Conservative scribbler and erstwhile Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan has always been crazy, but apparently it hasn’t kept him from going insane.
In a recent American Conservative article ludicrously titled “Barack Hussein Hoover,” Patrick “Sybil” Buchanan begins by raising the specter of “a debt crisis to dwarf the one that befell us in 2008,” a frightening prospect indeed. The theory is that if the US is unable to arrive at some consensus and get our debt under control, a global crisis will ensue, and the myopic soothsayers at Standard & Poor’s have recently stoked such fears by revising their outlook to “negative” on their triple-A rating of US debt. In an overwrought attempt to forecast a catastrophe before it happens, S&P offers their prediction “that congressional negotiations could result in no agreement on a medium-term fiscal strategy until after the 2012 congressional and presidential elections.”
Buchanan predictably blames Obama for triggering S&P’s gloomy outlook with his prickly response to Paul Ryan’s thick-headed budget proposal, despite the fact that S&P competitor Egan-Jones Ratings put the US government’s triple-A rating on negative watch more than a month before Obama’s remarks. Even so, Buchanan would have us believe it was Obama’s solemn duty to reflexively capitulate to Ryan’s radical, ruinous proposals to mollify the disgraced prophets at S&P. But no, Obama just had to let the whole President thing go to his head and have his say, thus ensuring a global economic meltdown.
Not to be outdone, another of Buchanan’s personalities chimes in with poll results indicating that “Obama’s position is in sync with three-fourths of the nation,” and a prediction that “Obama may have found an issue to save his presidency.” “Why,” asks Buchanan’s other personality rhetorically, “would a president who has lost the support of half his country surrender a strong position that three-fourths of his country agrees with?”
Why indeed? Obama’s plan is quite simply better than Ryan’s, and would not only satisfy a solid majority of the American people, it would satisfy Standard and Poor’s as well, and Ronald Reagan for that matter. Heady stuff, but Buchanan’s other identities are not altogether convinced. Professor Buchanan soon puts in an appearance to wax eloquent on Portugal, Greece and Zimbabwe, Doctor Buchanan performs CPR on Reagan’s rotting corpse, Archie Bunker Buchanan pines for the good old days, and eventually Chicken Little Buchanan returns to forecast doom, destruction, and an eternally besmirched legacy for Barack Hussein Hoover after the coming crash. Why? Because if Congress fails to get our financial house in order, Buchanan predicts, the people will blame–not Congress–but Obama.
Apparently emboldened by just such a cynical political calculus, House Republicans are pulling out all the stops to do the one thing certain to compel S&P to follow through with their threat–defaulting on our debts. Seizing on S&P’s warning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor continues to play chicken with the debt ceiling, vowing not to “blindly increase the debt limit,” even though the Ryan budget the House just passed would also necessitate an increase. “Catastrophic folly,” as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney characterized it, seems a bit of an understatement.
But not to worry, Republican Congressman Tom McClintock has a ready answer to all this hand wringing over defaulting on our debts. We can simply pay the debts first, and short shrift frills like Medicare and military pay. Incredibly, this is what McClintock’s H.R. 421 proposes; to require us “to make payments to investors, like foreign countries and financial companies, before all other areas of the budget if the statutory debt limit is ever surpassed.” All of this just to avoid crossing an arbitrary line drawn in the sand by Republicans whose minds have been hijacked by ideology.
Under these circumstances, blaming Obama for an impending budget impasse is worse than cynical. It’s delusional. Buchanan and others are attempting to give political cover for Tea Party lunatics, goading them into a global suicide pact, mixing pitcher after pitcher of Kool-Aid with the assurance that Obama will take the blame and go down as the anti-heroic Jim Jones in their profoundly misanthropic power play.
So, has Obama found “an issue to save his presidency?” Only time will tell, but one thing is certain. Right wing pundits and politicians have found an issue to destroy his presidency–and anything else they can think of.