Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Countdown to clusterf***

"Reasonable people, once they've looked the devil in the face, aren't going to shake hands with him."

It was a day of legislative chess moves, back-to-back party caucuses and closed-door meetings that ended with a nationally televised presidential address and a rebuttal by the House speaker, John A. Boehner. Their separate speeches reflected that the two sides are farther apart than ever — just a week ago, the two men were in private negotiations on a “grand bargain” of spending cuts and additional revenue, what Mr. Obama called “a balanced approach.”

“The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a different approach, a cuts-only approach — an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all,” Mr. Obama said in his address. “And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scales, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about — cuts that place a greater burden on working families.”

Even as he sought to set Republicans up for blame for any crisis, Mr. Obama offered assurance that a crisis would be averted. He called on Americans to contact their lawmakers in support of a compromise. “We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis — this one caused almost entirely by Washington,” he said. “Defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate.”

In response to Mr. Obama, Mr. Boehner said: “The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.”

NUCLEAR WAR . . . civil war by the usual means . . . civil war by extraordinary means . . . self-induced economic collapse . . . it's all the same, isn't it? Fools wielding great power amid this vale of tears, with predictable results.

A reasonable person, having looked the devil in the face, and seeing a serpent, wouldn't have eaten that apple against the Creator's direct orders. But Adam and Eve did, and we haven't gotten any more reasonable since The Fall.

May God have mercy on us, because our children will not.

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