Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The vandals strike

So, the government has come to a halt.  Hundreds of thousands of employees are furloughed.  Offices are closed.

(Via JoeMyGod)

Why?  Because Speaker John Boehner refuses to bring a "clean" bill to fund the government up to a vote, because it won't be supported by a majority of his own caucus.

Over on Facebook, I broke my usual rule and posted something on a politician's FB page, pointing out that the ACA was passed through Congress, signed, and upheld by the courts, and it's time to get over it.  An angry response was that it passed "illegally".

How do you pass a law "illegally"?  These people really are. not. rational.  So far, people know who to blame.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds that American voters oppose Congress shutting down the federal government to block implementation of Obamacare, 72% to 22%. Voters also oppose blocking an increase in the nation's debt ceiling as a way to stop Obamacare, 64% to 27%."
 And Ezra Klein:
1) This is all about stopping a law that increases taxes on rich people and reduces subsidies to private insurers in Medicare in order to help low-income Americans buy health insurance. That's it. That's why the Republican Party might shut down the government and default on the debt. 
2) The "continuing resolution" only funds the government for six weeks. So even if all goes well Monday night we'll be doing this again in November. 
3) Republicans are now discussing a "one-week CR," which would mean we'd be doing this again in seven days -- and we'd be that much closer to the debt ceiling. 
....6) Boehner isn't really in control of his House conference, and he has no idea how to get out of this. 
And this from Charles Pierce:
But there has never been in a single Congress -- or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress --a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one, which has arranged to shut down the federal government because it disapproves of a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court, a law that does nothing more than extend the possibility of health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not presently have it, a law based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank and taken out on the test track in Massachusetts by a Republican governor who also happens to have been the party's 2012 nominee for president of the United States. That is why the government of the United States is, in large measure, closed this morning.....
What is there to be done? The first and most important thing is to recognize how we came to this pass. Both sides did not do this. Both sides are not to blame. There is no compromise to be had here that will leave the current structure of the government intact.
But don't expect change.
With the vandals tucked away in safe, gerrymandered districts, and their control over state governments probably unshaken by events in Washington, there will be no great wave election that sweeps them out of power. I do not see profound political consequences for enough of them to change the character of a Congress gone delusional. The only real consequences will be felt by the millions of people affected by what this Congress has forced upon the nation, which was the whole point all along.

Congress is being dominated by a rump of nihilistic vandals.  And it's not clear that the clear heads know how to defeat them.

Really?  Does the age of America end like this?

Update:  a fiery response from Senator Elizabeth Warren:  Republican “threats may continue, but they are not working, and they will never work. Because this is democracy, and in a democracy, hostage tactics are the last resort for those who can’t win their fights through elections, can’t win their fights in Congress, can’t win their fights for the presidency, and can’t win their fights in the courts. For this right-wing minority, hostage-taking is all they have left — a last gasp of those who cannot cope with the realities of our democracy.”


JCF said...

Obamacare can provide the mental health treatment needed by those who freak-out over Obamacare*. Irony is ironic.

* Not that the freaked-out will ever choose to get that help, sadly.

JCF said...

FWIW, I'm ensured---now (wasn't from 2004-2011)---but am interested in accessing the health insurance "exchanges" (via CoveredCalifornia, for me), to see if I can get a better deal. [But won't look *today*, for obvious reasons!]

JCF said...

"insured". Ooops.