolutely, belligerently preventing any move here and now to address these shared problems while we still can. I agree with Krugman (and this is a point I appreciate BooMan also makes repeatedly) that the madness of the GOP is indeed the central issue of our time.

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