The game of chicken in Washington continues as the Congressional Republicans - some of whom are insane themselves in my view - continue to pander to the Neanderthal know nothings and modern day Pharisee like extremists of the admittedly toxic base. Rather than offend these ignorance embracing, hate filled and down right horrible elements of the party that the party leadership cynically allowed to gain ascendancy, the GOP members of Congress are willing to allow the nation to go over the "fiscal cliff" and possibly start a new great recession, throw countless unemployed Americans literally to the wolves, and allow draconian cuts to social programs. Once again, I find myself ashamed that I was ever a Republican and I wonder how anyone decent can continue any party affiliation with the GOP. A column in the Washington Post looks at the latest effort by Barack Obama to avert this disaster and to set the stage where Congressional Republicans will be forced to show their real priorities to the American people. Here are excerpts:
President Obama, during a brief statement to the press just now [yesterday], said Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are in the process of working out a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” tax hikes, and pronounced himself optimistic about the talks. The key to Obama’s statement, though, is that he spelled out the political reality Republican leaders will be left facing if a deal is not reached:
Senators Reid and McConnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. But if an agreement isn’t reached in time between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell, then I will urge Senator Reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to two million Americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction. I believe such a proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities, as long as those leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. If members of the House and Senate want to vote No, they can.The key word there is “majorities.” Obama is demanding that Mitch McConnell allow a straight up-or-down vote on Harry Reid’s fallback proposal, if the two sides cannot reach a deal. If no deal is reached, Obama is daring McConnell to filibuster a continued tax cut for the middle class and daring Boehner not to hold a vote on it.
A senior Senate Dem aide tells me that the fallback proposal Reid is working on would extend tax cuts on income just up to $250,000, not up to $400,000, as Obama’s most recent compromise proposal did. What this means is that if Senate Republican leaders fail to agree with Senate Dems on a proposal, the fallback plan Reid will offer will essentially rescind Obama’s offer to raise the income threshold to $400,000.
[B]y daring Republicans one last time to refuse to allow simple majority votes on extending the middle class tax cuts, Obama is signaling that if we do go over the cliff, he intends to extract maximum political pain for it.
The GOP needs to experience severe political pain. It has become the chief obstacle to improving the nation's economy and future prospects. It is also the chief proponent of throwing the Gospel message of aiding the poor, the sick, and the homeless down the toilet. The hypocrisy of these alleged "family values" politicians is shocking. In truth, they only care about the wealthy and white male conservative Christians. Given their preference, the rest of us are simply supposed to disappear from America.