|OCTOBER 2, 2013, SHUTDOWN DAY 2|
So it's come to this: a full federal government shutdown, the first since 1995. All because some members of the Republican party cannot accept that a piece of legislation passed by congress, signed by the president and upheld by the supreme court, is going into effect. Amazingly, those Republicans seems thrilled by what's going on, and they're meeting with each other to pat each themselves on the back and boast over how "brave" they are.
As a crazy liberal, I honestly try to believe in the goodness of people and try to see their point of view, but the conservatives completely confound me here. The shutdown of the government is costing the country $200 million dollars a day(at least), has thrown 800,000 government workers into temporary unemployment, and has threatened our still weakened national economy and possibly the world's. Meanwhile, Obamacare is moving along anyway, shutdown or not. What have they accomplished? And how can they so proudly stand against extending health care to the tens of millions of Americans that don't have it? Our healthcare system before Obamacare routinely allowed for healthcare providers to deny coverage for children with pre existing conditions; do they really want a return to that system? Apparently so, because they've offered no alternative.
|Nope, I just don't get this mentality|
During the healthcare battles of 2009, many people on the left were disappointed by the way the president handled the negotiations, giving in too easily on things, like caving in on having a government run public option for healthcare instead of having to choose one only from private companies. I, too, was upset about the losses, but I remembered how in the nineties president Clinton's healthcare plan was killed outright, and the saying that the good should not be lost in the search for the perfect seemed appropriate. I also could see just how vehement the Republicans were in their opposition to literally anything and everything the president proposed. I knew that they would fight him over this every step of the way and that passage of even a watered down bill would be extremely difficult, as indeed it was.
I said before that I just can't understand the conservative viewpoint on all this, but I must admit I almost have to admire it in its singleminded determination and sense of righteousness. As a liberal with a decided lack of confidence and self esteem, I can't imagine being so assured and convinced about something. Conservatives really seem to see themselves as on the side of good opposed to evil, which can only be dealt with by not giving any quarter whatsoever. References to god pepper their speeches, which seem to fall just short of calling liberals demonic. And so, the modern Republican party, which has just suffered through two presidential defeats and only holds a majority of one house of congress, still struts with confidence, refusing to compromise and telling themselves that John Mc Cain and Mitt Romney lost because they somehow weren't conservative enough. After Barak Obama's reelection there was virtually no soul searching on their part, no realization that their party's appeal beyond older white men was rapidly fading; instead they dug in further continuing to use the filibuster in the senate and their majority in the house to promote gridlock. And when fake scandals like Bengazi and the IRS didn't pan out for them, they decided to shut down the government to get what they want. The last time the Republicans pulled off this kind of shut down was in 1995 under the leadership of Newt Gingrich, and they wound up losing seats in the house because of it. Amazingly, they have appeared to have learned nothing from that experience, and here we go again. Hopefully, the voters will respond in the same way as before, and that swaggering conservative confidence will appear more and more like the look of General Custer before he saddled up for battle.