The Widdershins

Archive for October 1st, 2013

Good day Widdershin friends. “May you live in interesting times,” is an ancient Chinese curse that seems to have particular resonance today. I’m writing this post on Monday afternoon, so let’s hope things have become a little less interesting overnight.

“The dog ate my homework.” “Officer, I came to a rolling stop.” “Lipstick? Oh that, there was an office Avon demonstration and it went horribly wrong.”

All plausible denials as if they hadn’t been heard before. All worthless diversions. All are excuses of the unimaginative. And most importantly, each affords a pretty good clue if anyone was wondering about truthfulness.

Likewise it appears the truthfulness of the “kamikaze caucus” of the House of Representatives is no longer in question. What we have witnessed over the last few days is not only a patent disregard for responsible governing, but also a front row demonstration of the fact “when a political party commits suicide it is indeed a messy event.”

Just add Republican caucus...

Just add Republican caucus…

If this spectacle was a Paula Deen cooking segment, the recipe would go something like this:

Large pot (really, really large pot)
Fill with cooking oil
Bring to a full, rolling, boil
Jump in

Receptionist of the House John Boehner has completely lost control of his caucus. He seems to be doing nothing more than taking messages from Ted Cruz, Jim DeMint, and the Heritage Action PAC. Their messages have translated into something pretty simple, “Keep Obamacare alive until 2014 as a campaign issue otherwise we will ‘primary’ you.” Jim DeMint is causing more trouble as a million-dollar-a-year enforcer for the Brothers Koch than he ever did in the Senate.

This whole mess is about the kamikaze caucus (about 40 Tea Partiers from gerrymandered districts) being able to run once more against the Affordable Care Act. Along the way, perhaps the Senate can be won as well. The hope? Essentially blocking any potential legislation for the remaining two years of the Obama Administration.

It seems as though Ted Cruz, the current flavor of the week in conservative circles, has heeded the message of the infotainment overlord, Jabba the Limbaugh. That message: No compromise because the conservative message represents the majority of Americans. Of course there is formidable evidence refuting such a claim, but as many headstones proclaim — formidable evidence is the last refuge of people who lack the ability to ignore facts.

The Limbaugh/Cruz/Koch/kamikaze caucus view is a simple one: People love, love, love the conservative view of the world, we just need to say it louder and with more conviction. A position not unlike a drowning man believing he will more easily float if only he had more water.

Obamacare remains the issue of choice for the Republicans in 2014. It worked for them in 2010 so in their dutiful aversion to thinking about anything new, ergo, it will work in 2014. As Chat often reminds us, “What could go wrong?”

What could go wrong is pretty simple and it begins today with the debut of Obamacare. If there are no locusts, if cows don’t run dry, if the Earth continues to spin on its axis, if the Kardashians still need to shave — the fear fulminated and forecasted for the past three years will carry the same weight as “the dog ate my homework.”

Monsters under the bed...Inevitably there will be glitches and problems with building out what is essentially an online insurance system, but if the world doesn’t come to an end and grandma doesn’t have a date with a death panel, the fear-mongering will have been for naught.

When you are told there are monsters lurking in the darkness everywhere, it takes very little light to dispel the fear. The fringe right’s smug, dazzling, self-proclaimed brilliance failed to recall that kamikazes didn’t fly in darkness — they only flew in the light of the day. Thirteen months of light around Obamacare should disperse the fear mongering quite nicely.

This is an open thread.

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