Oh my God, they’ve shut down the government of the United
States and some pompous blathermouth named Ted Cruz wants to be president of
whatever’s left over.
I watched clips of the freshman Tea Party senator’s oratory
masterpiece last week and couldn’t help but feel empathy for the long-winded man with the pained countenance. He reminded me of the sad clown who’d rather be cavorting with the lions and tigers in the center ring, but is stuck on
the sidelines riding a tiny tricycle, throwing lollies to the tots instead.
I wonder if he’ll cheer up, poor fellow, now that he’s a
On the down side, even the nice people at Fox News were
pointing out that Sen. Cruz’s 21-hour soliloquy, unlike Texas Representative
Wendy Davis’ profile-raising filibuster, didn’t serve any actual
purpose. Due to arcane Senate rules, the budget vote was going to take place
as-is when it took place, and Sen. Cruz would be required to yield the floor at that time anyhow.
It was either a flagrantly masturbatory display in which
case the man needs our help, now; or he wants to be president.
Maybe I’m being too hard on him. Maybe it’s both.
But his... performance is just the latest example of the phenomenon I sat
down to write about. Which is, much like witnessing the death of print in my lifetime, I never
thought I’d live long enough to see America become a three-political-party
country, but I believe it now.
I’m sure smarter people than I have written all about it,
but Sen. Cruz’s self-congratulatory yakkathon put the differences between the Tea Party’s goals and the old-school GOP
infrastructure in stark, irreconcilable relief.
The mainstream GOP wants to keep the lights on and the
engines running as penuriously as possible, whereas the Tea Partiers believe
the system the old-school legislators are trying to preserve is the dragon they
came to DC to slay.
And cue the wackiness.
Despite educated busybodies from every hue of the political
spectrum begging them to avert fiscal crisis and go about the job description
they were elected to execute, the new Tea Party congressmen and women appear
only vaguely curious to see what happens when the government they were hired to represent
begins to fail to pay its bills.
My guess is, like most of the anti-government agitators I’ve
met, the Tea Party legislators expect to continue suckling at the government’s
teat even as they push it into the chute for a bolt to its brain, without
giving much thought to what comes after.
[In the interest of equal time—and since I live in Idaho
now—I must admit the Tea Partiers still compare favorably to their wan
counterparts on the Left. The Occupiers and the Naderistas, because of their
outdated appeal to the intelligence and/or heart of Americans at a point in history
when we are a gut-based society, failed to coalesce the Left. They enjoyed
their 15 minutes then slunk away, wiggling their fingers downward, tails between
their legs. Visions of James Taylor records dancing in their heads.]
The Tea Party, however, came to play. And they brought some
game. It’s some transparently short-sighted and counter-productive game, but
credit where it’s due, they put fannies in seats of power in the nation’s
And now, these same insurrectionists who have pledged to eliminate
the government are sitting at the head of many of the committees that oversee
and fund that government.
Here is why various people in media, finance, as well as
many of their fellow Republican legislators have recently referred to Tea Party representatives who keep attaching deal-breaking health care-killing amendments to the budget as
hostage-takers or terrorists:
The Tea Partiers in the House were elected by
their carefully gerrymandered districts back home specifically because
they promised to go to DC and gunk up the works.
They promised to bring Washington to its knees and as of today, it looks like they
officially have. Embarking with the same stated goal as al Qaeda, the Tea Party has
succeeded where Osama bin Laden failed.
I don’t see this as a ‘win’ for anybody except America’s
enemies and debt-holders.
And the Democratic nominee in 2016.
With the The Tea Party caucus demolishing the hegemony of the old
guard GOP, other than 40+ impotent votes to repeal Obamacare, Speaker Boehner
can’t get a damned thing done. Despite arguments that the two political parties
are cut from the same cloth—which in the macro is certainly true—there’s no
mistaking Tea Party legislators for colluders... or for legislators, really.
They came not to praise Washington, but to bury it and so far they’re right on
Assuming there is still a government to run by 2016, the Tea
Party wing will be so emboldened by this manufactured crisis—and all the other
ones they’re threatening to brew up between now and then—the GOP will either be in the throes
of a brutal internecine bloodletting, or have split off into two entirely different
political entities by then. Neither of which will have enough votes by
themselves to win a national election, thus ceding the White House to the
Democrats like Ross Perot’s candidacy did for Bill Clinton in 1992.
Can’t you just imagine nationally-televised three-way
presidential debates between a frisky Democratic candidate, some mainstream GOP
octagenarian and a stars-in-his-eyes Ted Cruz or Rand Paul?
They might as well just hand Hillary the cape and mitre now.