I don't know why anyone thought that locking six Republicans in a room with ANYONE who doesn't march in lockstep with them would result in anything other than Nothing Accomplished (NYT link). This is a party that has now definitively identified itself as the Party Of I Got Mine So Fuck Off And Die, so what gave anyone the idea that these people would ever emerge with a plan for the top 1% to kick in even one tiny copper penny more?
I often wonder exactly what Grover Norquist has on these guys, that their oath of fealty to him supersedes any sense of responsibility they might have to their oath of office. And why does it bother no one that this country is run by Grover Norquist, with House and Senate Republicans (and the clown car that is the 2012 GOP field) as his public face?
The Republicans on the committee are claiming Democratic intransigence, but just who's refusing to compromise here?
Republicans have forgotten that they and their wealthy buddies were paying the pre-Bush tax cut rates all through the 1990s, and the economy was humming along just fine. Tax rates seem to have little effect on economic activity, which has many influences. But Republicans live in a world in which only their interests count -- and the interests of those who have made them quite wealthy themselves as they sit in Congress receiving a government check and paid health insurance without contributing even as much to this country as my local DPW guys do -- and God knows the DPW in my town leaves a lot to be desired. Because of their obeisance to Grover Norquist, Republicans would rather see my COPD-afflicted mother suffocate to death rather than have the nebulizer that helps her breathe, and my chemotherapy-undergoing father fade away rather than have treatment that has an 85% effectiveness rate. They'd rather see low birth weight babies among the poor and deaths in childbirth rather than have Medicaid. They'd rather see the disabled dying of exposure on the streets than have such a thing as Supplemental Security Income. Got two kids and your husband dies? Too bad, lady -- get a job, because there are no more Social Security survivors' benefits. That Paul Ryan benefitted from that program is immaterial -- he got his so fuck off and die.
The Republicans have always been like this, but at least they used to be honest about it. Now they dress up in populist clothing and benefit from corporate-funded groups with names like Americans for Prosperity to dupe the uninformed into thinking that no sacrifice is too great for the poor and the middle class to make in the service of allowing the plutocrats to amass more and more and more and more of this country's wealth just so that they can have a vain hope of maybe landing a job someday.
Not one day goes by that I don't have George Carlin's voice in my head reminding me, "It's a big club -- and you ain't in it." Because he knew in 2005 what too many people still refuse to believe in 2011.
And so the so-called supercommittee, which everyone knew was just a ruse to kick the can down the road a little further, has failed. This is a microcosm of the failure of our entire system of government. So perhaps it's time to give up this bullshit about American exceptionalism and admit that we are just another failing empire, just another plutocracy. It's time to stop deluding ourselves and just try to get through as best we can.