Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Let’s shut down the government. It’ll be fun.

Please step into my time machine. I’m going to set the controls for around a month ago and the location to a conference room somewhere in the Capital building in Washington, D.C. In this conference room sit the House Republican leaders, presided over by John Boehner. They are discussing the upcoming confrontation with Obama over the looming deadline for the spending bill. The dozen or so members are discussing whether to allow a clean bill to pass the House or to close down the government in order to pressure Obama to defund Obamacare.

I’m especially interested in this part of the deliberations because I can’t imagine how this group of individuals came to the conclusion that a government shutdown would be a successful tactic. So what would the arguments be for a shutdown?

Obama will certainly cave to our demands.

Now, I am one of those progressives who thinks Obama went too far in the past to appease Republicans, however, this is a different story. Conservatives in the House are asking him to defund a law that was passed by the Senate and the House and upheld by the Supreme Court. More importantly, the Affordable Care Act is the hallmark legislation of the Obama administration. How can Republicans think he is going to blithely destroy something that will define his presidency for years to come?

In addition, Obama may not have as rigid a spine as I would like, but even he understands that to give in to the Republicans demands now would be damaging to not only the rest of his presidency, but also detrimental to future presidents. If Obama caved, every time a president tried to pass something a minority of congresspeople objected to, there would be another hostage situation.

Once the shutdown begins, the public will flock to our side.

Uh, no. As the days pass, Americans are growing angrier and angrier at this unnecessary disruption. It is hurting real people in real ways, crippling the country and damaging our image overseas. This is emblematic of the same kind of delusional thinking that many conservatives displayed during the last election when they were sure that, despite all of the obvious signs, Romney was going to win by a landslide. Life in the conservative bubble.

This is the only option left to us

From their viewpoint, that seems true. The problem is, they can’t accept that they lost this battle and that they should simply move on. Instead, they are holding the country hostage to try and get their way. The members of Congress involved in this stunt aren’t merely Tea Party conservatives, they are anarchists who are willing to destroy the country in a misguided attempt to save it.

What the heck, let’s just shut down the government and see what happens.

Sound insane to you? It does to me, but I would not be at all surprised if this was the sentiment of some House members. Plan? Who needs a plan? Ramifications? I’m not sure, but I’ll still get paid. And doggone it all, government is evil anyway. Shutting it down might be the best thing that ever happened to this country.

As you can see, there simply are no good arguments for shutting down the government. And, of course, that’s why the Republicans did it.

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