”We’re not some banana republic,” President Barack Obama said today.
Not in Kansas City, where they assemble Fords, maybe.
Yet Washington is another story, the president suggested in an appearance at a Ford plant in Missouri on the day the House was voting almost entirely along party lines to attach a denial of funding for his signature health-care program to a bill extending government spending past Sept. 30. That bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate, leaders there say, raising the question of which chamber will blink — Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray says the House will.
“They are holding the whole country hostage,” Obama said of the Republicans behind the brinkmanship that’s taken hold in the Capitol.
“One Republican senator called shutting down the government over the Affordable Care Act `the dumbest idea I have ever heard,” Obama said today. “I agree with him. But that is the strategy they are pursuing. The House of Representatives just voted on it today. And I’ll tell you what, Missouri, the American people have worked too hard for too long digging out of a real crisis just to let politicians in Washington cause another crisis.”
The budget resolution at hand isn’t the last of it. They still face a fight over raising the federal debt limit.
“This is the United States of America,” Obama said. “We are not some banana republic. This is not a deadbeat nation. We don’t run out on our tab. We are the world’s bedrock investment. The entire world looks to us to make sure the world economy is stable. We can’t just not pay our bills. And even threatening something like that is the height of irresponsibility. So what I’ve said is, I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States.”
It was the late Christopher Hitchens who wrote back in 2008:
“The ongoing financial meltdown is just the latest example of a disturbing trend that, to this adoptive American, threatens to put the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave on a par with Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Equatorial Guinea.”
See his “America, the Banana Republic.”