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Playing Chicken 

Publisher's Note

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Didn’t we just have an election? Wasn’t “fix the economy” the message to candidates? Yes, and yes. America is itching to start its comeback, but Congress just refuses to get out of the way. Why are Republicans in D.C. against common-sense compromises to give us the jump-start we need?

THEORY ONE The GOP is still blinded by Obama hatred. If the president says the sky is blue, they release the Kraken (FOX News) and flood the Sunday talk shows with surrogates saying it’s green. News flash: The election is over. You’re stuck with Obama for another four years. Deal with it.

THEORY TWO We are witnessing the death spiral of a political party. There is precedent for this in American history (remember the Whigs?), and it can happen fast. The GOP’s own leaders have no control (John Boehner), and those who could actually help (Chris Christie) are pushed out as too liberal. The scary part is that the ship of state is getting caught in the whirlpool.

THEORY THREE Doing nothing works for them. The approval rating for Congress is set to be the worst in history this year (it’s at 15 percent now), yet 90 percent of House members were returned to office in 2012. There is no penalty, so they do nothing and call it being conservative.

Our own Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a perfect example. Thanks to the “R” after her name, she has no trouble getting re-elected. And there she is on TV defending her party’s plan to drive America over the sequester cliff. She plays the defender of Fairchild Air Force Base, but Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force’s chief of staff, has this to say about the looming sequester and the lack of a budget from Congress: “[They] combine to render us unable to continue our current and expected level of operations.”

So how exactly is she helping Fairchild on this?

The sequester could kill 750,000 jobs in 2013 — bye, bye recovery. (Of course, members of Congress made sure to protect their pay if the sequester hits.) But we asked for this — McMorris Rodgers has never been unclear about her position on bargaining. We voted for the knee-jerk “No” approach, as did Americans in many districts across the nation. We enabled a situation where, by Congress’s own design, we play chicken with our economy every couple months.

All this swerving away from the cliff at the last minute is a threat to our national security. If we keep playing with fire, we run the real risk of watching as the world abandons the dollar as the planet’s gold standard. And if that happens, God help us.

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