Government by gunpoint isn’t how we should behave
How can we tout American Exceptionalism when we’re basically a banana republic with nuclear weapons? I have to make light of what’s going on in Washington D.C. or else I’d cry or maybe be in a dark basement somewhere plotting sedition. Years ago, comedian Bill Maher said the Democratic Party has moved to the right and the Republican Party has moved into a mental institution. It’s a funny line. But this week the Teapublicans are bringing the crazy like the love child of Alex “I won’t be ignored” Forrest and Travis “You talkin’ to me?” Bickle.
It’s so easy for disengaged Americans to say “a pox on both their houses” in reference to Republicans AND Democrats. People love to feel nonpartisan and above the fray by damning both parties in Washington. But while the Democrats may not be the poster children of good governance, did they act like suicide bombers when they were in the minority?
I’m not condemning all Republicans. There are elements within that party like John McCain and Karl Rove (Karl Rove is the voice of reason?) trying to keep the GOP from flooring it off the side of a cliff like “Thelma and Louise.”
No matter how you may feel about it, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Parts of it have been in effect now for years. When President George W. Bush passed his tax cuts, No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bill, those on the losing side didn’t threaten political Armageddon to get their way. When did the Democrats shut down the government to get Bush to govern their way?
What if when the Democrats took over the House of Representatives in 2006, they’d decided to defund the Iraq War? What if all of a sudden soldiers were no longer paid, fuel and supplies could no longer be purchased, and weapons couldn’t be moved? Is that how we want our country to be governed?
Think about the implications of the hostage-taking tactic that today’s Republican Party is employing. Just imagine a future Republican President and Congress pass a new immigration reform law requiring a 100-foot tall fence to be erected on our southern border with the U.S. Army positioned along that wall. Also, the law would require every person here illegally to be deported.
Then a Democratic House takes over and refuses to fund the law. And if you’re a Democrat who cheers that move, you’re part of the problem. Government by gunpoint isn’t the way the world’s only superpower should behave.
What if Mitt Romney had won the presidency in 2012 along with a GOP Senate, and they passed a law canceling the Affordable Care Act? Obamacare dead. But in 2014, Democrats take the House back and threaten to shut the government down unless Romney and the Senate reverse themselves on Obamacare.
Does that sound rational to anyone? Is that the way we want the U.S. government to “function” from now on?
Andrew Sullivan said it best when he wrote that perhaps the Republicans should also ask for President Obama’s resignation as part of a deal to fund the government. How do we function politically if every time the other side loses, their response is the political version of coming back to the workplace disgruntled and shooting up the place?
Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc, says a three to four week government shutdown would do “significant economic damage.” A shutdown of two months would trigger another recession. Do you want to risk losing your job or a family member losing their job just so Teapublicans can try to score political points?
For what? Because one of our political parties can’t get it through their heads that they lost? They lost on health care. It’s the law. We litigated health care last year in the Supreme Court and the Republican side lost. Again. We litigated health care last year in the presidential election with the Republicans promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act and they lost again.
Elections matter. The people have spoken.
This is only a taste of the nutty heights GOP leaders promise to take us. Wait until they start playing chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States of America when they do the same nonsense with raising the debt ceiling. Then it’s not just the U.S. economy on the line but the global economy.
For what? Because a group of dead enders can’t come to terms with the fact that they lost?
American exceptionalism? Exceptionally stupid.