The latest target of a multi-bullseye-ing broken Washington : Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood

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Thank goodness we live in Massachusetts, where office holders of both parties work together to deliver services and enact some justice. If only the same could be said of Washington.

Here in Massachusetts government works because almost everybody agrees on the ends and the means : effective state services, the kinds of services delivered, energy policy, and civil rights for all as well as some measure of economic fairness. We’re not all agreed on how large these measures should be, but there’s no disagreement about the direction.

In Washington, the opposite prevails. There’s no agreement at all on what services to deliver, on energy policy, on economic fairness or civil rights, none on immigration or gun regulation, no agreement on foreign or monetary policy either; and the disagreers are willing to shut the entire apparatus down if they can’t have their marbles exactly where and how they want them.

Our Federal government is broken because many voters want it broken. So do some interest groups. Those who in ordinary times would have grumbled in their beer and kept their rants private now spew them publicly and find their spew validated by talk shows whose shtick is to say loudly what used to go unsaid and to say it over and over again because that attracts ad dollars.

The internet did not just reveal to isolated transgenders that they were not alone; that they could, in fact, form a community via online connection., The same online revelation showed those who want the Federal government broken that they, too, are not alone; that indeed they are legion.

Prior to online connections, the haters and breakers had talk shows to cling to, but no one who clung could know if he might be the only or one of a few. Same was true for the talk show hosts of that time. They said outrageous things, but there were lines they did not cross because they, too, had no way of proving their popularity. Now they can do that. As a result, talk show hosts have lost all restraint, competing with one another to see who can say the worst. And the more vulgar or destructive, or bigoted or boorish the talk show rant, the more validated are the listeners who think likewise.

If the breaking of our nation were but speech, it might not matter. Talk doesn’t incommode anybody. But Washington’s breakdown crumples immigration reform; infrastructure repairs; a Federal jobs bill; oil and gas infrastructure;. minimum wage reform; financial regulations regarding Wall Street activity. Even foreign policy has fallen victim to Washington anarchy.

The latest victim of Washington talk show-ism is Planned parenthood, the premier  organization serving the healthy needs millions of women of modest means. Fraudsters ambush Planned parenthood with doctored, falsifying videos, and all hell breaks loose as the shutdown ranters and their talk show validators hurl volcanoes of bile onto the conversation.

no responsible bation makes women’s health needs the plaything of selfie venom.

Because the Federal legislature is broken, the only means by which the nation’s business has been able to get done is by Presidential; order. This is not a unique occurrence in human affairs. When the Roman republic, in the decades before Caesar,  broke into factional squabbles that soon evolved to outright armed conflict, Rome’s business was eventually entrusted to a princeps — Octavian Augustuswho ruled by edict even while according the Senate first dignity. We are now almost at that stage., President Obama is not yet a princeps, but his executive orders are the acts of a decider, at a crossroads where his is the only direction marker.

The Constitution accords the President executive power to “faithfully execute the laws” ; but if almost all of the nation’s pressing immediacies go without laws to legitimize them, what recourse does executive have if not to issue edicts ? Were the President to do nothing, injustice would rule in his stead, and economic chaos too.

Our Federal system grants to Washington exclusive monetary power., Only the Federal government can issue money. Only it can decide how much money to issue, what interest rate to establish, and how to  administer the nation’s supply of money, credit, and savings. The nation’s monetary monopoly cannot break down, or anarchy will descend to worse. Some want it that way.

The Federal, government also issues the largest single supply of debt instruments in the world. Treasury bonds and bills hold the world economy together; they’re the world’s reserve currency and thus the guarantor of our economic primacy even when the economy of China tallies larger measured as GDP. The primacy of Federal debt cannot be broken without breaking the world.

Those who seem ready to break the entire nation sound to me like the people whose lives are so in wreck that they decide to kill themselves and take as many people with them as they can — as if other people are the cause of their perceived troubles. For people in this black state of mind, scapegoats abound : people of color, low income people,. women seeking reproductive care, immigrants, whatever. Scapegoats rain down upon such minds in torrents.

Storms of scapegoats and rages of bile would be OK, I suppose, if they could be exiled to a million private Idahos. But in the internet connection age these storms become public typhoons with institutionalized force that is breaking — has broken — our nation. I do not see it ending well.

—- Miked Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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