The reluctance of Tea Party Republicans in the House fo Representatives to accept any compromise on the debt ceiling is generally attributed to three things: ideologically-based economics; fear of Grover Norquist and the no-tax pledge he made them sign; and retribution at the polls by Tea Partiers if they caved on anything.
All these factors play into the behavior of these House reps, of course. But a more important one can probably be gleaned from a reading of James Thurber’s wonderful short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which first appeared in a 1939 issue of The New Yorker.
Specifics about the tale aside, Mitty exemplified a profound truth about human nature — that many of us, much of the time, are acting out, or trying to act out, a personal dream fantasy about ourselves in which we play the hero part, even while appearing to be fully awake.
So what’s the dream fantasy that Tea Party House members live in and are acting out, and the hero they are playing? You know the answer from the sobriquet they’ve chosen for themselves — Young Guns. They see themselves as heroic short-term legislators, there for just one purpose, to uphold True Law and Just Economics, in a fantasy built around the movie “High Noon.”
They came to this corrupt, smug, self-satisfied but dying town of Washington (they fantasize) unsullied and unimpressed by what they found there, determined to clean things up even if town officials (and yes, even most townsfolk) didn’t have the courage to back their play. And when the evil town parasites came forward to challenge their idealism, the elderly, the middle class, and the worst of all, the poor, that gaggle of evil non-jobs creators, these fantasy-ridden Young Guns simply did what they had to do. Because a man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.
And what’s the end of this fantasy? After Washington and the country itself has been saved from Big Government, and town officials and Americans generally finally come to their senses and bless the Young Guns for their fearless determination? Do they stick around town and hustle campaign contributions forever from grateful jobs creators? No, sir.
They throw away their badge, their House seats, leave the cleansed but unworthy town, ride off into a bright new American exceptionalist day under a shining sign of the dollar sun, in company with a mama grizzly, titanium-spined school marm, the only one in town who also was willing to do what had to be done. Because a mama grizzly, titanium-spined woman hadda do it.
That’s it. The Young Guns, Walter Mitty, High Noon fantasy that now threatens to destroy the credit worthiness of the United States of America. And you thought Washington couldn’t get any crazier than when Dick Cheney ran the place!
More from (and about) this writer at http://cootavengers.com/