Well, they finally did it; the US government is officially shutdown. Thank you Republicans for your unwillingness to compromise on your impromptu values and thank you all you politicians who worked so hard over the years to serve narrow political agendas that assured this day would eventually come. If we’re lucky, we’ll get to see the Federal government default on America’s Debt for the first time by mid-October. The Great Recession Wall Street started was so beneficial to American values, I guess they figured Pennsylvania Avenue should start another one. Obviously, this is sarcasm. This whole scenario is ridiculous and crazy. There is no reason for our political system continually failing us.
Where is all the talk of personal responsibility now? What happened to the idea that blames rests on the shoulders of those who failed? I supposed that only applies to the growing disenfranchised.
Truthfully, the Tea Party and other far-right conservative movements have identified some key problems with what our government is doing, but their solutions often create more and/or bigger problems than they solve while their strategies are simply ineffective and catastrophic. For those who wanted to see frozen government, they got it. For those who wanted to see a conservative political agenda advanced, or at least a liberal political agenda halted, this government shutdown and the potential default is a disaster brought on by bad politics.
If things don’t go too bad right away, our political leaders will only be encouraged to cause more shutdowns and to tempt a default. If things go really bad, the American People, who have lost control over our representatives, will only suffer. The best-case-scenario is one where a temporary shutdown hits the stock markets enough that the wealthy donors and business interests, which fund our political system, are damaged enough to stop them from supporting radical political agendas, which narrowly favor their interests, and candidates who demonstrate a total lack of comprehension when it comes to the consequences of their actions. This is, of course, unlikely.
Sadly, all of the pain inflicted upon the American People by the Right over the last few years could have been avoided. Republicans look at this shutdown as the fault of the Democrats and the President. They argue that the majority of Americans do not want a shutdown and the majority of Americans do not want Obamacare, thus the majority Party should cave into their demands. First, opinion polls are not ballot measures nor do they fully reflect the true sentiments of those being polled while our representatives are supposed to act on our interests, which can conflict with what we say we want.
Second, Republicans have been completely unwilling to make concessions on Democratic priorities; whereas as, Democrats have been willing to adopt Republican ideas all along. Obamacare, for example, is built on what Republicans once wanted. Instead, Republicans have expected Democrats to accept their agenda to simply keep the government open, as though they are a majority party. In reality, the Democrats as the majority party should be allowed to shape the framework to our Nation’s business while the Republicans should be working under that framework to improve faults in Democratic thinking. When Republicans want one of their priorities, which does not critically conflict with Democratic priorities, they need to be willing to support an equally important Democratic priority. If the GOP had been willing to compromise in this fashion, which they now supposedly want, when it came to the everyday business of Congress over the last few years, our government would not be a complete mess.
Quite frankly, Obama is right not to compromise when it comes shutting down the Federal government over Obamacare, whether you want Obamacare or not. Given our Nation’s ongoing debt issues, using the threat of government shutdowns to push a political agenda is simply a means of shortcutting democratic representation as it allows a minority to hold the majority hostage until the minority’s agenda is fully realized. Negotiations over the Budget and/or Continuing Resolutions (CRs), which are being overused to fund the Federal government absent an actual Budget, should focus on budgetary issues. That is, negotiations between Republicans and Democrats should be focused on issues like tax reforms and spending cuts while a government shutdown should be seen as a complete failure of democracy, not as a last or first resort. In fact, the only legislative effort that might justify the threat of shutdown would be an actual effort to address our Country’s debt problems, which is what Bill Clinton gave America when the GOP last felt the need to push its agenda at all costs. That said, supporting or threatening a shutdown is always a terrible idea.
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