The American Republic is facing a crisis of political immobility caused by Tea Party extremism overcoming the traditions of compromise that date back to the Founding. History has troubling lessons for such moments, but there are signs of hope, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
If U.S. budget gridlock had not ground rational thought to a standstill, creative options for revising the tax code might be possible, such as a tax on stock transactions to raise money and discourage micro-second trades. Another option would be a toll tax on money movement, as ex-prosecutor William John Cox suggests.
For “branding” purposes, the Tea Party pretends to reflect the views of the Constitution’s Framers but it actually follows the Slave South’s hostility to the strong federal government that the Framers created. That historical link to the Confederacy is crucial for understanding the Tea Party’s goals, as Beverly Bandler explains.
The Radical Right – reflecting the overlapping ideologies of Ayn Rand capitalists, Christian fundamentalists and neo-Confederate white supremacists – is set on crippling the federal government and humiliating the first African-American president. But the extremism could shatter the Republican Party, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Exclusive: House Republicans got next to nothing from their extortion strategy of taking the government and the economy hostage, but they are sure to continue obstructing programs that could create jobs and start rebuilding the middle class. What they won’t recognize is the abject failure of Reaganomics, writes Robert Parry.