Boys Being Boys (on this debt ceiling “crisis”)is Very Ugly

I wonder: has everyone else following this manufactured crisis about raising the debt ceiling noticed that it’s just a bunch of men playing a high school game of chicken? Each side is racing their car towards the other and hoping the other will turn the wheel away first. I suppose I could make another analogy about, well, you know what, but the truth is that the whole fight among lawmakers in Washington looks like some obscene fraternity hazing ritual or a bunch of bullies trying to out bully each other. It’s violent and ugly and pretty damn stupid because the bottom line is the debt ceiling will be raised, no matter what else gets done. Of course, it may well get raised AFTER the United States economy is destroyed and after we lose whatever status we have left.

In other words, all this jockeying for power is making me more than a little nauseated and more than a little tired of watching all the boys shove each other out of the way as they walk down the halls of Congress. It is posturing, pure and simple. And it seems very very male.

According to a tiny squib in June’s More magazine, the hardest working representatives on the hill are women. Yup.Women. They bring home more federal dollars to their districts than men. I would assume one could extrapolate from that that women are more efficient and more able to cut through the bullshit and get a job done. If their numbers are still small, the magazine said “the ones who do break through (and get elected) are superstars.”

So I can’t help but wonder what Hillary Clinton would do with today’s political insanity. Not a conciliator like Obama, but as smart and tough as he is, I suspect that things would never have come this far: we would never be teetering on the brink of default were a powerful woman in the mix. I confess I chose Obama over her, but now, frankly, I am not quite sure why. He seemed like the kind of guy who would get things done, take risks, and do what was right for the country as a whole, but especially he seemed like a man who, however wealthy and powerful now, remembered his roots, his past, his history.

But President Obama is just another boy in the room at this point. He has allowed the Republicans to make the debt ceiling fight about something it is not and as a result he has turned over power to bullies like Eric Cantor and other Tea Partiers. Rather than step into the breach that has been formed in the Republican Party and just say “Enough! We are separating the debt ceiling raise from cuts in the budget,” he has allowed himself to be manipulated into a corner—all in the name of compromise.

But men playing chicken don’t compromise: the wait until the very last minute to turn that wheel and on more than one occasion destruction has resulted anyway. Bullies don’t compromise either: they only respond to tough talk and people who don’t allow themselves to be pushed around. Fraternities have all too often been instrumental in their own demise: perpetuating activities that cause universities to take away their privileges. And so, as none of the men involved in this race to win are teenagers, it would behoove them to stop acting like it. Grow up, boys, stay in the room, get the job done, quit trying to always be on top. Forget eating your peas, boys. You all need to sit down and gobble up some humble pie. Male egos run rampant are not a pretty sight in general. In the people who are supposed to be governing the country, those huge egos are particularly ugly to see on display.

5 thoughts on “Boys Being Boys (on this debt ceiling “crisis”)is Very Ugly

  1. Lola

    I wrote Hillary’s name on my ballot, because like you I believe it is time for a woman in the White House. I believe hers would have been the stronger voice. I do not dislike Obama, but he has not had enough preparation for the challenges that face him, and he DOES capitulate. The disharmony in Washington is an embarrassment to us all, and to democracy. I could not agree with you more, Lisa, that the two issues should be voted upon separately…brilliant, really…an act so simple, it is beyond the minds of these petty little men. It may interest you to know that after the crash of 1929, Hoover lowered taxes to encourage businesses to create more jobs, and we know how that turned out. He refused to create entitlement programs for the unemployed and we know how that turned out. He did create financial programs to help banks in order to stave off bank failures, and, yes, we know how that worked out. That is the Republican legacy, one they are still perpetuating today. We would make quite a team in the White House. I can hear you say to the Prez….”hey dude, why don’t we take taxes and entitlements off of the table, and just raise the debt ceiling. We can come back to those other issues after we avert this crisis.” And I would say, “Let’s run some educational ads and teach the public why green jobs are good for the country, why corporate giants can afford to pay taxes on their corporate jets, why taxes create revenue for , oh let’s say, roads without potholes and bridges that don’t collapse, or schools that are not eons behind the rest of the civilized world…things like that”. Sort of like the don’t be a litter bug, or buckle up for safety, or only people start forest fires kind of campaigns of our youth, only this time for good government, which has become an oxymoron. Yep, I agree that women should run the country, if we still have one once these men are done abusing it.

  2. Mark Saleski

    perhaps even more annoying than the dems’ tendency to give in is the incredibly complicit media, who seem so intent on covering the horse race “issues” (who “won”, “lost”, etc.) that they mostly ignored the big points: that the debt ceiling is about paying for things we’ve already purchased. my gawd, it makes a person want to scream.

    …or move to nova scotia.

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