The game of blindman’s bluff isn’t working.
More and more Americans are catching on to the game. President Obama’s threat to withhold Granny’s Social Security check did not send millions of Grannies into the streets, walkers banging noisily against wheelchairs, leaving the wounded lying bloodied amidst splintered walking canes.
The president, who never learned to play poker very well, seems unaware that bluffing is what the card game is all about. When he told Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican leader in the House, “don’t call my bluff,” it was the tip-off that he was, in fact, bluffing. Careful bluffers keep it to themselves.
The Republicans no less than the Democrats really can’t imagine sending the country into financial collapse. No one knows what would actually happen if the debt limit stays where it is. Neither party wants to be blamed for finding out. But neither side wants to be the first to blink, which is how bluffs are called.
There’s growing public suspicion that the tumult over the budget negotiations, largely media-made, will be the biggest bust since the media-made panics over epidemics of anthrax, SARS, e-coli virus and swine and avian flu, and Y2K (when all the airliners were supposed to fall from the sky at the stroke of midnight at the beginning of the 21st century). Not to forget global warming (the lie that keeps on giving) or the Great Carmageddon that was supposed to catch millions in gridlocked Southern California to starve or die of thirst in their cars. These “disasters” terrified network-TV airheads who passed the panic on, and millions of corpses were in fact counted from Hong Kong to Ha