Top 10 Ways Ted Cruz & the Tea Party Weakened America with Shutdown

1. The Cruz/Tea Party shut down of the US government cost the US economy $24 billion

2. As a result of the shutdown, fourth quarter growth will be only 2.4% instead of the expected 3%

3. 250,000 jobs will likely have been lost

4. Communist China took advantage of the crisis to push for a de-Americanized world

5. China renewed its push to dump the US dollar as the international reserve currency. That step would cost the US economy enormously.

6. The US ability to sanction Iran and Syria was weakened

7. Iran is now wondering if it can do a deal with Obama, given the gridlock in Congress

8. The shutdown helped the morale of the Taliban extremists fighting US troops and undermined the morale of American troops

9. The shutdown prevented President Obama from attending the summit in Indonesia of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization. Chinese President Xi Jinping took leadership of the summit instead. The US was prevented from showing leadership in the Pacific Rim.

10. America lost trust and soft power on the international scene.

Cruz and the Tea Party deeply harmed American law & values, and they are
much more dangerous than Edward Snowden (whom they consider a traitor but whom most Americans think did us a favor.) Snowden is in hiding in Russia. These guys are strutting around capitol hill, having much diminished it.

26 Responses

  1. Thank you once again for an excellent summary of this sad situation.

    It’s got to be an open question whether American Congressional democracy is ever going to be able to reform itself — and of course this is a major problem in what seems to be our slow path toward civilization suicide (with the unexpected breakdowns from climate change (with which we can’t cope) providing the fatal cause).

    Positive outcomes very likely need to involve a large role by an engaged citizenry actually getting organized, and practicing smart politics themselves.

    • “Recently on his syndicated talk show, the power-worshipping interviewer of influential elites Charlie Rose worried that Washington’s latest fiscal crisis sends the world the message that “democracy doesn’t work as well as we thought it did.” [1]

      “What American “democracy” was Charlie Rose talking about?” link to

      • It’s like “the national interest:” means whatever the speaker means by it. O forget which Lewis Carroll character said it, Bill knows of course, but as with a lot of us who can get derailed over definitions of words like “genocide,” and look away from all the corpses, “Words mean exactly what I want them to mean.” Couple that with the way we critters think and assess and emote, and you have people wearing made-in-China nylon US Flag-motif panties all hot to amend the Constitution to supet-duper outlaw “Flag burning.” Leaving skid marks is apparently true-red-white-and-blue.

      • Well, it’s a capitalist representative republic, so obviously that’s a limited democracy. Worse, it’s one with the worlds’ largest corporations, and a citizenry that has forgotten how to fight back against class warfare and has let its institutional defenses wither.

        However, at this moment what are the existing alternatives? None of the rising powers of the world are very just societies. Brazil and South Africa still have oligarchs and ghettoes galore. Russia and China will still run you over with a tank if you say the wrong thing.

        What’s really offensive is that this whole shutdown was masterminded by an extremist movement that is fired with anger that the world isn’t mean enough to the poor, that the global rich aren’t white and Christian enough to love pollution and hate abortion, gays and Moslems as proper Patriarchs should.

        They hate what little is left that’s good in the world. And that makes it hard to have optimism for democracy of any kind.

    • oops, got caught in an editing typo. In the second sentence, the very first opening parenthesis, and the very last closing one, should have disappeared, leaving only five words in parentheses.

  2. China is probably going to set the agenda for the final agreements with Iran, not the US. The US will huff and puff and China will tell the US and Israel to shut up and sit in the corner.

    I suspect Obama will not try to fight it much since he has other more important things to deal with, but Bibi is going to go insane.

    I suspect that Bibi is not smart enough to back down when the Chinese tell him to shut up and is going to cause MAJOR problems for Israel. The Chinese are usually subtle and quiet, but if they have to, they can be direct and brutal.

    China has over 5000 years of experience dealing with small crazy groups and it is NOT pretty.

    This could get very messy real quick.

    • “China is probably going to set the agenda for the final agreements with Iran, not the US.”

      China is hardly in a position to “set the agenda for the final agreements with Iran.” China is not even involved in the negotiations. Any agreements reached with Iran, should the talks result in any, will be the product of the US, the EU, and Iran negotiating them. Ultimately, Iran sees its future links with the US and the West as important as, or more so than, those with China.

      Far too much emphasis is placed by some on China overtaking the US. It will not happen any time soon, if it happens at all. The idiocy of Ted Cruz and the Tea Party was an embarrassment, and it put a temporary dent in the US’s reputation. But the world economy still runs on the US dollar, and that is not going to be replaced by a “basket” of currencies any time soon. Foreign investors still view US Treasuries as the safest investment. And Foreign businesses still look to the US as one of the safest places to do business and invest.

      While China has demonstrated increasing assertiveness in laying claim to practically the entire South China Sea, as well as to the Senkaku Islands, it is far from ready to replace the US role in the world. China’s interest is in assuring it has access to mineral and energy resources, but it has not really won many friends in the developing world with its aid. And as bumbling and unwieldy as it seems, the US model is still much more attractive to most countries than China’s authoritarian model.

      • Whatever agreements happen with Iran will not mean much because Israel will not be content to trust in such. So the outcome of the agreement is that there will be an agreement but all the parties will behave the same as before nonetheless. Just like all these interim budget fixes–all we do is defer and fester.

