Maiello: The Nature of Poverty
Richard Day: Satire and Baltimore
Lo! The deadline approacheth! In New York, the bond traders shred their garments and gnash their teeth! In Washington, the Federal Reserve Chairman foretells a "huge financial calamity." The dollar is falling, the bankers are wailing, the President, it is said, is agitated.
In a courageous gambit to avert the crisis, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposed a bill to let his party evade responsibility for raising the debt ceiling. Under his plan, a request to raise limit would receive automatic approval unless Congress voted against it. That way, the Republicans could vote against raising the limit, the president could veto their vote, and the debt ceiling would rise like a joyful bubble of unfettered fiscal obligation.
The New York Times reports that after McConnell presented his plan, "Senate Democrats went virtually silent on the idea for fear of jinxing it." "Please," these worthy Democrats were surely thinking, "Please let the Republicans shirk their duties and then blame us for doing the dirty work."
Could it happen? Are we saved? The article reported that some Senate Republicans were "coming around."
Ah but the House, the House! The solemn New York Times journalists added ominously that House Republicans have "little to no appetite for Mr. McConnell's plan."
See, the House is controlled by those crazy Tea Partiers, and they've got House Speaker John Boehner by the balls. Those Tea Partiers don't care about any stinking financial calamities.
"That is simply not true," exclaimed Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) when asked about the risk of default. "We cannot go on scaring the American people. We need to be truthful," added Bachmann, who once warned of a plot to eliminate the dollar and establish a one-world currency.
"I would encourage our speaker, quit believing the president when he uses these scare tactics," inveighed Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), who once insisted that illegal immigrants were giving birth to terrorist babies and that hate crime legislation would lead to legalized bestiality, economic chaos, and fascism.
In short: We're doomed! Doomed! Quick, buy a plane ticket to attend Gov. Rick Perry's Day of Prayer and Fasting in Houston. Only a miracle can save us now!
But hark! What's that sound? It's the proud men and women of Wall Street, rushing to the rescue.
"It's not the kind of thing that I think people should play with," advised JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.
"Don't mess with the debt ceiling, Washington," threatened Bill Gross, founder of West Coast investment firm PIMCO, in a Washington Post op-ed, "Bond and currency vigilantes will make you pay."
"We'll get rid of you," growled President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tom Donohue to Republicans who balk at raising the debt ceiling.
Salvation at last! Those Republicans may bravely stand against Obama, the Democrats, the awesome power of the liberal media, and the iron shackles of common sense, but as their favorite donors some calling, they'll fold like origami chickens.
So relax, sit back, and enjoy watching the Republicans squirm (if you enjoy that sort of thing). The show is almost over.
"Our problem is, we made a big deal about this for three months," said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). "How many Republicans have been on TV saying, 'I am not going to raise the debt limit'...We have no one to blame but ourselves."
Michael Wolraich (@wolraich) is the author of Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual.