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In Response to Airline Hijackings, the GOP, and the Debt Limit:
Does anyone remember when airline hijackings were the favored strategy of terrorists trying to achieve some goal, such as the freeing of Palestinians in Israeli prisons? Unfortunately, some nations early on negotiated with the hijackers, which reinforced the strategy. It was only after it became apparent that every nation would hold firm that hijacking as a strategy was abandoned.
President Obama made a strategic error when he negotiated the debt ceiling with the GOP in 2011, resulting in the crippling sequester that has slowed our economy and still plagues us. He gave some GOP members the belief that he would cave if the stakes were high enough. This is why they are willing to play chicken again. However, this earlier mistake is exactly why he can't afford to "negotiate" the debt ceiling again--he would be setting a fightening precedent for all future presidents. When something is as vital to the economic health of the country and the world as the debt ceiling, it cannot be negotiated.
I'm not talking about the posturing that routinely happens when the debt ceiling is raised. I'm talking about members of Congress who appear completely willing to default on our debts. They are saying that they will shoot the hostage if their demands aren't met.
And what are their demands? Romney's entire agenda--gutting Obamacare, okaying the Keystone XL pipeline, gutting Dodd-Frank, opening more federal lands to drilling, more oil wells in the Gulf and in the wild waters off Alaska, more tax cuts, etc., etc. Since they were unable to win the last election, they've decided to force their agenda on everyone else. This is not how democracy works.
There are certain ill-informed individuals who will say that both sides have to "negotiate" the debt ceiling. But the Republicans are demanding unilateral concessions in exchange for not blowing up the economy. This is not a negotiation--it is extortion.
And let's be clear--the Democrats are demanding nothing except responsible behavior. They have already made a huge concession, which is that the 2011 sequester will continue.
It is absolutely unprecedented for any party to seriously threaten default, as the GOP did in 2011. It has never happened before in the history of the United States, and the mere threat rocked the world economy. To make a second serious threat is the height of irresponsibility.
These House members are every bit as fanatical as the airline hijackers of the '70s. But the damage they will do is much more serious.
Posted by cat2011
Tell Boehner: "Go Defund Yourself. If government is shut, why should YOU still get paid?"; 2) Tell Democrats: Don't let Republican hostage-takers put Medicare and Social Security benefits back on the chopping block. ; 3) Tell the Republicans: "Repeal your own government health care first, hypocrites!";