‘Grand Theft Auto’ and the debt ceiling

Image courtesy of Darth

Let’s just be honest. Modern conservatism is a disorganized scam bordering on anarchism. By shutting down the government simply in protest of Obamacare, and then making an insane list of demands in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, the GOP isn’t debating, opposing, or legislating. The have finally dropped all pretense and shown everyone who’s paying attention what they’re really about: pure and simple chaos, and the total destruction of government.

The cognitive dissonance within the Republican Party has always been a subject of general loathing and sick amusement on the left. It’s always there. And it’s gotten worse over the years. It goes beyond typical hypocrisy and is veering toward an agenda of insanity, and we’re about a week away from having it do irreparable damage to this country.

By combining the government shutdown, which has already gone on much longer than it should, with the debt ceiling fight, congressional Republicans have created a Human Centipede of Legislation. We have finally reached the point where the House Republicans are truly governing through crisis.

Nevermind that the shutdown is damaging intelligence agencies’ ability to properly protect the country or conduct the country’s business in the normal fashion. Thousands of people are needlessly out of work just as the economy recovers from the Great Recession. This is what happens when there is no longer a guiding philosophy to a party; just opposition for opposition’s sake.

Shutdown is the gospel that establishment Republicans preach but it’s what the base actually believes. The GOP wants as small a government as possible and if they could shut it down indefinitely, they would. But that’s no way to run a country. It more resembles a failed state. But a failed state is the GOP’s vision of success.

I’m getting sick of writing about how the party has hit some new low. The hatriot fever that Obama had hoped to break with the 2012 election has not subsided and we are on the verge of destruction. There’s even a new petition on the White House’s ‘We The People’ page that seeks to label the Republican Party as a terrorist organization. They are falling apart in the worst and most public way. They’re like that friend everyone has who just can’t get their shit together. The Republicans are basically a suicidal Hannah Horvath. Remember the 2012 Republican autopsy and rebranding effort and how passing immigration reform would help save the party? Well fuck that.

It’s painful to watch. We are witnessing the slow motion suicide of a political party. And yes, Republicans have contributed to a lot of evil in the world and watching the comeuppance is sick fun. Like political schadenfreude. But it gets old. It’s a shame because a healthy country needs debate and a duality of spirit. The two major American political parties need each other. Policy needs opposing views in order to evolve and stay relevant. You always need an opponent to help define what you stand for and what you stand against. 

On Sunday night, when a 3.0 earthquake struck San Francisco, the United States Geological Survey’s website was shut down. 90% of NASA is furloughed. Let’s just hope there isn’t some epic asteroid heading our way. The weekend before the start of the government shutdown President Obama said, “But one faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election.”

We have reached total policy and governing madness. Political anarchy. The Less-Than-Do-Nothing Congress has now given up on legislation, shut down the government, and is seriously flirting with the debt ceiling. On Sunday, Speaker Boehner even said that we are headed for default. Even though he has the votes in the House to pass a clean CR to fund the government and temporarily raise the debt ceiling, the ire from the Tea Party is just too much for Boehner to face. Even if it loses him the House in 2014.

Breaching the debt ceiling is so dangerous that it has only happened once before and even then it was by accident. It was a fluke but all hell broke loose. It’s not that all debt is bad, or that we can’t pay it. The default and the ensuing damage that could occur next week is entirely because our politics is broken.


Markets are already tumbling while this small portion of insane non-legislators threatens the world with catastrophe. The Republican base’s devolution continues. They have gone from being anti-big government to anti-establishment, then finally to being against their own party. Now they’re threatening to send the country into a nightmarish economic crisis on par with the 2008 financial meltdown. The potential for a cataclysmic market collapse as a result of default has the entire world nervous. Yet Tea Party Republicans see a default not as chaos but as some kind of great equalizer. Others feel that like global climate change, its very existence is up for debate.

In “Grand Theft Auto,” you’re supposed to go on missions, be they deadly or banal. The government does the same thing: they vote on CRs, fight over policy, start wars, and pass laws. But defaulting on the debt ceiling would be the government equivalent of the part of “GTA” when you kill a pedestrian in front of a cop, get into a chase, blow up a few cop cars, shoot down a helicopter, and all of the sudden the military is after you. Your wanted level reaches the point where there is nothing left but running gun battles and destruction. You have a bunch of stars on the screen, the game has ground to a halt and there are no missions or goals. There is no longer a game or agenda, just violent chaos.

It’s basically the end of the world in video game form. The Republican Party is threatening to turn the country into a horror show of “Grand Theft Auto” wanted level economic madness. This year, courtesy of the GOP, Halloween comes early, and the end of the world arrives when we hit our debt limit on October 17th.