Liberally yours is a regular column featuring progressive radio host Thom Hartmann in conversation with conservatives and libertarians. This week, he’s joined by The Daily Caller’s opinion editor, J. Arthur Bloom.
Ted Cruz is the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed of the Republican Party — David Koch is his Osama Bin Laden – and the government shutdown is their 9/11. Let me explain. The September 11, 2001 attacks were the culmination of years of planning by Al Qaeda – a group bankrolled by the billionaire heir to a Saudi construction company – Osama Bin Laden. But while Bin Laden provided the funding for the 9/11 attacks – he never got too involved in the day-to-day logistics of training hijackers or picking the right planes to takeover. He left that sort of stuff to a Pakistani man named Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Mohammed – the guy who actually came up with the idea of flying planes into American buildings in the first place – submitted his plan for a big hijacking plot to Bin Laden sometime in the late 1990s. Bin Laden had been trying to attack America on a big scale for a while – and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s plan was just the sort of thing he was looking for. So in a meeting in Kandahar – Afghanistan in 1999 – Bin Laden told Mohammed that Al Qaeda would support his plane hijacking plot. The end result – was of course – the worst terrorist attack in American history.
Bin Laden wanted to bring the government of the United States to its knees. He’s been dead for over two years – but that sort of anti-American-government extremism is alive and well. The government shutdown is proof of that. The Tea Party and its billionaire backers have closed the American government because like Bin Laden, they want to fundamentally change America. They want to replace American democracy with a kind of modern-day feudal system where a rich minority controls everything – where labor unions are dead – and where health insurance is only for people like them who can afford it.
As the New York Times reported last weekend – this shutdown is just the latest part of a billionaire plot that has been in the works for months. When President Obama started his second term back in January – the Tea Party’s oligarch financiers started looking for a way to sabotage his presidency and his healthcare law – just like Osama Bin Laden was looking for a way to bring America to her knees in the late 1990s. So – like Bin Laden – those billionaires got their very own Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
They got someone who could handle the day-to-day details of attacking American democracy.
They got someone who would carry out their darkest wishes.
They got someone who would do everything he could to stop poor and working-class Americans from getting affordable healthcare.
They got Texas Senator Ted Cruz – and about 30 or so Republicans in the House of Representatives.
Cruz has served his backers well – leading the campaign to hold the government hostage in exchange for delaying or defunding Obamacare, taking every opportunity he can to push the billionaire party line on TV.
Ignore all the talk about how the now week-long shutdown is just another symptom of our divided political system.
It’s more than that. It’s the culmination of the all-out war that the Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, and all the other Tea Party billionaires and their front groups have declared on Obamacare and everything it represents; the idea that government can provide real solutions to real problems. And here’s the scary thing – this war on traditional American values as embodied by Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare — is about to get a lot worse.