Friday, October 09, 2015

The 'Burn It Down' Party

The German legislative chamber (Reichstag), February 27, 1933.
"Burn it down" is a popular phrase with radical Republicans and Tea Party anarchists. Their goal is to destroy the entire governmental system of the United States so it can be rebuilt with them in charge. Hence their repeated attempts to shut down the government. They have impossible dreams of impeaching the entire executive branch and all but three Supreme Court justices that can only be achieved if their small, rump faction gains absolute power.
When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
This quote also came to mind this week. House Republicans came face-to-face with the abyss this week. Some recoiled in hysterical horror, others reacted with maniacal glee. Many pundits are outlining the procedural options, I want to concentrate on Republicans psychological options.
  • Paralysis - Cling desperately to the status quo, limping along still hobbled by their extremists. Staggering wildly from gridlock to gridlock. If Boehner remains Speaker or Ryan is elected with no votes to spare that will be the sign that Republicans are frozen in their panic.
  • Seek Help - Reach across the aisle to form a ruling coalition with moderate Democrats that excises the radical cancer from the Republican body politic. Rep. Charles Dent (R-PA) suggested that recourse. Even the threat of this might cower the anarchists into order. I think Republicans are too terrified to act boldly or courageously.
  • Surrender - Give the extremists the power they want. Let the infected Republican tail wag the dog. Partial surrender will just be the first step to total surrender.
The Reichstag burned a week before parliamentary elections. Officially, a Communist was blamed but there is evidence that the Nazis burned it down. March elections put the Nazis into the ruling coalition but still lacking a majority. Within weeks Hitler had turned that partial success into total victory. The rest is history.

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