Wednesday Jul 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Will the Tea Party end in tears or laughs?

By Nikos Konstandaras

The spectacle of a small group of American politicians forcing the suspension of the country’s government and state, provoking shivers of fear across the planet lest the superpower default on its loans, is both tragic and comical. Aristophanes would have loved the idea of a group of lawmakers exploiting their position to abolish the state they are sworn to serve. For Greece’s ancient tragedians, the vain indifference, the ignorance of dangers caused by our character and actions, was familiar material. So, how goes America? Is it the scene of comedy or tragedy? And why should we care?

If, after all the shouting, the fundamentalists of the Republicans’ Tea Party faction give in to the pressure of their more serious colleagues and raise their siege of the state, we will know that what we were watching was a comedy, or, at least, just one more absurd chapter in the evolution of the ever-evolving government system we call democracy. If, however, the self-congratulating, self-declared “rebels” stick to their guns, if the paralysis of the US government leads to a default, the consequences will be unpredictable and most probably tragic for very many people across the globe. We know this version from tragedy and from history – whenever people overestimate their capabilities and underestimate the risks.

The extremist Republicans’ reckless position undermines their country, making it appear unable to execute the most basic functions. This self-destruction, however, undermines their own party as well, because it divides it, its leadership is held hostage by extremists and most citizens blame it for the situation. And the protagonists’ sole argument is that shutting down the state and defaulting on payments are not as dramatic as their rivals claim. They are sailing into the unknown with hope their only compass. That’s how the Athenian fleet sailed to Sicily and to its destruction during the Peloponnesian War.

In Greece we care about what will happen in Congress, about how US President Barack Obama will overcome this problem without being forced to back down on healthcare reform – because this is what the fracas is all about: extremist Republicans opposing the idea of millions of poor Americans being entitled to health and medical benefits. We care because a default by the US would be an earthquake of unprecedented magnitude for the global economy, of which Greece is a leaf trembling on the edge of the precipice. We care most of all because a healthy American society and political system are important for the rest of the world. In our age, America is the example. Because democracy is a laboratory in which we must continually seek solutions for problems that arise, we know that if Washington finds a way to overcome the problems raised by vainglorious political windbags, we will all laugh. If we remain forever hostage to stupidity and opportunism, then tragedy will have no end.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday October 10, 2013 (21:01)  
Populism eating up education
A valued but mistreated professional
Through insecurity comes optimism
Futile policy
Doctors probed after pregnant woman is turned away twice in northern Greece
Three gynaecologists at Grevena and Kastoria hospitals in northern Greece are to face disciplinary and judicial action after allegedly failing to help a pregnant woman who needed medical car...
Deputy Supreme Court prosecutor resigns ´for personal reasons´
Deputy Supreme Court Prosecutor Giorgos Koliocostas resigned yesterday citing personal reasons. Koliocostas was due to reach retirement in June 2015. He had served at the Supreme Court since...
Inside News
IMF says Cyprus will need more spending cuts
NICOSIA – Bailed-out Cyprus is likely to return to growth next year, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday, but cautioned the outlook was tempered by tensions over Ukraine and ba...
Greek CDS are back in trading
Trading in credit-default swaps tied to Greek government bonds has been reported by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp for the first time since the country undertook the biggest sovereign ...
Inside Business
Greek league recruits Scottish former referee Dallas
Former referee Hugh Dallas has been appointed as the head referee of the Greek Super League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Scot ear...
SOCCER
Greek league recruits former referee Dallas
Former referee Hugh Dallas has been appointed as the head referee of the Greek Super League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Scot ear...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek league recruits Scottish former referee Dallas
2. IMF says Cyprus will need more spending cuts
3. Greek CDS are back in trading
4. PPI grows 1.1 percent in June, ELSTAT reports
5. US billionaire eyes ´significant´ portion of 1 bln euros of new shares from Bank of Cyprus
6. Doctors probed after pregnant woman is turned away twice in northern Greece
more news
Today
This Week
1. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
2. IMF's Lagarde not sure yet about debt relief for Greece
3. Six firms submit bids to lease Vouliagmeni beach
4. Coalition submits new proposals for Greek coastline
5. EU Commissioner Damanaki unlikely to return to Greek politics
6. Police arrest one, seek another three over counterfeit goods
Today
This Week
1. Unequal after death
2. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
3. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
4. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
5. Front-line threats
6. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.