    • A rather surreal comment. The PRC is reluctant to exert too much forceful power outside of East Asia. That government is not going to suddenly start throwing its weight around the Middle East in the immediate future. If anything, they will operate in a subtle fashion as per the norm.

      The region has already turned messy, but the PRC is probably not going to wade too deeply into it right now.

  3. you list these items as bad outcomes:
    4. Communist China took advantage of the crisis to push for a de-Americanized world

    5. China renewed its push to dump the US dollar as the international reserve currency. That step would cost the US economy enormously.

    6. The US ability to sanction Iran and Syria was weakened

    aren’t these good outcomes? wouldn’t the world be better off with multipolarity? and wouldn’t the end of dollar hegemony hasten that end? news to me that you are for sanctioning iran and depriving children of medicine.

    • You act as though the power the US gives up doesn’t go somewhere else. Do you think the US is a uniquely evil nation, or do you recognize that all countries abuse power and that some countries will abuse the power they’ve got more than others? Multipolarity is inevitable, but it could be a multipolarity in which democracies actually matter. Instead, you seem to be cheering for America to return to isolationism so that Russia, China and its favorite dictators can do whatever it pleases. How about cheering for an EU that can stand up to the sins of America and China at the same time?

  4. How does one even begin to disect the insanity that is the T-Party?
    They have convinced a large (allegedly) number of people to vote against their own self interests. Based on the crazy, inane dialogue, that would appear to be true.
    To whom does this fall; the T-Party or the citizens who (apparently) buy their bullshit?
    I feel this points to the largest failing of the voting public; a complete lack of critical thinking or, an unwillingness to discern the real issues and trusting their chosen representatives. This is evidence of disengagement which is a death-knell.
    Which ever is the case; it spells the end of a meaningful democracy; which I think ended on March 19th, 2003.

    • It ended before that with their war on education. Home schooling by two parents who cannot help but be very limited in breadth so that their children are not exposed to the common sense. Charter schools so the well off do not have to sit next to the riff-faff who might actually prove themselves just as often smarter if allowed to take the same test under the same conditions, and so on…..

      • As somebody who was home-schooled I have to say I take some offense at that. I and most of the people I knew were quite well prepared for college and I do not feel I am any more lacking common sense than the admittedly sorry baseline for our species.

  5. On (5): I’m no fan of the PRC, but they (and the Russians) have been calling for this for some time now, without making it any more likely than it was before. What could possibly replace the US dollar as the international reserve currency–the euro?! China has made some noises about a currency backed by a basket of commodities, or some such, but if they feel so strongly about it, why don’t they go ahead and create this currency, and put it on the market? Word is that they’re planning to make the renminbi / Chinese yuan fully convertible by 2015, so there’s that.

    (4) is a more serious issue, though I have to believe that the military has kept its eye on the Western Pacific throughout this latest cluster-frakas. China is constantly looking for opportunities to bully its neighbors, so anything that distracts the USA (be it a Middle Eastern war or a budget squabble) is a plus for them.

    (9) is more of a loss of face for the USA than anything else. The country was still represented, and Obama at least got to avoid the issue of whether to meet with Putin one-to-one (made awkward due to the Snowden affair).

  6. President Obama’s absence at the APEC meeting, allowing China’s Xi Jinping to take the leadership role at the summit, was the worst outcome in terms of our international role. This, at a time when we are attempting to reinforce our “pivot” toward Asia, weakened the US just as ASEAN countries in particular are looking to the US as a balancing force against Chinese territorial designs on the South China Sea. Obama’s absence, unfortunately, will not inspire confidence that the US is a reliable partner to balance China’s increasing assertiveness.

    • I would just add to my comment above that although it is unfortunate that Obama did not attend the APEC meeting and China took a more leading role with Xi Jinping attending, it is a temporary blip on the radar. It does not represent any overall diminishment of the US role in the world. But we will need to assure the ASEAN members that we are committed to the relationship, as they fear an assertive China without a strong US presence to provide balance.

  7. In my view the last minute solution to the crisis is almost as bad as the crisis itself. The patient has been given an injection that will keep it alive for 90 to 120 more days in the hopes that a long lasting cure will be found by then.

    The new cure must somehow markedly change the behavior and beliefs of a metastasized Tea Party, and firm up the backbone of a President who finds it easier to accommodate the Right, than stick up for the Left (his only constituency, and a halfhearted one at that).

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” has been in deep trouble for a long time, and may be in a lot more trouble by next Feb.

  8. First off, US power is under on whole mob corporate control, through the influence of Big Media or the propaganda arm of world corporate Chamber of Commerce, which is basically what gives arm to International Corporate Conglomerate now on whole to influence the thinking of man.. And thus giving corp power of vote. This was given strength of law through Citizens United ruling by right wing, poisonous, real crime syndicate High Bench; control basically of the flow of tender to unleash Media bias in the big corporate grab for power. Runaway of Earth heat -It gave fascist dream the $ juice it needed, a Juice forcer- right at the time EARTH is going over into runaway temp rise.
    Putting things right is seen as Evil to those in power- Yike

  9. Ted Cruz and the extremist right wingers are elected by their constitutes and are acting according to their pledge.

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