A guy I used to know ended up dating the crazy girl. You know the type: outgoing, artsy, off-beat, plenty of piercings and tattoos. She seemed pretty cool at first. Loads of fun at parties, and from what I was led to believe, the sex was great. But over time, she became more demanding, more jealous. She had a very dark side that came out more often as time when on. The two of them almost got married and if that had happened, I wouldn’t have been surprised if one of them had ended up killing the other. For a long time after they split up, he was an emotional wreck.
I’ve been thinking about this as I’ve watched the Tea Party gang yank the old-school Republicans around on this debt ceiling issue. There are plenty of reasons why the debt limit needs to be raised, but they’re boring and I don’t want to get into them here. Suffice to say that the U.S. defaulting on its obligations would be unprecedented and very, very bad. So the limit needs to be raised. This isn’t a particularly partisan issue. It might be distasteful, but it has to be done.
Last year, the Tea Partiers brought what was seen as a much-needed energy to the Republican Party. They were the crazy chick. Lots of fun at parties and a blast to flash around in front of the Democrats, whom they scared the bejesus out of. On the strength of Tea Party rhetoric…some would call it panic…the GOP rose to grand heights in the last election. They managed a major power grab in the House of Representatives, and while falling short of a majority in the Senate, took enough of it to drag it around by its bourgeois nose hairs.
By all accounts it was an impressive win, even more so in light of the fact that the Republican party was so hated just two years earlier that the United States, even Indiana, elected an African American Democrat with a suspicious-sounding name to the White House over a white, Republican war hero.
Ah yes. But the crazy chick thing. It does come back to haunt. Many of the newly elected Republicans see themselves as one-issue legislators. Cut spending at all costs. A noble goal to be sure, but one that should probably be tempered with a practicality that didn’t get written into the mandate. Seems that amid all the fiery rhetoric, no one thought to ask the new guys to sign a pledge to actually do what’s best for the country.
“I did not come here to get reelected,” said Rep. Chip Cravaack of Minnesota. That’s good, because he won’t be. Especially if he helps to instigate one of the worst financial disasters this country has ever faced, just a couple of years after it faced a terrible financial disaster.
So now we have the entertaining image of John Boehner (hey, it IS entertaining if you can step away from it and somehow not give a crap) trying to convince the bulk of his own party that the major concessions they were offered by President Obama actually were pretty major concessions, and that anyone who has been in Congress for more than…oh…a few months would recognize that and take the deal and run before the other side came to its senses.
We have Mitch McConnell pitching a plan to hand control of the debt ceiling directly to the president with little congressional interference or oversight. And the idea is being taken seriously by some in Congress because…hey…better to make sure the blood is on his hands, even if we handed him the knife. And the debt ceiling really does need to be raised.
All of this because there is always…ALWAYS…a payback for dating the crazy chick. She may be fun. She may do things to you that you only dreamed of back before you discovered how girls really work. She’ll impress your friends and scare your parents. But in the end, she’s still crazy. She’ll drag you down and put you through the mill, and she’ll do it with a smile, because crazy is as crazy does. And when everything comes crashing down, she’ll blame you.
Just ask my friend.