Shape Up or Ship Out! (I’m talking to you, Tea Partiers.)

The Republican chickens have come home to roost.

I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot lately.  He was a lifelong Republican except for the time he voted for FDR.  I wonder what Dad would think about what’s going on in Washington, D.C. these days.

When his kids got out of line, Dad said things like “Settle down before I knock some heads together.”  Would he give us pizza and then wheedle and cajole us to get in line?  No.  Hell no.

If we didn’t like what was on the table, we went to bed without.  He grew up during the Depression.  That’s why he voted for FDR.  Things were so bad, people started to wonder whether capitalism was really the best economic system.  (Insert pregnant pause.)

Now we have a bunch of Crackpot freshman Republicans who not only don’t understand basic economics; they’re ignorant of history and the constitution as well.   Republicans embraced the far right wing of their party in order to win an election and now the chickens have come home to roost.

Any seasoned politician will tell you that you can’t govern from the margins.   You need reasonable people from both parties in order to compromise.  Yet reason has flown from the Republican Party and Mr. Speaker Boehner seems unacquainted with the concept of tough love.

The Crackpots’ most recent demand is for a balanced budget amendment in order to raise the debt ceiling limit.  (Pssst!  Ahem.  Excuse me, Mr. and Ms. Crackpot.   Did you know that three-quarters of the states – yes that’s 38 states – must ratify an amendment before it can become law? That can take years!)

If we had to balance our budget every year, we could not borrow money to pay unemployment benefits when the economy is bad, or to repair broken levies after hurricanes, or provide emergency assistance to people whose houses are underwater (in the literal sense) because of the increasing number of violent weather events.  (Events like tornadoes, floods, high winds, droughts, extreme temperatures and forest fires that will only keep increasing because the Crackpots also don’t believe in climate change.)

People, the economy is stagnant.  In the crapper.  GDP numbers released last week show that the economy is still .4% smaller than its pre-recession peak.  Probably not a surprise if you’re one of the 14 million people who’s still out of work.  Over a million government employees – mostly state and local – have been laid off.  That’s 7% of all the people out of work and a million more people trying to get the same job you’re trying to get.  But according to Republicans, government doesn’t create jobs.

If the Federal government defaults on its bills, thousands of private contractors – including non-profits that provide essential services and construction companies that repair collapsed bridges – will not get paid.  Guess what that means?  More layoffs.

Due to Congressional dysfunction, 4,000 workers at the FAA are currently on furlough because Congress can’t pass a simple funding resolution without inserting politics.  They want to cut $16.5 million in aid to small airports.  Meanwhile, the FAA is unable to collect airport taxes and has already lost $200 million in revenue.   This isn’t just bad governance, it’s stupid.  Add another subject to the list of things the Crackpots don’t understand: simple arithmetic.

If you’re one of the people who voted for these Crackpots, you and your Representative should be sent to your room with no pizza, no (Fox) TV and a history book.  Preferably one that has not been revised by the Texas Board of Education.  And while you’re there, brush up on your spelling.

Do you know how to spell banana?  Because that’s what we’re becoming; a Banana Republic.

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