Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How The Tea Party Resembles The Joker

     The major anomaly associated with the negotiations between the Tea Party and the Democrats is the Tea Party is not afraid to give up what they are negotiating for.  To simplify this, during a negotiation, each side desires a particular outcome.  In a typical hostage situation, law enforcement negotiators want the hostages to be released unharmed while the hostage taker holds them as a sort of collateral for money or something desirable.  If the hostage taker kills all of the hostages, his leverage is then gone rendering the negotiation finished and neither side wins.
     This seems to be what is going on with the Tea Party currently.  They want to defund Obamacare ultimately and as the New York Times reported recently, the shutdown plan has been in the works for some time.  The Tea Party has already allowed the government to shutdown, the issue of Obamacare (according to some) is now a non-issue, and default seems inevitable.  Hard right Republicans are now announcing that a default wouldn't be that bad and in fact, some are saying it would be good and bring "stability to the world markets."  Economists have warned how drastic and apocalyptic default would be yet Tea Party Republicans are saying, "Who cares?"
     I see a striking resemblance between their strategy and Batman's nemesis, the Joker in the film The Dark Night Rises.  When Bruce Wayne (Batman's secret identity) is trying to figure out a motive for the Joker's terrible acts, Mr. Wayne's butler, Alfred, recounts a story in which he was in Burma working for the government. The government officials were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with rubies.  However, the rubies had been stolen by a bandit while they were being delivered to the tribal leaders.  Alfred discovered that the bandit had never traded the rubies away to anyone despite their awesome value.  The bandit, evidently had been throwing these precious rubies away to local villagers.  Mr. Wayne then asks Alfred why the bandit would even go through the trouble of stealing the rubies if he was not interested in their value?  Alfred replied, "He thought it was good sport.  Some men cannot be reasoned with or negotiated with.  Some men just want to watch the world burn."
     The Tea Party sits very comfortably in their cushy congressional seats protected by carefully gerrymandered super conservative districts without a chance of losing despite their reckless behavior in Congress.  Again, in a negotiation, there must be leverage to get what one wants, in this case avoiding default.  It seems as though the Tea Party's extremism has caught the wind of mainstream Republicans including Speaker John Boehner who, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, stated he does not have the votes to pass a clean CR to avert this nonsense of shutdown and default.  It seems the Tea Party has brought Boehner down to their level of deception and incompetence because by virtually every count by pundits, journalists, and others in the Beltway media, the votes for a clean CR are there.  Why is Boehner risking the credibility of our nation for the good of 80 or so radicals in his party?
     The scariest people to negotiate with are those who have nothing to lose.  The Tea Party, despite being a minority, has somehow commandeered the Republican Party and steered them on a course for destruction.  This shutdown plan has been in the works for months despite the Affordable Care Act surviving the legislative, executive, and judicial branch as well as the 2012 presidential election cycle.  I understand the argument that no law is perfect and even Medicare has been altered but the ACA has not even been fully launched yet.  Give the law a chance before it is tweaked.  The Republicans have had it out for President Obama from Day One when a faction met in a room on inauguration day in January of 2009 to obstruct everything he proposed.  They want to taint his legacy as much as possible even if it means harming the global market through default.                     

1 comment: