The Real Meaning of the Debt Ceiling Battle

By: Ray Hanania

 Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsIt’s amazing how extremist Republicans were so willing to bring the nation to the brink of economic disaster. Even more shocking is how many Americans didn’t seem to care. Let’s look at the facts.

When do you need to borrow money, when the economy was doing well under former President Bill Clinton, or when the nation is facing one of it’s worst economic challenges in generations caused in a large part because of the failed leader of George W. Bush?

You don’t need to borrow money when the economy is doing well. Money flows and programs are financed. But, you MUST be able to borrow money when the economy is in the tank and many people are out of work. That’s when you borrow to cover essentials.

The rich don’t care if the country goes bankrupt. They have money. They can pay for food, their healthcare, vacations and luxuries. The Middle Class is divided, with some still doing well while the other half tumbles into financial chaos with the poor and unemployed.

The rich, who are the main founders of the Republican party and the nation’s extremism conservatism, would love to plunge the nation into more economic chaos because that is how they profit, by exploiting the Middle Class, the poor and their conservative clout. The Republicans know that but recognized this is a good political opportunity to destroy America so they can push their strategy to blame everything on President Barack Obama.

That’s why Republicans didn’t care if the country went in to bankruptcy. They know that bankruptcy doesn’t hurt their rich and wealthy constituents, or their sadly increasingly senile senior citizen community who are so easily brought to fear with stupid and misleading charges like: Obama plans to euthanize seniors, or Obama is bringing “socialism” to America, or that Obama isn’t “patriotic.”

How stupid do you really have to be to believe all that? For the Republicans, stupid enough. In this battle, Obama is on the right side. But the problem isn’t just that the Republicans on the national level have become fanatics or that many Americans are still blinded by racism and hatred of minorities.

But as much as Obama’s challenges were heaped upon him by the Bush administration, which launched a phony war of patriotism in order to make their wealthy friends even wealthier, the sad truth is that President Barack Obama isn’t much of a president. Sure, he is a great speaker, with a lot of good ideas. But he has no passion to fight for those objectives. He doesn’t have the fire to roll up his sleeves and take the fight to the Republicans. He lacks the toughness America needs to bring this nation back to its feet. We don’t need empty words, as appealing as they may sound. We need a fighter. Someone willing to throw down the gauntlet and stare-down the fanaticism that grows each day on the right as a result of Obama’s weakness.

We need to go back to the days when Clinton was president and the only way I can see doing that is if Hillary Clinton, the former senator now U.S. Secretary of State, were to run for president. Clinton could be tough. And more than anything else, that’s exactly what this nation needs to put us back on our feet, put the Republican nut jobs back in line, rein in the influence of the wealthy — why do they need tax cuts again?

And most importantly, we need Hillary Clinton to restore the fire in the American belly, tell some of those foreign countries that we are not going to bail them out why the American people continue to starve.

Ray Hanania is the president and CEO of Urban Strategies Group media consulting. He can be reached at

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