Martin EdenMartin Eden's Journal
Same goes for Constitutional rule of law and the highest ideals upon which our nation was founded.
George Washington set a vital precedent by rebuffing any suggestion he be made king and by conducting the first peaceful transfer of power.
Donald Trump is the first president in our nation's history to resist the peaceful transfer of power by conspiring to overturn the election and by fomenting a violent assault on our nation's capitol.
He seeks to place himself above the law and above our Constitution. His willful retention of highly classified national security documents belonging to our government and obstruction of attempts to retrieve them are further examples of his utter disregard for laws which protect our nation.
Others have been convicted and imprisoned for less egregious violations of the Espionage Act, a necessary means to keep highly sensitive intel out of the hands of foreign adversaries.
Those who support the former president in his attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power and the return of national security documents are at best misguided fools. Regardless of what they believe, they pose a very real threat to the Constitutional republic founded by true patriots.
They are trying (and succeeding all too often) to manipulate gullible voters in order to sieze power for themselves and more wealth for the billionaires who fund their political careers.
Their formula is fairly simple:
Tax cuts for the rich drive up huge budget deficits.
Then they scream we have to cut spending so much on "entitlements" the nation can no longer afford.
It's should be obvious to anyone capable of critical thought this is a brazen scheme to transfer wealth from working Americans into the pockets of millionaires & billionaires who finance the political careers of these Rethuglicans.
The phrase I remember was Dick Nixon before he dicks you.
Without a doubt I felt satisfaction when Tricky Dick resigned, but I understand why your father found it depressing that a president of the United States would engage in such deceitful illegal condut. Shouldn't integrity and honor be an absolute requirement for the highest office in our land?
Which brings us to the case of Donald Trump. That such an egregiously unfit creature could be elected president in the first place is depressing, appalling, and alarming.
His crimes and brazen hubris are unsurprising, but as much as I have long despised the Republican Party it breaks my heart that it and roughly 40% of my fellow citizens have morphed into a cult worshipping at the feet of a malignant narcissist whose incessant lies are obvious to any person capable of critical thought.
Our Constitutional democracy is in an existential crisis, with no end in sight.
Concessions do not consist of having only some of your demands met in a manufactured crisis.
A concession in a "deal" outside normal annual budgetary negotiations means giving up something you already have in previously legislated policy.
The federal budget and deficit have two sides of the ledger: taxes and spending.
President Biden gave concessions with spending cuts and/or caps to existing programs Democrats fought for and enacted into law.
What did McCarthy give up in terms of rescinding at least a portion of the huge tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations which drove the record highest deficit during a one term presidency, as they unquestionably raised the debt ceiling three times?
As I stated earier, this was not the normal legislative budgetary process. The Republican House majority was essentially holding hostage the full faith and credit of the United States -- along with the American and world economies -- to extract concessions outside the normal budgetary process.
All of which is not to criticise President Biden. He very likely averted a catastrophe which the nihilists in the "freedom caucus" were perfectly willing if not eager to inflict on the American people and the world. I have little doubt that our president through his wisdom and skill and long experience produced the best possible outcome.
What I am trying to do here is provide some necessary perspective.
This is a victory only to the extent that a terrible catastrophe was averted and that, hopefully, public perception accrues more to Democrats in the 2024 election.
But McCarthy and his gang extracted concessions without making any concessions of their own. Reducing the extent of their unreasonable demands is not a concession. Paying our nation's bills (which they have yet to do) is not a concession.
Negotiating with hostage takers and giving in to ANY of their demands is not a good thing.
Though, perhaps, necessary.
And that is a sad testament to the state of our nation.
Tears again well up for this incredibly beautiful and loving testament to the sacrifices our citizen soldiers are called upon to make.
Let us resolve never to demand such sacrifices for anything less than a true and necessary cause the like of which Sullivan Ballou was willing to give his last full measure of devotion.
It is appalling and alarming to see so much progress in equal rights for and public acceptance of the LGBTQ community being marched back in the 3rd decade of the 21st century.
Why is this happening?
The Republican Party is stoking fear and hatred for political gain. They can't win on government policy issues that truly serve the interests of the vast majority of people because they are in the pockets of the one percenters who increasingly hoard the wealth produced by the combined efforts of all Americans.
