Downgraded Expectations

I’m not just referring to the lowered credit rating for US Treasury notes. If Teapublicans are allowed to continue the same political obstructionism they’ve displayed in the first 2-1/2 years of the Obama administration, we should all become accustomed to expecting less. Less jobs. Less retirement benefits. Less access to health care. Less government services. Less civility in public discourse. And less honesty.

Just consider: Despite being elected by an overwhelming majority of the voting public, President Obama has, thus far, been stonewalled by Teapublicans who, the day after the election, stated that their main goal is to make Obama a one-term president. Many on the right immediately called for Obama to fail despite the obvious implication that that would mean the US would also fail.

No previous president has been subjected to such organized obstruction and nonsense. Teapublicans have questioned his legitimacy by saying he was born in Kenya. They have called him a socialist, a communist, a facist and a Nazi. And they have blamed him for the economic disaster created by his predecessor.

In Congress, Teapublicans have filibustered a record number of legislative initiatives. They have blocked a record number of cabinet and judicial nominations. They have blocked nearly every attempt to stimulate the economy and create jobs. And they created a debt ceiling “crisis” when their own tax cuts led to massive increases in the national debt.

It’s all part of their “starve the beast” philosophy of less government. So what has it gotten us? An economy that is still struggling more than three years after their less-government-no-regulation policies led to the worst economic crash since the Great Depression. And now that US Treasury bonds have been downgraded as a result of their brinksmanship, the economy is once again teetering on the edge of disaster.

Given that S&P clearly stated its reason for downgrading our bond rating is our dysfunctional Congress, one might assume that Teapublicans will come to their collective senses and begin to compromise in order to create jobs, generate more revenue and cut our deficit.

That is the lesson sane people might take away from S&P’s message. But, that’s not who we’re dealing with.  Instead, we have to rely on John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Michelle Bachmann and Eric Cantor correctly reading their tea leaves.