The U.S. government shutdown crisis is driven by an entirely new and dangerous dynamic in American politics. It is not easy to discern, but it is there. A number of different U.S. news media have reported on this phenomenon and have editorialized on it.
No less than Thomas Friedman of the New York Times wrote yesterday, “This time is different. What is at stake in this government shutdown forced by a radical Tea Party minority is nothing less than the principle upon which our democracy is based: majority rule.”
Read more of Friedman’s New York Times editorial: Our Democracy Is At Stake
Last night before the shutdown actually occurred, another political commentator abandoned all of the tedious “talking points,” promoted by both sides, and spoke the truth. He said simply that the political paralysis problem in the United States was precipitated by the growing plutocracy (government by the extremely rich), and corporate political money empowered by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Its focus, goal and strategy is exclusively to discredit The President of the United States personally. Though their current stated objective is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it has less to do with opposing policy issues. It is personal and racist.
Despite being elected twice to the Presidency, the second time winning a clear 51% of the vote while promoting the Affordable Care Act, the Constitutionality of which was later affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States, the ideologues are using extra-legal means to confound the lawful operation of Constitutional government.
The last time the U.S. government shut down in 1995, Bill Clinton was President, and Newt Gingrich, then Speaker of the House of Representatives. were the key players. Politics were still more or less normal. Newt and the Republicans suffered a humiliating defeat that time. This time, a tiny minority of extremist ideologues on the right have managed to paralyze the Republican party establishment, and the U.S. federal government. The most apt analogy is terrorist hostage taking.
The new wrinkle in this situation has been the Koch Brothers libertarian ideology, and vast sums of corporate money in politics. The other key factor is the rise of Ted Cruz, an anti-Castro Cuban immigrant U.S. Senator from Texas, with support from the Koch Brothers, who exhibits an utter disregard for the U.S. Constitution, and the operation of Congress. Cruz behaves like he is the reincarnation of Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban dictator aligned with the U.S. Mafia, deposed by Fidel Castro. Batista was a Latin American plutocrat. Chicago mobster, Sam Giancana ran the Mafia casinos, rackets and corruption in Cuba at that time. The fictional character Hyman Roth in Godfather 2 is modeled on the real life Sam Giancana. Others may remember that Giancana was the mobster recruited by the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro. This is the world of the Cruz family, particularly his father, Rafael Cruz, whose ministry, “The Purifying Fire International”, seeks Christian Dominionism in the United States.
The plutocrats and corporate fat cats, have become a euphemism for the Koch Brothers, whose money has carefully engineered the gerrymandering of the federal House of Representative Districts in key areas of the United States. The Representatives from these Districts are now referred to as “The Kamikaze Pilots,” in U.S. politics. These are the politicians fueled by special interest money that are effectively holding the entire U.S. government and the nation, hostage to their will.
So the shutdown of the U.S. government is a direct outgrowth of the plutocrat and corporate takeover of the U.S. Congress, combined with Cuban anti-Castro Christian Dominionism, a potentially politically explosive mix.
Moderate Republicans are privately wringing their hands over these appalling developments, their powerlessness to stop it, and to return to sane democratic governance. The fear of many now, is that as this government shutdown will worsen as it moves toward the debt ceiling deadline in the next two weeks, with almost a million people suddenly unemployed, government services shut down, and global markets teetering on a precipice. Some speculate that civil order may begin to disintegrate among those most damaged by this crisis. The deeper question being whispered, is whether this has been the plan all along.