The hostage crisis is over for the moment and the Tea Party caucuses are scurrying back under their rocks. Ted Cruz called what they did a “profile in courage”, but the reality is it was a profile in hatred and stupidity. Ted Cruz manipulated Republicans to engage in a fight they could never win so he could do fund raising. Cruz made millions from the crisis and has emerged as the leader of… who? Or what? Republicans knew this attempt at extortion was doomed from the beginning, but their hatred of the President trumped logic. Like any terrorist, their hope was to cause terror by inflicting senseless injury.
What did the Tea Party accomplish? The shutdown cost the country about $24 billion dollars adding to the deficit, the cost of borrowing money for the country went up – further adding to the deficit, the estimates are that the shutdown and threat of default will slow economic growth by about 1% – and that means nearly 1 million lost jobs. In other words, the country is under attack by a small number of extremists called the Tea Party. Their hope is to cause terror and inflict damage to get their way without bothering with elections.
The Tea Party hates the government and they are willing to destroy the economy to destroy the government. These are hateful people – waving Confederate flags and racist caricatures of the President; they are ignorant people with Sarah Palin mouthing their extraordinary ignorance of the Constitution, or with psychotic ranting on bowing to Allah and the Quran; they are frightened people who imagine boogey-men under their beds such as the idea that ObamaCare will destroy the country and invite God’s punishment on all of us.
How do we resist such reckless hatred? No reality seems capable of relieving them of their sickness. We will never convince them to give up their delusions, especially when they are underwritten by a few billionaires. I suppose the first step is to not fear them, not negotiate with them, and to arm ourselves with logic and to do everything we can to keep them out of political office.