Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Debt Ceiling and Rogue Elephants

What should the President do regarding the debt limit?

While David Barash's New York Times July 27 Op-Ed metaphor comparing the Republican Party to an elephant gone rogue due to musth was relevant, I'm not sure it was that helpful for suggesting a solution, given Obama's past surrenders of most of what his opponents have wanted.

I don't think Obama has it in him to "stop playing the game", the general solution advocated by Mr. Barash. As a confirmed right-wing pseudo-centrist, Obama has spent the past two-and-a-half years in an intimate relationship with that Republican "rogue elephant" --- and based on his last speech, he's still a "battered spouse" who can't bring himself to truly leave his abuser(s).

If Obama really were to find his castanets, he'd stop trying to reach a bad-vs-worse agreement with the Republicans. Why? Because the Republicans have fed their base a steady stream of lies regarding the role of government, until those people are now completely out of their minds with hatred towards it --- and the only way to stop the derangement and its consequences is to bring them face-to-face with the world they advocate. In my opinion, the need for that transcends even the detrimental consequences of a reduction in our national credit rating postulated under even a temporary default.

As first order of business, Obama should announce proportional cuts to federal funds going out to each state --- with the cuts based not on the overall federal receipts compared to obligations, but on that ratio for each state. So Alaska, for instance, which gets much more than it remits, would lose proportionately much more than a state with neutral federal dollar flow. (Perhaps someone can research and post the federal dollar flows for each state? And also correlate that to Republican and Tea Party sentiment?)

Just as jingoism doesn't stop until enough coffins roll in, the right-wing anti-government craziness won't stop until enough consequences are felt.

Fred Drumlevitch


  1. I think your suggestion for where to cut has merit. Cut in places where the Republicans will feel the pain. Instead of going after future Social Security, let's start cutting now! It makes me so angry, how many self-satisfied Republicans like my mother who enjoy full Social Security and Medicare benefits, are willing to see these same benefits cut for future generations. And let's start threatening NOT to pay contractors in the Military. How about some share sacrifice on the part of the Congress. Can’t we cut some of those nice little perks they enjoy at the public’s expense?

    Oh, if only Obama had a backbone!

  2. Mr. Drumlevitch, I just read your comment to Joe Nocera's op-ed piece in today's NYTimes online. There is a third party option to address your post above and your post in the NYTimes as offered by Thomas Friedman's in Sunday's edition.

    Here is the link:

    Thank you for your commentary and hope to see you at ;)