Friday, December 28, 2012

Congressional cliff diving


This country, at least on a national level, has really, truly become ungovernable.

And we are Thelma and Louise, putting the pedal to the metal as we steer straight for the edge. Here's some of the story of Congress' fascination with the abyss from CBS News:
"[W]e'll see what the President has to propose," McConnell said in a statement. "Members on both sides of the aisle will review it, and then we'll decide how best to proceed. Hopefully there is still time for an agreement of some kind that saves the taxpayers from a wholly preventable economic crisis."

Meantime, on a conference call with the House GOP Conference this afternoon, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told Republican lawmakers to be prepared for votes on Sunday night.

All of this action is not indicative that progress is being made on the tax hikes and dramatic budget cuts set to go into effect next Tuesday, however.

On the same conference call, Boehner reiterated to his conference that the ball is in the Senate's court. He called on Senate Democrats to pass legislation the Republican-led House passed earlier this year that would extend tax rates for all wage earners and another measure that would replace the across-the-board spending cuts to domestic and defense programs with targeted cuts.

"The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass - but the Senate must act," Boehner said.

But Reid had a similar message for Boehner earlier in the day: "Take the escape hatch we left you."

Reid called on Boehner to take up a bill the Senate passed weeks ago that would extend current tax rates for all wage earners making less than $250,000. "The way to avoid the 'fiscal cliff' has been right in the face of Republican leaders for days and days and days...," he said.

On the floor of the Senate this morning, Reid said Boehner "seems to care more about keeping his speakership" than avoiding the tax hikes and federal spending cuts set to go into place in just five days.
ON ONE LEVEL, one sees the outraged secessionist petition-signers' reasoning, such as it is, in wanting out of a country that no longer can organize a one-car cortege, much less manage the decline of a morally, intellectually, militarily and economically spent empire.

On a more realistic level, do you really think a country whose leaders can't control the urge to jump off a "fiscal cliff" -- despite all that would mean for a shaky economy and future unemployment -- could manage letting various states go their own uncertain ways without a river of blood and a sea of ruin?

Even if such a thing were constitutionally possible, that is?

In such a country, I suppose it's also pointless to think that we the people might consider for a second, as we behold this pathetic spectacle staged by politicians we put into high office, that we have exactly the kind of self-destructive, chaotic and silly governance we so richly deserve.

Of course it is. We're Americans. Pointless is what we do these days.

0 snappy rejoinders: