A strange game

In the midst of this government shutdown, imminent debt default, mess, there’s a lesson for Republicans from the 1983 movie “War Games”:


The Republican party has been playing with fire since at least the 1980s.  As I’ve written before, the GOP thought that if it could just harness the righteous anger of the religious right, and the zealous bitterness of the Tea Party, they could ride both movements to repeated electoral victory.

But, to mix my metaphors, if you’re going to ride a tiger, you’d better kill it.  At some point, the tiger’s gonna turn on you.  Especially if you keep feeding it.

The GOP has been taken over at the local level by the religious right, and at the national level by the Tea Party (who are basically ultra-conservative Republicans).  Both movements may have helped Republicans electorally for a while, but now they’ve poisoned the party and are putting the entire country at risk.

It’s beyond abominable that, by threatening to default on the national debt, the Republicans have taken the nation hostage, and are now threatening to send us into a depression far worse than what happened in September of 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed.

It was bad enough, in the early years of the Obama administration, when the GOP was content with holding the unemployed, the poor and the elderly hostage by threatening unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Now they’re looking to take down the entire world economy in a move that far too many experts, including Republicans themselves, have labeled “catastrophic.”

I don’t care how bad the Republicans think Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act is, how does a politician – how does any American – get away with taking the entire nation hostage, for any reason?

In less democratic countries, such a move would be treated as sedition, and they’d all be under arrest, or worse.

The GOP has become what it has long claimed of Democrats: un-American bullies who don’t like our system of government, and don’t particularly care for most of our people either.

What kind of person would threaten our retirement accounts AGAIN by threatening to crash the stock market?

What kind of person would threaten to poison up our mortgage market AGAIN by sending interest rates skyrocketing?

All of that, and more, is going to happen if the Republicans force a default on the national debt.

The economy has been bad enough since September of 2008 – I’m still only at 40% to 50% of the annual income I made in 2008.  Neither I, nor the country, can afford another economic crash.

And that’s exactly what the Republicans are threatening.

To crash our economy into a building.


And here’s the longer 5 minute video of that segment:

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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17 Responses to “A strange game”

  1. PrahaPartizan says:

    Ah, yes, “Dave,” one of the best political movies made in the last twenty years. Frank Langella was priceless as the President’s Chief of Staff. The scene at the end, when the Presidential impostor drops his verbal bomb on his conniving staff and the CoS is left sitting in his rally room alone after his “supporters” have scuttled while a piece of paper gently falls to the ground or a spinning coin or bottle top falls over, is a hoot too.

  2. silas1898 says:

    The same reason they attack those with that “fancy book-learnin'”

  3. KC Jenner says:

    That was a real game (Global Thermonuclear War) that I played on an Apple //e computer. I recognized the game when I saw the movie. It took like a day for it to compute each move.

  4. Roger says:

    John, you ask who would threaten your retirement accounts. If you are a millionaire as many in Congress are, I suppose you can safely get through a recession. If you have no retirement account, why not attack those who do.

  5. karmanot says:

    That last coup by Prescot Bush didn’t work out so well, because the military didn’t cooperate. This time around I wonder.

  6. karmanot says:

    “un-American bullies who don’t like our system of government, and don’t particularly care for most of our people either.” BINGO! It is sedition and the GOP are traitors.

  7. ArthurH says:

    Unfortunately Speaker Boehner is channeling the lead character in “The Horizontal Lieutenant.”

  8. Let’s play “Global Thermonuclear War” – I love that line.

  9. Yep. She also interviewed me about my eye surgery which may, or may not, pop up in a future story. As for the email, you can just use contact at americablog dot com

  10. BeccaM says:

    I know War Games was a rather schmaltzy movie, and even back then, the technology they showed was laughable. “Here, I’ll put this speaker up here and the computer can talk to us. And I’ll always say aloud every word I’m typing…for no real reason.”

    But what struck me was that one scene up there, where suddenly tic tac toe became all of the nuclear scenarios in the system, one after the other — and how very many there were of them. U.S. first strike, USSR first strike, NATO / Warsaw Pact, Far East Strategy, US / USSR Escalation, India – Pakistan War, Mediterranean War, Hong Kong variant, SEATO decapitating, etc. Dozens upon dozens of nuclear war scenarios. And how all of them always escalated out of control until the planet was rendered uninhabitable.

    Anyway… yeah. Given the likely economic results everybody but the Tea Bagger denialists agrees will result if the U.S. defaults, I’d say we’re well into sedition territory here. As well as attempted coup.

  11. Loona_c says:

    OT but I can’t get your e-mail to work. John I see you were quoted in a NYT story (in local Hou Chron) about the cost of asthma meds.

  12. pappyvet says:

    I had forgotten about War Games and it’s message,thanks John.

  13. Vegas Dave says:

    Brilliant John, I had been thinking about another movie in relation to this insanity. An American President when the President gives a speech and says “I was so busy trying to keep my job, I forgot to do my job.”

  14. Phil says:

    I really enjoyed that movie. It was far better than the horror film the Republicans are filming at the moment.

  15. cole3244 says:

    great movie, too bad the world doesn’t take the advice and stop the insanity.

  16. Buford2k11 says:

    It seems to be “movies that relate” day…Movies from Star Wars to the Hobbit, all over the net…I will submit “Mad Max” as my contribution to movie day…including “Thunderdrome” as the ultimate tper fantasy…

  17. TonyT says:

    Love that movie. Global Thermal Nuclear War or Tic-Tac-Toe

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