I'm sure I'll write much more about the horror show that has been the Washington fight over the debt ceiling, but for the moment I think I'll give the floor to my wise friend Darlene:
We are seeing a movement of radical rightwingers successfully break the institutions through which we the people democratically express our common needs and hopes in government.
- We elect a President on a promise of change. The Republican right refuses to cooperate even minimally with letting him implement his programs. Okay, some of that is just politics as usual.
- But in addition, in the Senate, the Republican right overthrows the principal of majority rule by abusing parliamentary customs and privileges, forcing every measure to get 60 percent of the vote rather than a majority.
- Thwarted by the checks and balances that prevent the legislature dominating the executive (and vice versa) in Constitutional system, the Republican majority in the House and the minority in Senate hold payments on the US national debt hostage while demanding Democratic legislators and the President agree to substitute undemocratic super committees and automatic spending cut mechanisms for an up and down vote on their budget ideas. Apparently they know they couldn't win an honest majority vote.
- Wherever they can, through state legislatures, Republicans are making it harder for people to vote who they fear might disagree with them. If they could, they'd deny the vote to Black, brown and young people entirely. They can't quite pull that off (yet), but they can push in that direction with difficult procedural hurdles and unnecessary demands for identity documents.