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Inmates Take The Asylum

The political dysfunction in Italy, India and other parliamentary democracies pales in comparison to the gridlock in Washington during the past decade and the dead end where it arrived this October. The inmates have indeed taken over the asylum.

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Inmates Take The Asylum

Many Indians have long romanticized about adopting a U.S.-style presidential system as a solution to the divisiveness of Indian politics. They should see the U.S. now.

A group of extremist Tea Party members have forced a shutdown of the U.S. government and is even threatening to block raising the country’s debt ceiling, skirting with possible default for the first time by the United States — a decision that many economists say is fraught with severe global consequences. Some even warn that a U.S. default could well drag the United States and the world into a 2008-style global recession.

Opposition groups in India frequently disrupt legislative proceedings and even grind parliament and state legislatures to a halt, oftentimes to score cheap political points. But that is small potatoes compared to the tactics of the Tea Party driven Republican Party, which has shut down the entire U.S. government and is romancing a calamitous global recession by threatening a U.S. default.

And pray, what is the lethal fight all over? Obamacare, a new healthcare law, which Republicans loathe and over which the country is seemingly divided, in large part because of scare mongering by opponents of the law. Pres. Barack Obama ran on establishing the healthcare system in the 2008 elections and Obamacare was adopted in his first term in office. He roundly defeated the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who pledged to repeal the law in the last election, less than one year ago. Democrats hold a majority in the Senate and they actually gained seats in the Republican dominated House in that same election.

But notwithstanding the trouncing the Republicans received in 2012, in which they made Obamacare the centerpiece of their campaign, the Tea Party wackos are determined to thwart Obamacare, even if it means burning down the village to gut the law. Much like terrorists, they are holding the whole country hostage and in their thrall to achieve their political goals that were roundly rejected at the ballot box.

By all accounts, a majority of House Republicans are uncomfortable with the government shutdown and U.S. default to score political points. But the incendiary Tea party supporters are past caring and there are just sufficient numbers of them to endanger House Speaker John Boehner’s political survival. So against his better instincts he has caved in to their political blackmail.

It is clear that a majority of the House would vote to reopen the government, but Boehner has blocked a vote, because he recognizes that his caucus would dethrone him if he gave ground in the standoff. However this conflict ultimately sorts itself out, there is virtually no chance that Obamacare will be repealed or even diminished. Everyone recognizes this vaudeville for what it is — a form of guerrilla theatre and a spectacle to pander to the Tea Party

The political dysfunction in Italy, India and other parliamentary democracies pales in comparison to the gridlock in Washington during the past decade and the dead end where it arrived this October. The inmates have indeed taken over the asylum

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Politics | Commentary | October 2013

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