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Shutdown 2013

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, October 7th, 2013 - 61 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags:

The US is creeping toward a week of government shut down. Held hostage by the Republicans Tea Party wing.

It will be fascinating to see what this does to the GOP. Will it split into two parties one essentially fascist and one more like the republicans of old? Or will it just dwindle away for a while? Some republicans appear to already be staking out moderate territory (with a likely eye to taking the reins as the party comes out of the ashes) and business backers of the party are starting to show their displeasure.

Whatever happens, this has damaged the reputation of the US and of the right. No matter how the right tries to spin it.

61 comments on “Shutdown 2013”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    But damaged the right’s reputation with who? Anyone they care about? The big biz types can keep their distance and make a few noises, but when it’s time to write out the cheques we’ll see just how damaged *that* relationship is.

    Here’s the thing:

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/still-cruz-ing-by-digby-this-guy-is.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    It’s the results that matter. This brinkmanship is a tactic, and it’s working. They don’t give one fuck if it makes them *look* bad to certain people. They don’t need those people. If the GOP leadership has to squirm and wring their hands about how difficult the tea party types are making things for them, that all just helps.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      worth bearing in mind that in the US the Democratic Party is a far right party, and the Republican Party is an extreme right party.

      And they are both Bankster parties, of course.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        This shows how right wing both parties are….
        http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012

        • TheContrarian 1.1.1.1

          While I agree the choice in the USA is between the right and the further right, the political compass is completely hopeless as a source. It’s methodology is unclear and the person who did it is not identified nor does it state how the person answered.

          Besides, who needs the compass when a brief glance at the news provides all the examples of how right the right are in the USA.

          • Paul 1.1.1.1.1

            It was just a pointer!
            And kind of useful when in NZ we hear the Nats like Joyce claim labour is extreme left and threat they are centrist.

            • felix 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I prefer to simply take TheContrarian’s word as a source. It’s methodology is clear, the person who did it is identified, and answers are always stated.

              • TheContrarian

                “It’s methodology is clear, the person who did it is identified, and answers are always stated.”

                So who completed it and how did they answer? Link?

      • Te Reo Putake 1.1.2

        Not so, CV. This current argument in Washington is about the right trying to crush a left wing proposal (healthcare for the poor). The Democratic Party is a very broad church indeed, with many elected reps who are rightwing and elected reps who are very left wing indeed. The party in Maine is completely different from the party in Arkansas. The East Coast sees things differently from the West. At state level, Democratic controlled assemblies are passing good law on marijuana, personal freedom, schooling, healthcare and more. Federally, Obama is the most left leaning President in generations.

        The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. But the Democratic Party overall is a lot closer to the centre than to the far right. Given the context of American politics, which is generally accepting of conservativism, the Democratic Party is the only hope for the majority of US citizens and the only one of the main parties that believes Government has an interventionist role in society.

        Funnily enough, the party in NZ I reckon the Democrats most resemble is NZ First; somewhat conservative, but left leaning on some individual issues.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1

          Not so, CV. This current argument in Washington is about the right trying to crush a left wing proposal (healthcare for the poor).

          Healthcare for the poor or a gift of several extra billion dollars a year for the private health insurance industry?

          Federally, Obama is the most left leaning President in generations.

          LOL

          massive and increased use of drone strikes compared to Bush, persecution (and prosecution) of journalists and whistleblowers, indefinite detention laws of American citizens, suspension of habeus corpus, execution (droning) of American citizens without trial, ongoing massive bail out of bankers and Wall St, Libya, Syria, cruel and inhumane incarceration of Bradley Manning…

          • King Kong 1.1.2.1.1

            Most of that stuff sounds very much in line with how many socialist Governments have operated throughout history.

            • Naturesong 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

              You’re confusing socialism with totalitarianism.

              Go buy a dictionary, or use one of the many found online: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism?q=socialism

              • King Kong

                That old chestnut. Use a different name for when Socialism gets properly ugly.

              • Tim

                “You’re confusing socialism with totalitarianism”

                … as so many are prone to do. It makes rationalising things so much easier for them (including things like accusations of ‘nanny state’ – pot/kettle and all that)

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1.2

              KK, this isn’t a history lesson. This is actually happening in our world, right now.

              • King Kong

                And there is African war lords using drug addicted children to fight their battles but what are you going to do?

                Maybe you could blog some more about it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  KK – just pointing out that Obama is NOT the most “left wing president in generations”. But feel free to keep distracting with irrelevancies.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Except that he is, CV, IMO. But I’d be interested in which one of this lot you think is more left wing. Here’s the list of Democratic Presidents from the last 50 years: Clinton, Carter, Johnson, Kennedy, Truman.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Suspension of habeus corpus. Execution of American citizens without trial. Mass surveillance of the press and of citizens. Attacks on whistleblowers, billionaire bailouts and prosecution of journalists. Continuation of Guanatanamo and of extra-ordinary renditions.

