U.S. Big Business is going all out to protect a favoured government agency, the 80-year-old Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), from a full-fledged assault by the populist “Tea Party” wing of the Republican Party.
Much has been written about U.S. brinkmanship with default, but the clear lesson that can be drawn from this unprecedented situation is that a lunatic fringe can block democracy.
Political terrorism failed. The House Republicans used voting in one chamber to put the livelihoods of millions of people inside and outside the U.S. at risk, for their own political goals. And made the mistake of most terrorists, non-state or state: when people suffer they will join us, against our enemy; to find out that people turn against the terrorists instead.
Three days into the partial shutdown of the federal government, foreign policy mavens are voicing growing concern about the closure’s impact on U.S. credibility overseas.
All signs are pointing to a more polarised, less moderate U.S. Congress in the near future.