I have been analyzing the “shutdown” as politics as usual, which is to say, a fake conflict between the inner party and the outer party to give the appearance of democracy. I predicted the Republicans would roll over and wet themselves in a week.
It has now been two weeks.
I still think it is politics as usual, but the increasingly strident reaction of the inner party organs indicates that some of them are seeing it as politics for real. “Outside In” is therefore analyzing it as a real conflict.
In the Game of Chicken, the side that can most convincingly signal madness wins, so when the inner party call the Tea Party crazy, they are preparing to lose. Or they could be preparing to ship the Tea Party off to concentration camps, after the fashion of Golden Dawn.
Two cars drive at each other at high speed down the middle of the road. The guy who swerves loses. In the Republican car, the establishment, the outer party, is in the driver’s seat, and wants to swerve. The Tea Party is in the passenger seat, but is fighting for the wheel.
Given the commotion in the Republican car, the Democrat car would be well advised to swerve. Or they could shoot the guy in the passenger seat.
I still think this is going to end with the outer party driving the Republican car off the road, but some elements of the inner party are starting to doubt it.
Obama has been thinking about halting EBT payments in the event that the debt limit is not raised. That is the responsible thing to do. If he does not pay EBT, he can honor the debt limit, pay the interest on government bonds, and pay the army. What is not to like? Could any Tea Partier disagree? If the government is going to prioritize, it has to shut down something big and simple. Most government expenditures take years to halt, but we have seen that EBT cards can just be turned off with a switch. A sudden absence of blacks, indios and morbidly obese heavily tattooed women each with nine screaming demon spawn in tow, ensues at shopping centers. Instant overnight solution to the deficit.
The Tea Party would be fine with such a solution. With such a solution in place, why raise the debt limit ever again?
“Oh no, the demon spawn are starving. To save the demon spawn, arrest the Tea Party.”
I rather like that scenario, since really I would like us to get the collapse over with, rather than endless decline. But the Republican establishment driving the car into the ditch seems more likely.