Former Senator Alan Simpson is a Very Serious Person. He must be — after all, President Obama appointed him as co-chairman of a special commission on deficit reduction.
So here’s what the very serious Mr. Simpson said on Friday: “I can’t wait for the blood bath in April. … When debt limit time comes, they’re going to look around and say, ‘What in the hell do we do now? We’ve got guys who will not approve the debt limit extension unless we give ’em a piece of meat, real meat,’ ” meaning spending cuts. “And boy, the blood bath will be extraordinary,” he continued.
Think of Mr. Simpson’s blood lust as one more piece of evidence that our nation is in much worse shape, much closer to a political breakdown, than most people realize.
The fact is that one of our two great political parties has made it clear that it has no interest in making America governable, unless it’s doing the governing. And that party now controls one house of Congress, which means that the country will not, in fact, be governable without that party’s cooperation — cooperation that won’t be forthcoming.
I think Krugman is really right to highlight the danger in Simpson’s comments, as well as the commitment of Republicans to block any chance of the Obama administration successfully running the government. The Republican Party needs to be made to bear the consequences of whatever obstructionism they deploy for political purposes. But the question is, can that happen? Will anyone notice, especially if it is left to the Krugmans of the world to make this case? After all, Krugman is Very Shrill and having a Nobel prize in economics does not make him Serious at all.
The larger problem is that when you have people like Simpson publicly touting their erections brought on by the thought of inflicting pain on working class American families, you know our country is at a precipice. These are not sane things to long for. This is sociopathic at best and, well, it’s hard to properly capture what it is at its worst, other than to say it’s an unrepentant call to destroy the social structure of America. And this is from an allegedly Reasonable and Serious Republican. Just wait until you get the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of the world chiming in with any regularity.
I wish I had a strong sense that the leadership of the Democratic Party grasped how dangerous the GOP is today and how hard they will have to work to defeat these efforts to steal wealth from working American families and give it to billionaires.