The blind obsession some Democrats have with polishing their bona fides via a budget-slashing economic Grand Bargain with Republicans loomed as the greatest threat this side of Rome to the world's tottering economic prospects, to say nothing of the threat to tens of millions of Americans teetering on the brink of financial ruin.
The senior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, onetime Democratic Presidential standard-bearer and present Super Committee numerary John Kerry, has emerged as the poster child for obsession-fearing and loathing under the donkey banner.
Kerry is horny for a Grand Bargain, and his eagerness to flop face down onto the two-lane blacktop of bargaining and let Republican big rigs flatten him as they hurtle toward dismantling Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid while extracting ever more and greater tax cuts, tax breaks and tax subsidies for plutocrat cronies and Boston Brahmins alike, had the handful of reasonable minds left in America mulling doomsday scenarios.
The bipartisan, bicameral Super Committee that Republicans won as part of their ransom for allowing the nation to raise its debt ceiling and continue funding operations is slated to produce a plan for reducing the federal deficit by anywhere from $1.2 to shoot-the-moon trillion dollars in time to spoil everyone's enjoyment of football games and Thanksgiving turkey. The full Congress was slated to enact either the Super Committee plan or a set of default cuts in time to spoil everyone's enjoyment of figgy pudding and Christmas goose.
Of course, President Barack Obama was the horniest horn-dog in the horn of horndom lusting for a $4 trillion Grand Bargain, and only the incomprehensible intransigence of right-wing Republicans on closing one or two of the tiniest, tiniest, insignificant, inconsequential and arcane tax loopholes ever conceived saved America and the world from a catastrophic disemboweling of government spending that would have cratered the global economy even more than the 10%-and-counting cratering the global economy suffered. To say nothing of the tens of millions of Americans who would have been forced to make do with smaller and smaller Social Security checks, and tens of millions more Americans who would have been forced to wait years more for Medicare.
But, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tapped Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) for the unspeakable abomination that was the Super Committee, it became clear that the GOP, slowly awakening to the realization that they'd slammed the door in the face of the hooded scythe-bearing spectre who'd come to terminate the world's sole surviving superpower and allow the Republicans' plutocrat overlords unfettered dominion over the Earth, was now ready to concede on those one or two tiniest, tiniest insignificant, inconsequential and arcane tax loopholes in the interest of helping America onto that rowboat across the Styx.
Portman, along with Gang of Six negotiator Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), was known to be amenable to possibly adjusting the depreciation schedule of corporate jets in exchange for dismantling Medicare, handing all its money to insurance company moguls, and pawning off future seniors with worthless discount coupons (Buy one heart bypass surgery at full price, and get a second heart bypass surgery of equal or lesser value for 50% off!). McConnell and Co. were aware of Portman and Kyl's predilections when he selected them over such raw meat Tea Party zealots as Jim DeMint (R-SC).
And Kerry, conscious of the graying tousle atop his dome and delirious to etch his moniker on so many burnished plaques, would fall over his brogues to dismantle Medicare, hand all its money to insurance company moguls, and pawn off future seniors with worthless coupons. Not to mention dismantling Social Security to hand all its money to Wall Street tycoons while pawning off future seniors with nothing at all. Not to mention gutting all the services, administrations and watchdogs shepherding the environment, and business, and industry that heretofore had made sure people weren't forced to brush their teeth with radioactive toxic carcinogens and rinse with radioactive toxic carcinogenic water.
All of which could lead to the horn dogs and Republicans gleefully announcing they'd cut $4- or $6-trillion off the federal budget, capped spending forever and ever, and adopted a budget-balancing mandate that mandated the budget be balanced at zero for the foreseeable future. And, as everyone had somehow forgotten that governments were supposed to be spending more to stimulate depressed economies rather than spending less to depress depressed economies, the global equity markets just possibly might remind everyone by cratering the world's bourses even more than they'd already cratered.
Even better for Republicans, the Democrats would have ceded the one redeeming feature that had thus far kept them ahead of the rampaging elephants in the hearts of the general electorate, namely pushing for tax reform instead of dismantling Medicare and Social Security in a country where 60% to 70% of the electorate preferred raising taxes on the rich to dismantling Medicare and Social Security.
And, so long as Democrats were ceding the high ground on the entitlements heretofore known as the Third Rail of Politics, they might as well cede the high ground on the economy, the cratering of which the majority of Americans had so far still been happy to blame on George W. Bush.
All of which - the cratered economy, the gutted entitlements, the dashed hopes for change that promised hope but delivered dash - must certainly lead to Obama's plunging approval rating to plunge even further, and set the stage for a tide of malaise some Bible-thumping Texan Republican populist could ride into the White House in 2012.
All of which must, certainly, be labelled as 'Plan A' over at the Republican National Committee.