As the Debt Ceiling Deliberations plod on, the levels of mass hysteria increase exponentially. Just what the parties to the secret discussions are prepared to agree to is always a bit of a Mystery -- by design to be sure -- but the outlines are always clear enough:
The current cuts to entitlements and social programs will be continued and extended; taxes -- such as the payroll tax intended to pay for Social Security -- will be cut or cuts currently in place will be extended; the rich and their corporations will not pay any more tax no matter what, no way, no how.
This has been the outline from the beginning of the "negotiations," and nothing at all has come up to suggest there's been any change whatsoever in the closed door deliberations.
A thing to keep in mind is that this is the way all the Big Things the Palace wants to do get done:
- a basic Plan is put forth from the Throne
- the details of that Plan are not revealed to the Public, but they appear to be known to the principals from the get-go
- there is much sturm und drang from all parties who issue pro-forma anathemas and denunciations of all other parties
- deliberations continue behind the scenes and in secret
- the basic Plan the Throne has issued is adopted by the principals in secret
- many more anathemas and denunciations are issued, many more lines in the sand are drawn, the End of Civilization is declared repeatedly, passionate gnashing of teeth and rending of garments is de rigueur all around
- the Plan is circulated among the Opinion Leaders and Congressional Chairs; tweakage occurs here and there to address "issues" identified by favored constituencies
- the Plan is passed to much huzzah and denunciation, but nobody knows what has actually passed until well after the deed is done
- the poor, the working class, and the middle class are once again screwed; the upper 1% -- and especially the upper .01% -- are showered with even more benefits and largesse
- rinse and repeat
This process has been going on for years without let up. It's been relentless. It is mirrored in the astonishing behavior of a clutch of Republican Governors -- most notoriously Scott Walker of Wisconsin -- who have been applying Shock Doctrine tactics in state after state to restrict the rights of workers (particularly public workers) and limit the ability of the People to redress grievances while savagely cutting social programs and education, and heaping ever greater benefits on the upper 1% and ever greater costs on everyone else.
It is a "Pattern" as it were. It is going on almost everywhere simultaneously, and despite all the gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments, absolutely NOTHING is standing in the way of its successful implementation. NOTHING.
Hundreds of thousands have marched in public protest of whatever the Republican Governors want to do, but it doesn't matter; what they want to do is enacted, period. End of discussion.
Eternal arguments go on over this or that Pronouncement from the Throne, this or that policy adopted by the Congress, this or that Big Thing enacted and/or implemented. But just like the protest demonstrations, the Arguments have a stunning lack of effectiveness; nothing changes for the better in other words.
Oh, but same sex marriage is now the law in New York! Haven't you heard! Yay! Celebrate!
If that's your most important thing, then I suppose all the rest of it doesn't matter.
The real question we should be asking is: "Why has nothing at all been effective in stopping this March Over the Cliff?" It's almost as if we are living through a period of Predestination. Or some one else's Plan. I can see why Apocalyptic visions and religious fervor are at an all time high.
The People and the Public Interest literally have no effect on events whatsoever.
Oh, but there was Egypt! Oh, but there was Tunisia! Where Twitter and WikiLeaks and Popular Will overthrew Rotten Dictatorships in a twinkling! Yay! Celebrate!
Well, except that isn't quite what happened. Other than that, everything is now fine in those Happy Lands. Just ask the residents. They will tell you: "Strangely, all is not fine; strangely, we gained almost nothing."
Strangely, that's kind of how it goes.
Strangely, as the Murdoch Media Empire shudders in Britain, the Murdoch Media Empire's machinations world-wide continue unabated. Corrupt as sin, they still rule without let or hindrance.
Strangely, while the Peoples of the World groan under an ever greater burden of debt and penury, the upper crust of the upper crust counts every greater profits.
Strangely, while Everyone Knows that the draconian austerity economic policies being adopted globally will crush any hint of economic recovery everywhere, nothing at all can or will stop their adoption and implementation, no matter the consequences.
Strangely, what the People say and what the People know is broadly and consistently ignored throughout the Ruling Class in order to ensure that that class receives all the benefits and none of the responsibilities of Success. What is happening in the United States is happening everywhere.
Naomi Klein described and predicted it in detail years ago.
But strangely, seeing it in action, everywhere all at once, is more numbing than activating.
Strangely, nothing at all stands in the way of the Four Horsemen riding roughshod over the land.
Nothing at all.