What the battle over the debt ceiling really means

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The Real Meaning Of The Debt Ceiling Battle
By RAY HANANIA — It’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 — or did you — need to borrow money? When the economy was doing well under former President Bill Clinton, or when the nation is facing one of its worst economic challenges in generations caused, in large part, because of the failed leadership 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. 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 funders of the Republican Party and the nation’s extremist conservatism, would love to plunge the nation into more economic chaos because that is how they profit — by exploiting the middle class and the poor.

The Republicans recognize 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 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.

We need to go back to the days when Clinton was president, but the only way I can see that happening 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 and rein in the influence of the wealthy. Why do the wealthy 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 while the American people continue to starve.


(Ray Hanania can be reached at www.UrbanStrategiesGroup.com.)

This post has already been read 42 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com

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