So they distract and divide voters with culture wars, convincing religious folk and ignorant bigots that gender minorities are an evil threat to children. They claim the moral high ground while fostering cruelty and violence, twisting and perverting Christianity for greed and power.
This has got to stop. The LGBTQ community aren't the only Americans being threatened. In their march to transform America from the world's leading democracy into a Christo-fascist state. Blacks, Jews, Muslims, liberals, and anyone who stands up for the highest ideals upon which our nation was founded are being targeted in a deliberate campaign of stochastic terrorism, inciting poisoned minds with eastly access to high powered firearms to acts of violence and mass murder.
This has got to stop.
The political strategy and poisoned ideology of today's Republican Party has to be shown for what it is and resoundingly defeated with ballots, not bullets. Truth must triumph over lies. Kindness has to defeat cruelty. Love must conquer hate. We all need to embrace the better angels of our nature along with indefatigable determination and strength of spirit.
Republicans, who repeatedly raised the debt ceiling as POtuS Trump racked up huge deficits, threatened to wreck the economy unless their demands were met. They leveraged this threat for concessions they could not obtain through normal legislative budgetary compromise.
Economic terrorism, extortion, hostage taking, call it what you will -- making concessions under such threats rewards the terrorists and encourages more of the same.
True and fair compromise on reducing deficits would include both sides of the ledger -- spending cuts and rescinding at least some of the huge tax breaks for billionaires and wealthy corporations.
The gap between the one percenters and everyone else continues to grow. Without clawing back some of those tax breaks with this deal, the burden falls on Americans who can least afford it.
Could President Biden have successfully used the 14th Amendment to avoid making concessions to economic terrorists?
Could our president and Democratic leadership have made a better case with stronger messaging to make it more clear to the American people that House Republicans at the very least were engaging in extortion, and the catastrophe of defaulting on the debt would be entirely their doing?
To be honest, I don't know. President Biden and his political advisors know a lot more about such matters than I do.
But I'm fairly certain the nihilists in the "freedom caucus" were willing to inflict economic catastrophe on the American people for political advantage, or in furtherance of a radical ideology to tear down the bedrock institutions of our government.
Perhaps President Biden did what was necessary to prevent catastrophe and to win or at least break even in this dangerous game of political brinkmanship in the realm of public perception.
Breathing a sigh of relief may be in order, but celebrating what just happened is a bridge too far for me.
Spending cuts without reversing any of the Trump tax breaks for the rich is a win for Republicans in the realm of government policy that impacts the American people.
...by being useful idiots for Russia or knowingly aiding their efforts from inside the USA.
Sparking internal division and dysfunction is one means to defeat a stronger foe.
Another means is to manipulate the foe into wasting its own power in misadventures that will fail or cause more harm. Al Qaeda employed this strategy to lure GW Bush into two long Mideast wars of occupation that increased jihadist violence and recruited the next generation of terrorists.
How, after what happened then and is happening now, can Republicans claim the mantle of "strong" on national security?
Idiots in this context are defined as the MAGA masses duped into believing lies and triggered by culture war rhetoric.
The plain fact of the matter is the corporate masters and the politicians who serve them don't give a damn about the idiots who vote for them. Their economic policies favor only the rich -- not those who need good paying jobs, affordable healthcare, quality education, and safety from gun violence.
The idiots in thrall to religious charlatans who preach the cult of Donald Trump gain absolutely nothing from abortion bans and breaking down the wall between church and state. They are already free to practice their religion as they choose. They may feel satisfaction from having their own narrow minded beliefs imposed on others, but all that really gains them is the enmity of their fellow citizens and a more bitterly divided America.
And that last bit, my friends, is the strategy at work here.
The greatest obstacle to more wealth and power concentrated in fewer hands are American citizens who recognize their common interests and understand how to use their vote to elect representatives who truly serve their interests.
The malefactors of great wealth need us to be at each other's throats, not demanding a fair share for the vital work we do in powering the economic engine which produces that wealth.
A great man once said a house divided against itself cannot stand.
That is just as true today as it was when Abraham Lincoln spoke those words.
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