Final thoughts, I hope, on the Syria chemical weapons issue. Not the Syrian civil war, which won’t go away for some time, I fear, but the chemical weapons “distraction”. That violations of every norm of warfare and humanity added up to a distraction is a story unto itself. The deal brokered between the U.S. and Russia could break down or, even in the best of situations, the process of destroying chemical weapons can drag on for years rather than the shorter time period in the deal, but that news would just be a curious footnote to this debate that waylayed the country for a month.
It is a testament to the power of Obama that he could make the GOP an anti-war party. Who would have thought that Obama derangement syndrome would be so strong as to overwhelm their powerful instinct to belligerently bomb the shit out of Muslims? The upshot of this is that we found out who the “reasonable” Republicans were – the McCain/Graham “blow ’em up real good” caucus were the few able to put their hatred of the President aside long enough to push for more war in the Middle East, and not just “pin prick” responses, no. They were level headed enough to continue to want to spread conflagration and chaos into another country. God bless ’em.
Can the rest of the GOP really be against military action and against diplomatic solution? Of course they can! These are brilliant conservatives who can hold two opposing thoughts at one time especially when they’re both negative. They can hate action and inaction equally, and for differing equally complex reasons! Is Obama for it? I’m agin’ it by gum. That’s good old fashioned frontier nuance my friends.
But the real upside of the deal with Russia is that we can once again focus on the insane upcoming government budget/debt ceiling deadline. To catch you up, the Sequester, the draconian budget cuts that kicked in the last time no deal could be reached on a budget has done two things: 1. sent the budget deficit to its lowest point in five years, and 2. hamstrung the economy by forcing cuts just when the economy might have been ready to get off the ground.
Here we are again, having to come up with a government budget that can be agreed upon by the people who like government and think it’s a valuable part of our civilization and the people who HATE government, think it is the devil and Hitler and should be bombed to oblivion like they used to want to do to Middle Eastern countries (while they accept their government paychecks). In fact, the stakes are even higher this time because the Tea Party has decreed that hated Obamacare must be defunded or there can be no government at all. They will not vote for any budget that includes Obamacare funding and have decided that it’s so important that they will decide the worthiness of their fellow Republicans based on their stance on this. They will destroy their fellow Republicans (“RINO” hunting, they call it) if they will not vote against such a budget – even though it is as clear as day to everyone with two brain cells to rub together that such a budget is a non-starter that would never pass the Senate and would never be signed by the President.
The Tea Party would make it a self-fulfilling prophesy that the entire federal government of the United States of America could come to a screeching halt because of Obamacare – or more accurately, because of their vote to shut it down because it includes Obamacare. Remember, they’re geniuses.