The Debt Limit vote and how Greg Walden failed the Kobayashi Maru.

Well, it’s over.

After weeks of stalemate that shuttered the government for 16 days and brought the nation within hours of a key deadline to renew its borrowing authority, the standoff is finally over. President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling – just hours after the House and Senate passed the measure with broad bipartisan support. Obama said the measure would immediately restart federal programs that had been put on hold during the funding lapse.
The GOP-dominated House passed the measure 285-144, with 87 Republicans joining all Democrats in support. The Senate passed it 81-18. In both chambers, only Republicans voted against the measure.

The government is now up and running again. Food and Nuclear power plants are being inspected. Our full faith and credit was not breached. And the Global economy is sound. (Well, soundish. We didn’t make it worse…by much.)
But dear Lord, We cut this way too Goddamn short!
We nearly created a crisis that best case, could have created a global depression.  Worst case, destabilized most of western civilization.
(And on a personal and admittedly petty note, I almost had to cancel my vacation over this.  Because, seriously, who takes a train trip into a large urban population center during a economic collaspe? Idiots and people who are seriously into cosplaying “Escape from New York”, that who.)
If there anything in this situation that even closely resembles a silver lining, it’s that the GOP has finally pissed off the country to such an extent that come next November, we can take back The House.
Provided, of course, we make it that far.

In the mean time, it should be noted that when the House voted for this thing, the final number was  285-144.  As you may know, every Democrat voted for it but only a third of Republicans did.
And guess who made one of the “No” votes. 

Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon’s sole Republican member of Congress, parted ways with House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday and voted against legislation ending the budget standoff that had shut down the federal government for 16 days.
Walden issued a statement headlined: “We have to stop kicking the can down the road.”

“This temporary plan does nothing to address the epic problem: spending borrowed money we don’t have and cannot sustain. It kicks the can down the road yet again for only three months, and we’ll be right back where we ended up this week. Enough is enough. Every day, families throughout Oregon and the country sit down around their kitchen tables to balance their budgets and discuss crises and practical ways to resolve them. It’s long overdue that Washington, D.C. do the same. (Bold is mine.)

As you know from my last post. Walden is facing a possible primary challenge from Dennis Lithicum, a County Commissioner from Klamath Falls who’s already taken credit for Walden’s vote.

Linthicum has ties to the Tea Party movement, which criticized the budget deal.
“We have pivoted Greg Walden on an important issue,” said Linthicum. He said he opposed the deal because it doesn’t deal with what he regards as the country’s out-of-control deficit spending.
Linthicum said he is leaning toward running and expects to make a decision in the next week to 10 days.  He said he regarded Walden’s vote as encouragement for him to run — both because his presence in the race is pushing Walden in a more conservative direction and it tells him that the congressman is worried about “his vulnerability.”

Leaving aside for the moment that Deficits are not out of control, the idea that Linthicum belives that defaulting on our debts would somehow get our spending issues in order reveals a naivety that one normally associates with someone who buys slivers of The One True Cross on eBay.
There are many things Greg Walden can be called at this point
Naive is not one of then.

A quick nerd refresher course.
In “Star Trek II”, The Kobayashi Maru was designed specifically to be a No-Win scenario.  The idea was not to beat it but experience it. To see what you would do if faced with a situation where death was certain.  It was not a battle simulation.  It was a test of character.
This week, Greg Walden faced his own Kobayashi Maru.
On the one hand, he’s seen what happens when a “Moderate” Republician gets primaried by a Tea Partier.  Yeah, maybe the T.P. loses the general but that does the “Moderate” no good.
On the other hand, he had to have seen how fast the poll numbers dropped for the GOP in the last couple of weeks,  He  knows that thanks to this boondoggle, even gerrymandered districts are now in play.  He knows that by voting for this shutdown, he has put his seat in danger.  Voting against the debt limit deal would have compounded an already toxic situation.
So, Yes vote equals a lost primary. No equals a lost general election.
Kobayashi Maru.
So either way, he’s screwed. But at least a yes vote would have been an acknowledgement that things had gone too and that it was time to end this nonesense.
Instead, he chose to vote no and stand with the deranged nihilists who bought this madness on us.
And then he gives us some cock and bullshit about how this bill only kicks the can down the road, which in this case is an acceptible course of action considering this particular can had a cube of C4 strapped to it.
And he did it all because he was spooked by some pissant county commissioner from Klamath Falls.
It does not matter if Greg Walden wins the primary or not, his political career has only one year left. The only question now is how much further is he willing to debase himself.

About theragingcelt

Actor/Writer/Homegrown Pundit/Cranky Progressive/Sometimes Filmmaker.
This entry was posted in Great Depression 3.0, Politics, Pop Culture Anology, Rep. Greg Walden, Rep. John Boehner, Republicans shooting themseves in the foot and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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