Obama Dealing With Fanatics in Debt Talks

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Ben Cohen
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Tea Party Pledge

A couple of years ago I made a decision to ignore arguments coming from the establishment Right. So far removed from reality, it seemed pointless to engage with people who didn't believe in evolution, thought Obama was a Muslim terrorists and believed tax cuts and slashing benefits to the poor were the only solution to a failing economy.

The modern incarnation of the Republican Party is not conservative by any stretch of the imagination - it is a fanatical party wedded to military imperialism, ruthless capitalism and the complete dismantling of government.The basic tenants of their philosophy have been discredited over and over again, largely as a result of George W. Bush's epicly disastrous tenure as President. After 9/11, Bush had free reign to test out brazen imperialism abroad and extreme capitalism at home. Both failed so spectacularly that it seemed impossible the Republican Party would try them again.

But Americans love a comeback, and Bush style economics have returned with a bang. The Tea Party now wields massive amounts of control over the GOP, and it must cater to its demands. The Republican Party is essentially run by fanatics - a fact the Democrats must contend with, no matter how difficult it is.

Negotiating with a fanatic is about as useful as negotiating with a corpse. You're never going to get a change of heart because the opponent is not only incapable of critical thinking, but incapable of seriously negotiating in the first place.

I have the luxury of not having to listen to insane Republicans. I can switch off my TV, ignore Right Wing websites and laugh off ludicrous statements made by my Republican friends.

President Obama does not have that luxury unfortunately as the Republicans control Congress and are essential if America is to raise the debt limit.

Obama must negotiate with them and hammer out a deal in order to stop the country from sliding into an economic abyss.

The talks over extending the debt crisis are a classic case of reason and rationale facing complete fanaticism. One side wants to listen and talk, while the other side will only do the latter. Notes Andrew Sullivan:

I longed for Obama to bridge this gulf in ideology. But he cannot bridge it alone, especially when the GOP is determined to burn the bridge entirely, even when presented with a deal so tilted to the right only true fanatics could possibly walk away from it. And so the very republic is being plunged into crisis and possible depression by a single, implacable, fanatical faction. Until they are defeated, the country remains in more peril than we know.

A deal will probably be reached, but the concessions the Democrats must make in order to get Republican on board will devastate the economy and most Americans in the process. It will be a deal that has the potential to ruin Obama's reelection campaign given he will appear to be responsible for the state of the economy, and we face the prospect of another Republican getting in to power and creating even more havoc post 2012.

It is a lose lose situation for the Democrats and another reason why something must be done to derail this highly dangerous movement that has hijacked the Republican Party and now holds the country hostage.

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