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The edge of the cliff draws closer
Thanks to those of you who have become Premium subscribers to The Warning podcast. One of the benefits of being a Premium subscriber is that you get to “ask me anything” (AMA). I recorded my first AMA session this week, and it’s now available for Premium podcast subscribers. Thank you to those who submitted questions. I wasn’t able to get to all of them, but I was able to respond to seven questions.
To get a sense of what you’ll get to hear from me once per month through this benefit, here’s a little teaser, answering two of the questions submitted:
Considering the increasing unreliability of news sources, particularly cable, what sources do you suggest? — Diane Yonchuk
Is the current form of the Republican party the inevitable outcome of what it has always been? — William North
If you’d like to become a Premium podcast subscriber, and hear my answers to the five remaining questions, you can do that here:
According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, June 5, 2023, is the day the full faith and credit of the United States will be smashed on a MAGA rock. Should the default occur it will be the greatest act of vandalism inflicted on the American people and nation by its elected officials in nearly 250 years of history.
It will mark an astounding dereliction of duty, responsibility and pragmatism on the part of a radical faction that is unfit and untrustworthy. The ramifications will be dire and unprecedented. There is no comparable event that has ever occurred when the nation’s elected officials have acted with absolute premeditation to cause cataclysmic damage to America’s prestige, standing and power. The word of the United States will be reduced to a punchline and made a synonym for unreliable. The tsunami at hand will leave no one unspared — from the farmer to the small business owner to the retiree.
Yet, the edge of the cliff draws ever closer because the MAGA GOP isn’t a governing party. It’s a threat.
Kevin McCarthy has shown no ability to land any legislative deal — ever. This was true when he was in the California legislature, and it is true of his tenure in Congress. There are only two things he is good at: (1) raising money, and (2) advancing himself. That’s it. He has never been a part of a successful high-stakes negotiation and his wild-eyed captors have him on a short leash, as The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank pointed out in this superb column.
We are careening towards a self-induced national disaster caused by the marriage of imbecility and malice in the US Congress. Sadly, the MAGA extremists were able to narrowly win control of Congress. Now that they have it they are going to make people pay. It’s disgraceful.
This was a strange week in American politics from Ron DeSantis’s launch pad explosion to Marjorie Taylor Greene filing articles of impeachment against much of the Biden cabinet and president before buying Kevin McCarthy’s used chapstick at an auction for $100,000. There seems to be no boundaries in place to contain the epic weirdness and profound detachment from the lives of the American people.
Every single generation of political leaders from both parties has understood the absolute urgent and moral necessity of managing the nation’s finances responsibly — to say nothing of maintaining America’s full faith and credit. Until now.
Therefore June 5th is the perfect day for this rancid and feckless generation of American politicians to engage in actions that seek to beggar our children and grandchildren. Their abdication and betrayal of duty will be enshrined on the same date that offers a pristine example of exemplary leadership and duty.
Seventy-nine years ago, the largest invasion force in world history sat in England coiled, ready and waiting. June 5th was D-Day. The weather was appalling, and the supreme commander had a decision to make. It was his decision alone. He made it, and postponed the invasion for 24 hours. D-Day was a success. It will always remain among the most important events and anniversaries in world history, but Dwight D. Eisenhower was prepared for failure. Here is the draft of the letter he wrote in advance:
Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.
It is remarkable to read this 79 years later. Consider his sense of duty, responsibility and dedication. Consider the ethics, leadership and resolve involved. Consider next the degeneracy of this moment and the regression of values and character that have grown like toxic mold until it chokes the republic itself.
This is a sad era of American life that cannot hold. It either prefaces the collapse of American democracy or its renewal. That will be up to us. We will decide in 2024. The question at hand is: how much damage will occur between then and now?