After coming back from my sojourn to the Smokey Mountains it has taken some time for me to reboot my Blog writing. A lot happened while I was away, and on trips like that I tend to be isolated from the news. I kind of missed the Norway massacre, the sad news about Jack Layton, the unsurprising demise of Amy Winehouse, and even (although I was in the States) the ongoing fiasco of debt ceiling debate.
Let’s look at the last one first. The debate on the American debt crisis moved very little during the two weeks that I was away, except that it has become more intense as the deadline approaches. None of this debate is a surprise, as both the Republicans and the Democrats, along with the President have a great deal at stake in the public image department. The story emerging in this political battle is being watched by the voters of America. Especially for the Republicans, who are struggling to find a competent leadership candidate, the posturing and wrangling of this debate may make and break reputations and future hopes. The Tea Party is facing it’s first real chance to leave a footprint on the political scene and is trying to show how loudly it can bark. The Democrats are still licking their wounds from their last Congressional defeats and are trying to do damage control. President Obama is trying to advance his policy of bi-partisanship, which is clearly a personal goal.
All this in the face of a financial crisis which could potentially cause another economic crisis if the issue is not resolved. As a result, what politicians don’t do will be as important as what they do.
So now we have a resolution. Frankly, I’m surprised that it wasn’t a last minute affair. The advantages of conciliation must have been more powerful than the advantages of stubborn posturing. Whatever the result, the entire process was just as much a function of political campaigning as it was about governing a country.