                      If you think that is left wing in your opinion, heh, good for you.

                      To answer your question; Nixon was more left wing. Nixon was afraid of the press and he was afraid of popular pressure. Roosevelt was also obviously more left wing; he too bowed to popular pressure to do the right thing by the people.

  2. muzza 3

    The question to be asking, is *Why Now*!

    Perhaps this is the warm up for the Federal Reserve Centenary Celebration!

    Either way, regardless of stay shut or not, the financial/banking structures have remained untouched in any way which will prevent the inevitable outcomes from staying locked in!

    The USoA, has been fighting this battle since their so called War of Independence, and most recently succumbed on December 23 1913, then when Federal Reserve Act was *signed*!

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Why now? Pretty obvious. It’s October, the month when all financial Armageddon’s happen.

      Only this time that prediction actually has a chance of happening, if by some miracle the US government doesn’t choose to alter the debt ceiling (listening to the radio this morning, it seems likely they’re going to avoid it pretty easily).

  3. Colonial Viper 4

    Thanks to the billionaire backers of the Tea Party (which I see as having started out as an honest grass roots political movement which was then incredibly effectively hijacked): the Koch Brothers, and their fellow oil tycoons.

    Bear in mind that the McCarthy witch hunts were also political extremism funded by massive oil wealth.

    Bottom line is that there is an elite cadre of around 1M people in the USA willing to manipulate and sacrifice the other 300M for what they see as their own interests, or at the very least, are willing to go along with it in order to enjoy the privilege associated with the system.

    • King Kong 4.1

      So it is the 0.3% now! It just gets worse.

      It doesn’t seem that long ago that the occupy movement had the figure at 1%. What ever happened to those guys? They did a pretty bang up job of “changing the world” looks like the inequality ratio since they started has actually got larger.

      Quite typical of lefties though, full of hot air and grandiose displays of how clever they think they are but when it actually comes to getting things done they all have to have a sit down with their inhalers.

      • felix 4.1.1

        Goodness me.

        The ballpark figure adopted as a slogan by a global protest movement is different to the ballpark figure suggested by a pseudonym on a blog a couple of years later.

        There you have it folks, solid proof that inequality isn’t a problem.

      • Rogue Trooper 4.1.2

        How Is The Air Up There?

    • Populuxe1 4.2

      “which I see as having started out as an honest grass roots political movement which was then incredibly effectively hijacked”

      And you couldn’t be more wrong. Groups with that level of organisation do not spring up over night. It was pure astroturfing by the pig-like Koch brothers.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Oh I agree that there was a tonne of professional organisation and money put into those organisations; but at their origin they were genuine grassroots political movements. Their aims and politics have long since been hijacked of course.

        • Populuxe1 4.2.1.1

          I doubt that the coalface protestors even knew they had “aims and politics” until it was fed to them by playing on their poverty, racism and various other insecurities.

  4. Chooky 5

    Why would NZ want to have a TPPA financial trade agreement with a country that is in such a political and financial mess…..we will be in danger of being sucked down into their financial maelstrom …..collateral damage

    Would one go into business with a much larger business partner who is financial trouble?

  5. johnm 6

    “The Real Crisis Is Not The Government Shutdown”
    “The real crisis is not the “debt ceiling crisis.” The government shutdown is merely a result of the Republicans using the debt limit ceiling to attempt to block the implementation of Obamacare. If the shutdown persists and becomes a problem, Obama has enough power under the various “war on terror” rulings to declare a national emergency and raise the debt ceiling by executive order. An executive branch that has the power to inter citizens indefinitely and to murder them without due process of law, can certainly set aside a ceiling on debt that jeopardizes the government.”

    The real crisis is that NeoLiberal policies over the last 30 years have trashed the U$ economy and society. Don’t forget there are close to 50 million people on foodstamps- so much for Milton Friedman and our own RWNJ polies who take their brains from the has been U$.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36420.htm

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      The US problem has been less one of the “neoliberals” and more one of the “neocons”. Now moved into full scale crony capitalism and political deadlock due to wealthy special interests. A far worse infection.

      • Populuxe1 6.1.1

        Um, no. Very no. The “neocons” lost most of their influence when Obama came to power and the GOP went batshit. Their philosophy of evangelical interventionsim (relativly Trotskyite in inspiration) has absolutely nothing at all to do with the isolationist fascism of the Tea Party which is entirely motivated by individual greed. The neocons might have caused a lot of misery and chaos in the world, but they at least had some sort of moral-philosophical basis in the writings of Leo Strauss. Their idealism and excessive faith in free market capitalism played them right into the hands of the billionaire robber barrons. By contrast the current force in control of the Republicans has no idealistic philosophical roots – it’s entirely a bunch of neoliberal populist bullshit dressed up in some libertarian/objectavist drag cooked up by the most vile and unredeemable people imaginable – people (using the term loosely) who got all their money through neoliberal exploitation.

        • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1

          In other words – the Neocons uncynically drank the kool-aid while the neoliberals know exactly what they are doing.

          • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1.1

            let me get this straight.

            Are you saying that neocons, who were devotees of Strauss, were naive believers in a ‘spread freedom’ agenda and completely taken in by a shallow reading of rhetoric? That these Straussians took the rhetoric at face value, partly due to their Straussianism, which is a Trotskyite evangelical freedom for freedom’s sake type thing?

            That’s some esoteric shit.

            • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I take it you’ve never conversed with a Libertarian then – it’s like trying to talk about religion with a full-on Christian. No doubt there were a lot of greedy people who exploited the Neocon agenda, but you also have the very earnest theorists like Francis Fukiyama, for example. Their theories were cracked but most of them genuinely believed in them.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Well sure, but Fukuyama was never really a tight fit with the NeoCons, and I don’t think he was a Straussian.

                Strauss is a fascinating chap, and I doubt that his students are as naive toward rhetoric as you seem to think, although they do like to downplay their understandings for the alleged benefit of the masses.

            • Craig 6.1.1.1.1.2

              You forgot Strauss’ machiavellean perspective on religious social conservatives and populists- the “elite” aren’t bound by religious social conservative values, but they’re useful as dupes and donkey votes in the backward Deep South.

  6. Wont hurt the repugs.

    Faux news is now 24/7 blaming Obama and other media outlets are joining
    in on the ride.

    • TheContrarian 7.1

      No matter what shite Fox pumps out the majority of American’s polled blame the GOP

  7. fender 8

    The terrorists behind this shutdown had been planning it for months

  8. Tracey 9

    Medicare
    people voted
    House passed
    President signed
    Supreme Court upheld

    The Repugs just dont get how their money can t buy them this one.

    Messing with the debt ceiling might upset some of their number who benefit from it as lenders

  9. Pascal's bookie 10

    Focus group research on the GOP here:

    http://www.democracycorps.com/attachments/article/954/dcor%20rpp%20fg%20memo%20100313%20final.pdf

    Republicans shutdown the government to defund or delay Obamacare. This goes to the heart of Republican base thinking about the essential political battle. They think they face a victorious Democratic Party that is intent on expanding government to increase dependency and
    therefore electoral support.

    It starts with food stamps and unemployment benefits; expands further if you legalize the illegals; but insuring the uninsured dramatically grows those dependent on government.

    They believe this is an electoral strategy—not just a political ideology or economic philosophy. If Obamacare happens, the Republican Party may be lost, in their view.

    And while few explicitly talk about Obama in racial terms, the base supporters are very conscious
    of being white in a country with growing minorities. Their party is losing to a Democratic
    Party of big government whose goal is to expand programs that mainly benefit minorities.
    Race remains very much alive in the politics of the Republican Party.

  10. greywarbler 11

    What do the so and sos stopping everything in the USA care about who thinks what about and in the USA.

    It’s about the principle of getting everything their own way and making sure there is as little left to run the ship and patch the rust as possible. If some people lose out or even lose their lives when the ship goes down what the hell, no-one they know would have been fool enough to sail on it. That’s an analogy of the USA being a rusty old bucket held together by coats of white paint that make it look respectable.

    Shipowners did at one time send ships that were rusty buckets off to sea knowing they were bad risks, but they were insured you see. The owners would then gain useful folding money for it and the crews? – well there were too many poor people and it was like a cull really.
    Same attitudes go on and on and on and it is hard for the USA to change what has been so successful for the unprincipled and the determinedly ignorant for so long.

  11. Sable 12

    Yuck, Faux News!!!

  12. Craig 13

    All this during what I believe is a Congressional midterm election year? Yow. If I were the elephantine party, I’d be wary of vengeful inconvenienced voters at the ballot box this year.

  13. Mussolini once famously said: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

    What is happening in the US and the corporate powers behind puppet Obama and with the TPP negotiations in Bali is fascism/corporatism you might want to read up on the words you use and how you use them.

  14. 😆 Touché. However it is generally understood that what happened in Italy and Germany and in many Fascistoid states is indeed the symbiosis of state and Corporate power as is what is happening in the US and with both the TPP and the TAP. Eddies use was to call a small powerless group of people whose ideas he doesn’t like fascist. A common use of the word by people who like to think of themselves as above the likes of people who stump up for family values, weapons and anti abortion the American way. They may be narrow minded, bullheaded red necks but they are not corporate power conspiring with the elected representatives to take full and unadulterated control of society!

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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
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