Oct 062013

Here is your Sunday reading assignment. It’s an article by Michael Cohen of The Guardian and it explains quite clearly why President Obama and the Democrats cannot give in to the demands of the Republicans. To do so would mean an end to democracy in America.

Dear President Obama: Don’t cave to the GOP’s extortion politics

To a casual observer of American politics the ongoing government shutdown and prospect of a cataclysmic debt default in the next two weeks may look like just another round of “DC dysfunction” between two parties hopelessly polarized and ideologically divided. It’s not. While the government shutdown is nominally about the Republican crusade against Obamacare, the issues at stake are far bigger than one law or even one president or one Congress. In reality, the psychodrama playing out in Washington is about the future of democracy in America.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. Unless the GOP’s brand of extortion politics is thwarted, America’s democratic institutions will be so badly subverted that the nation will simply find itself in the position of staggering from one manufactured crisis to another with potentially both political parties threatening economic and political Armageddon if they don’t get their way. That is, quite simply, no way to run a democracy and it’s why the only option facing President Obama and the Democratic party is to win this showdown and force the GOP to concede defeat.

It’s important to understand at the outset that US democracy, for all of it many flaws, is one based on the idea of political compromise. In a system with so many obstacles to legislative outcomes – two houses of Congress, a separate executive branch and tons of minor obstruction points in each institution – there really is no other way to get things done.

That has dramatically changed in just the past few years. It’s not that compromise was always achievable in the past (the failure to break the Southern block on civil rights legislation is an obvious example), it’s that the search for common ground has simply been thrown asunder, replaced instead by extortion politics.

Click on the article’s title to continue reading.

P.S. If you need further proof of Mr. Cohen’s argument, you need look no further than right here: “Boehner: No ‘Clean’ Votes on Reopening Government or Debt Ceiling Without Negotiations with President Obama.”

P.P.S. I’m in no way sure that anybody is even visiting here anymore. It’s been a long time since the last comment. My web host changed the URL for this blog from esoterically.net/weblog to just esoterically.net. Perhaps that’s the reason. I’m just not sure. Anyway, if you’re here, please leave your thoughts in a comment if for no other reason than to assure me that somebody is visiting. Thanks.