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[Melissa Harris-Perry explains in great detail the origins of the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and why the U.S. debt should not be questioned (14th amendment) while recapping the debt ceiling debate]
Any rational person who follows politics understands that the debt-ceiling debate is a manufactured crisis, concocted by an insane Republican Party that is willing to wreck the American economy with the sole purpose of harming an Obama presidency and winning the White House in 2012. It has been enabled by a frightened Beltway media Village that refuses to give us honest analysis and historical context to go along with the debt ceiling process. President Obama sounded more like a Republican than a Democrat when he gave his presser the other night, once again making his case for a Grand Bargain, which he has admitted is a slap to Democratic principles. Is he playing a chess game with the GOP, hoping America will see the Tea Party for the radical right wing cult they are, to win the debate? That's for you to decide, but this is a precarious strategy nonetheless, since it's destined to be a huge setback for Keynesian economics and Progressive ideals, as Greg Sargent outlines in his piece.
Even so, the media should be able to explain to the American people that the problem isn't between both parties, but only one: the Republican party. Why do the media refuse to cover this story honestly?
Watching our system deal with the debt ceiling crisis — a wholly self-inflicted crisis, which may nonetheless have disastrous consequences — it’s increasingly obvious that what we’re looking at is the destructive influence of a cult that has really poisoned our political system.
And no, I don’t mean the fanaticism of the right. Well, OK, that too. But my feeling about those people is that they are what they are; you might as well denounce wolves for being carnivores. Crazy is what they do and what they are.
No, the cult that I see as reflecting a true moral failure is the cult of balance, of centrism.
Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.
So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.
"Washington is broken" is the refrain we hear constantly from the Beltway media, a long-held talking point pushed by conservatives in the MSM. When one branch controlled by Republicans does break down, then the government does stop working. The debt-ceiling debate is exposing the GOP as truly being broken because House Speaker Boehner can't even get his own members to back his own "spending cuts" plan, even after President Obama has offered up the store in negotiations. But this story also strikes at the heart of the Villagers as much as the GOP.
What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism; no way for most voters, who get their information on the fly rather than doing careful study of the issues, to understand what’s really going on.
You have to ask, what would it take for these news organizations and pundits to actually break with the convention that both sides are equally at fault? This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.
And yes, I think this is a moral issue. The “both sides are at fault” people have to know better; if they refuse to say it, it’s out of some combination of fear and ego, of being unwilling to sacrifice their treasured pose of being above the fray.
It’s a terrible thing to watch, and our nation will pay the price.
Our nation has been paying the price of their news cowardice for decades (Clinton's impeachment, Al Gore's loss, and the Iraq War, to name a few) and now as this usually unremarkable procedural vote called the debt ceiling winds down and which has never been subjected to this type of political grand-standing closes in, our credit rating may fall and throw the US into a much deeper economic hole than we already are in---the beltway media stands by refusing to report what is actually going on. As Krugman says, this is a moral one facing journalism as a whole, but it's the American population that suffers.