With no obvious solution in sight, a temporary agreement is being settled between the Republicans and Obama. Yesterday (Oct 10th) they started to broker a deal to move forward the debt increase by 6 weeks. After polls highlighted how the initial Republican strategy has failed and they are being (in my opinion rightfully) held responsible for threatening the federal reserves credit rating.
The Republican’s desire to break Democrat resolve on Medicare/Obamacare was destroyed by misjudging the effect of leveraging against raising the debt ceiling. Normally, only budget matters are parlayed with against debt ceiling raises, but Republican house representatives lost all sense of proportion when taking on Obamacare.
How did this happen?
There are many opinions bounding about. Many onlookers are incredulous at the apparent irresponsibility of US lawmakers and politicians. but there are several reasonable explanations.
American politics is slowly changing into a divided political system, as the Democrats lurch more to the left, Republicans become more right-wing. This is not only happening on a political level, but is a cultural shift as well. As American society becomes more liberal and open-minded, a more solid core of hard right Republicans are emerging that are reacting against liberal shifts in American politics and culture. At the ideological forefront is the polarization of opinion on medicare.
So there is an electorate that supports tea party Republicans standing firm against the train of liberalization – as Edward … says. he labels this republican electorate as anti-modernists.
Then there is the standpoint of politicians. The reason Obama is so steadfast is that in August 2011 there was another debt ceiling debacle between both parties in congress. At that point Obama was much more conciliatory and was open to negotiations, he was close to agreeing a deal, but he was burnt by core Republican’s torpeadoing the deal. The whole event showed Obama as weak, and indecisive. This time he plans to stand strong and not have the same result as in 2011. In addition the 2011 incident resulted in the first ever credit downgrade for the US.
From the perspective of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Firstly they have their success in 2011 to refer to as strong precedent. Secondly they suffered the imposition of a large tax hike in the beginning of 2013, which they could do nothing about. Thirdly, tea party Republicans have become an extremely strong entity, led in part by the Ted Cruz, who has forced in part the Republican Speaker to go along with the tactics that have been used in the house these past weeks.
So there are several clear explanations for the actions that have taken place recently but it is still difficult for people outside the ‘Veto-ocracy’ that is American Democracy, how such a powerful and totem carrying democracy can fall prey to minority groups holding the country ransom.