Gallup didn’t call me for their USAToday poll on the Debt Ceiling bill. The results indicated Democrats and progressives were more positive about the final product than Republicans and Tea Party members, a fact I find incredulous. I would have been ready to give the pollster a detailed account of my thorough displeasure over the mess this bill just created. And that’s my take being firmly on the progressive side of the opinion scale.
Let the Backfiring Begin!
One group is stumped over what happened. Tea Party members report being dissatisfied by the bill by 80%. Despite the fact their faction acted as a curdling agent in the legislation, rendering it both unpalatible and inedible but still force-fed into law, they don’t like it. Granted, the bill did not force the virtual dismantling of the federal government or wipe out their most despised social programs. Nevertheless, I have this sneaking suspicion that they really believed that once they had hijacked the bill, they could force their will onto the rest of the Congress Backfire #1.
Backfire #2 appears to be that the global stock markets were already weakened and skittish from the Great Recession. Near panic from the debt ceiling fight, they took one look at the junk attached to an otherwise one-page piece of legislation and that anxiety blossomed into a full-blown state of apoplexy and, among other things wiped out $ billions in the Tea Party adherents’ investments and pensions. And, of course that crash pulled in the rest of us thanks to their gross inability to understand Macroeconomics 101.
Numerous backfires will continue to create havoc in our politics. The final one I’ll mention in this post is the credibility of conservative agenda. Magnified and distorted a thousand times by the Tea Party’s first, and we can only pray, last congressional disaster visited upon the Union, their believability has been reduced to next to nothing. They won’t get it, of course. In fact I expect them to be noisier at least through the 2012 general election. But as the backfires continue to damage the country at home and abroad, their chance to be a sustained political voice will be muted more and more.
The tragedy for the rest of us is the consequnces we will be forced to endure. The Tea Party won’t get that either.