Far Right Club (or: Crashing the Economy to Prove a Point)

January 12th, 2013

Inspired by Republicans’ leverage from debt ceiling vastly overrated (The Hill 1/09/13), today’s panel discussion on Up, and the Tyler Durdens of the Republican Party.

 

“In classic game-theoretical chicken, both players must choose whether to go straight or to swerve. Swerving loses face, and so is less desirable than holding steady, but it is nevertheless far better than the horrible accident that results if both players refuse to swerve. How does the current situation fit into this model, and why do some Republicans think it favors their side? Democrats going straight with Republicans swerving represents Republicans agreeing to raise the debt limit without extracting weighty policy concessions. Both parties swerving represents a compromise deal of one sort or another: a familiar can-kicking that promises another go-round soon, or (less likely) a grander bargain partially addressing our long-term debt problem. Republicans going straight and Democrats swerving represents Obama capitulating to Republican demands, presumably in the form of large long-term spending cuts, in order to get a debt ceiling increase. Finally, there is the transfixing possibility of a straight-straight crash, in which the world economy is thrown into chaos by a U.S. sovereign default.” – The Hill
 
Responsible lawmakers will not walk us over this unprecedented silly exercise. However, it is a point of leverage.” – former GB2 special assistant Dylan Glenn this morning on Up
 
“You say that we should have a discussion about our long-term fiscal future, and that’s a reasonable discussion to have and we can debate how we want to allocate our resources. But it is illegitimate to have that discussion around the debt ceiling. There are other ways that the Republicans can establish leverage. For example, not passing the continuing resolution and having a ’95 style government shutdown, which would not be great and would hurt the economy, but we would not be risking our full faith and credit.” – BusinessInsider.com deputy editor Joe Weisenthal on Up

 

Does it seem to you

A little rash

The entire world economy

To crash?

 

It’s even more nuts to do it

To make a ideological point,

And your crazy friends

Not disappoint.

 

And the supposed majority

Which supports your dangerous flirtation

Is just a figment of

Your imagination.

 

But the impending crash

Is regrettably real.

Unfortunately, we’re all in

The automobile.

 

(PS: Real leaders don’t

Let go of the wheel.)

***

Here’s some of Up’s 1/12/13 panel discussion about the debt ceiling (Glenn’s quote is at the 1″40 mark of the first clip; Weisenthal’s comment is at the 7”35 mark of the second clip).

 

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Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here are John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, getting ready to crash the economy.

 

Sorry, wrong video. That was actually the car crash scene from Fight Club, which provided the inspiration for today’s little poem. “Just let go,” Tyler Durden says. The problem is that like Tyler, House Repubs (viz. the Tea Party zombies in the back) might just be crazy enough to do it. And like in the movie, what makes it really crazy is that Ed Norton only lets the car crash the car to prove a point to his even crazier friend, who we later find out just happens to be imaginary, like the majority of Americans who the Tea Partiers imagine support them. What makes this stunt even worse? Even if you accept that it makes sense to prove whatever it is you want to prove by crashing the car/economy, you could easily have proven that and achieved the same goal in many less dangerous, deadly ways (e.g. letting the sequester hit, blocking other Obama priorities, or even , shutting down the government). There is one difference between real life and the movie: Defaulting on our debts would be a lot more damaging than a mere car crash, and we may not be lucky enough to survive it. As Chris says, maybe the Republicans will “swerve out of the way at the last moment” (he even makes the steering wheel hand movement). Because they’d be crazy not to, right?

 

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