Thoughts on the Government Shutdown

I don’t typically wade into political waters – something about lying down with dogs and getting fleas, if I may be permitted to mix my metaphors. The events of recent days, however, have my hackles up. So, here are just a few short thoughts.

Democratic Congressional Types, yes, you won. The ACA passed a majority of both houses and was signed into law by the President. The individual mandate survived a Supreme Court challenge and, though I think the Court missed this one, it decides law, not me. The ACA is the law of the land. I hope you know what you’re doing, because the majority of the American people are beginning to doubt you. Personally, I like what the ACA tries to accomplish. God help us if we don’t help those who can’t help themselves. However, I think the way the ACA plans to go about it (inasmuch as I—or anyone for that matter—understand it) is a potential train wreck for many reasons, not the least of which is the assault on personal liberties it represents. The truth is you don’t know how it’s going to work. Most of you didn’t even read it. Try not to be so smugabout having passed a law that amounts to throwing stuff against the wall, waiting to see what will stick. I don’t blame you for the government shutdown. Believe me, though, if the ACA turns out the way I think it might, I will blame you and you alone. Good luck. We’re all going to need it.

Republican Congressional Types, like you, I am a registered Republican (for now—this is probably an affiliation with a very short life expectancy), so it pains me to say this. Individually, you may be great folks. Collectively, you’re all idiots. You’ve thrown your lot in with a man whose idea of political discourse is reading Dr. Seuss to an empty chamber. Well, almost empty. CSPAN was there. There are a lot of things that trouble me about the course of action Republicans have taken. For starters, you all apparently have forgotten everything you learned in high school civics. If you don’t like a law—and no, the ACA is not a bill, it is the law—you convince people that it needs to be repealed, convince those people to elect you to office, and then repeal it. I get that you are operating under the maxim of “desperate times call for desperate measures.” I get that you think out of control spending is bad for the country and I agree with you. But here’s the thing. You can’t avoid one fiscal catastrophe by careening toward another. Well, I suppose you can, but why would any sane person want to? Meanwhile, all of those whose paychecks plummeted to zero as well as the full faith and credit of the United States are caught in the wake of your ill-conceived grandstanding. You have sold your birthright of intellectual excellence and integrity for a few measly bags of tea. Most disturbing is that you have no end-game. Much like the proponents of the ACA, you’re just throwing stuff against the wall and hoping against hope that something will stick. That’s a poor way to do government and the rest of us are paying the price.

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