AMERICAN CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING TO CONVINCE EVERYONE THAT SHUTTING DOWN THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IS A
STAND IN ETHICS WHEN IT’S MERELY A TEMPER TANTRUM PROVING THEY CAN’T DEAL WITH THEIR MOUNTING ELECTORAL LOSSES
Some people just can’t admit defeat. They kick and scream and cry and refuse to admit they lost. The other side cheated! The other side lied! When the empty echo of their own voices forces them to the realization that no one’s listening to their whining, they either bury their head in the sand or they turn to throwing temper tantrums as often as they can. Anyone looking for a perfect example of such juvenile (dare I say asinine) behaviour need look no further than our neighbours to the south, where vengeful Republicans have shut down the American government.
The Republican controlled Congressional House shuttered the White House and most American Federal agencies at midnight last Monday in an effort to kill President Obama’s signature domestic legislation, the health care reform bill commonly called Obamacare. After failing to repeal Obamacare 41 times over the past four years, House Republicans tried to extort the Obama administration, telling the White House that they would not pass a budget, essentially de-funding the American federal government, unless the President delayed the implementation of his own health care law, scheduled to begin going into effect October 1st, by a year (the full extent of the law takes effect January 1st of 2014). For the last 48 hours of September, Congress and the Democratically controlled Senate played ping-pong with various bills, each one outdoing the previous in absurdity. And when the clock struck midnight Monday, a Republican forced shut down ground the American Federal government to a halt.
This isn’t about the law (and that’s what Obamacare is, a full-fledged law), or the ethics or philosophy behind it. Entire libraries have been written about the pros and cons of health care reform in the U.S. and no one from either side of the debate is ever going to change the mind of anyone on the other. This is about the American Republican party failing to cope with the reality that they lost this fight. Several times. Health care reform was central to Barrack Obama’s campaign when he was first elected president in 2008 (more than doubling John McCain in the electoral college and collecting nearly ten million more votes) and Obamacare was a huge issue when he was re-elected in 2012 (beating Mitt Romney by 126 Electoral College seats and over three million votes). The American people were given two opportunities to vote on Obamacare, essentially approving it by referendum, but Obamacare has weathered even greater storms on its way to becoming law. It was passed by Congress (yes, the same body that’s moving political heaven and earth to repeal it now) in November of 2009, following fierce debate and Congressional vote where a handful of House Republicans voted to pass the bill, making it law (the backlash over Obamacare’s passage was disturbing in its violence, with the offices and even homes of some Representatives who supported it being vandalized; failed 2008 vice presidential candidate Sara Palin even posted a bullseye over the constituency offices of members who voted in for the law, one of whom was Representative Kathy Giffords, who would be shot in the head months later). Obamacare even survived a constitutional challenge heard by the conservative dominated Supreme Court of the United States. It has cleared every obstacle it has faced. This government shutdown is nothing more than a temper tantrum thrown by Republicans who have failed to defeat it with the legitimate devices the American democracy affords them. They have been unable to man up and deal with their repeated losses.
It’s estimated a government shut down will cost the American taxpayer an estimated 200 million dollars a day, agencies such as the Federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centre for Disease Control are immediately affected and the effects will only grow. And if you think this won’t affect those of us north of the border, consider the following; depending on the time of year, up to seventy percent of Canada’s goods and services flow south. If demand decreases, it will create a drag on our economy headed into the most consumption heavy time of year. And if the shut down lasts long enough to affect border security . . . The GOP claims that current polls demonstrate that Obamacare is unpopular with the American people and that’s why they’ve turned the government’s lights off for now. And in truth, there is some merit to this argument. But polls also show that a government shut down, for whatever reason, is even more unpopular with American citizens as well. Funny how they ignore that one.
- It is time for leadership in the House of Representatives (perspectiveonpolitics.wordpress.com)
- The House Republican tantrum that knows no end (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- The Insanity Is Not Temporary (washingtonmonthly.com)