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The Newest Inductee to my Hall of Shame

I thought I should be fair. Idiocy is not limited to one sex or one geographical area. Yesterday’s inductee was a male from the south. Today’s inductee is a northern female. None other than Congresswoman Michele Bachman, who represents Stillwater, Minnesota.

Still waters are said to run deep, unlike Ms. Bachman’s thinking or her commitment to the rule of law. Speaking of the government shutdown, she said, “This is about the happiest I’ve seen members in a long time because we’ve seen we’re starting to win this dialogue on a national level.”

So the Republicans lost in Obama’s first election. They lost in the vote which passed Obamacare. They lost in Obama’s re-election. They lost in the Supreme Court. They lost in the 40+ votes to stall or water down Obamacare. But now that they’ve managed to shutdown the government, they are absolutely giddy.

Nothing like hurting the economy, threatening our security, making it very difficult to conduct foreign policy, hurting farmers who cannot get their usual government reports, etc etc etc, ; nothing like that to make the Republicans happy. I guess if millions of uninsured Americans got health insurance, that would be a real bummer.

For reveling in the harm you are doing to our country, Michele Bachman is our second inductee to the Hall of Shame. I guess if you manage to cause the US government to default on its obligations and cause the world’s financial system to collapse, that would be pure ecstasy!

John Boehner and the Politics of Extortion

The Democrats are so unreasonable, the Republicans say. They refuse to negotiate. John Boehner said, “Obama owns this shutdown.” Nice try Mr. DoubleSpeaker of the House. Now let’s review the facts.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Opponents to the law tried to have it declared unconstitutional, but in June 2012 the US Supreme Court declared the law constitutional.

The Republicans have tried 40 times to delay or block the implementation of Obamacare. They lost all 40 voted.

Love it or hate it, Obamacare is the law of the land. The Republicans opposed to the legislation have lost in both houses of Congress. They’ve lost in the Supreme Court. Their presidential candidate and an opponent of Obamacare, Mitt Romney, lost when voters chose to re-elect President Obama.

This is democracy in action. But the Republicans refuse to accept defeat. So now in desperation, they have shutdown the government. They’ve been stymied in the democratic process, so they are resorting to extortion. They show pictures of a negotiating table with Republicans sitting at one side of the table and empty chairs on the Democratic side of the table.

Why would the Democrats negotiate? We have a tradition in the US. We don’t negotiate with terrorists. We don’t give into extortion. Never in American history has a political party stooped so low as to grind the government to a halt over one piece of legislation they don’t like.

And the saddest part is that many Republicans would cross the aisle and vote with the Democrats if House Mafia Boss and Chief Extortionist Boehner allowed a vote on a continuing resolution untied to Obamacare. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Never have so many been hurt by so few.”

I listened to Rush Limbaugh today. He went on and on about how heartless Democrats are holding veterans hostage by not allowing veterans access to the World War II Memorial. This is outrageous twisted logic and no one is buying it. It is the extremists in the Republican party who are holding the country hostage.

Jon Stewart of the today show said it best. He pointed to the New York Giants loss to the Kansas City Chiefs 32-7. Stewart said, “You know what they didn’t do? They didn’t say give us 25 more points by midnight or we’re going to shutdown the NFL!”

But that is exactly what the Republicans are asking for. Why stop at Obamacare, why not demand the results of the 2012 election be negotiated? It makes the same amount of sense. I am neither a Democrat or a Republican and I’m not sure how I feel about Obamacare. But I do know that shutting down the government is not the way to advance your agenda. The President and Democrats have rightly said they are willing to discuss Obamacare but not under these hostage taking conditions.

The Republicans’s behavior in this matter is reprehensible and a disgrace. They make a joke of our democratic process and use blackmail to try and force their will on the country. They then have the audacity to blame the shutdown on the President. That is like a kidnapper blaming a parent for not paying the ransom. “You are so heartless. You could have your child back right away if you just paid the ransom.”

Sorry Mr. Doublespeaker. We are a nation under the rule of law. Extortion and blackmail is not how we change things. We have elections. We have sessions of congress. We have debate and legislators vote on laws. You’ve failed 40 times to block Obamacare. It is the law of the land whether you like it or not. It’s time you admit defeat and move on, instead of hurting the people you were elected to serve. And speaking of elections, don’t think that voters in this country are buying your twisted logic. Obama doesn’t own this government shutdown. The Republicans do and more specifically the blame rests on YOU. Allow the people’s representatives to vote on a clean continuing resolution. That’s called democracy. You should try it some time.

I highly recommend this video of Jon Stewart’s take on the shutdown. It is not only hilarious but totally accurate:

US Government Shutdown

The US government was partially shutdown on Tuesday after the divided US congress failed to reach a compromise on a spending bill to continue funding the government. Republicans opposed to Obamacare refused to pass the bill.
The Republicans want a 1 year delay in implementing Obamacare.

The practical effect of the shutdown is the closure of national parks, museums, many federal offices and government services. 700,000 federal employees have been furloughed without pay. Goldman Sachs estimates the shutdown could cut US growth by 0.9% in the current quarter. A CNN poll showed that 46% of Americans blamed the Republicans for the shutdown while 36% said Obama was to blame. 13% said both the Republicans and Obama were to blame.

Whether you are for or against Obamacare, shutting down the government is certainly not the solution. Obamacare is the law, if you don’t like it, you can campaign against it. You can ammend it. You can make it a main issue in coming elections and if enough American voters agree with you, you can repeal it. But refusing to fund the government is simply irresponsible and harmful. Holding the country hostage over one piece of legislation is just bad politics.

The shutdown will end eventually. They always do. It is simply a question of how much harm will be done to the country in the mean time. The bigger problem is the debt ceiling.

On October 17, The US government will hit the debt ceiling. Without legislation to raise the ceiling, the US treasury would be unable to borrow any further money, which could lead to a US default on its debt. Let’s hope the congress, especially the Republicans, put aside their bickering and pass a new limit. We’ve already had the first ever credit rating downgrade on US Treasury Bonds from a previous battle. It’s time to put partisan politics aside and stop shooting ourselves in the foot.

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