Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Lights Out, Doors Locked

I guess most people don't care to read stuff that's unrelentingly negative, and with that in mind, here's a one-question test, fill-in-the-blank format. I heard a commentator the other night say that if Shakespeare were around today he's be writing plays about ____________. I'll give one small clue. The commentator was British. Answer later.

Today, however, we are doomed to look at the government shutdown, just hours old at this point. It may not go for weeks or months, as the sequester spending restrictions have, but government offices of all kinds are now shuffling papers while preparing to turn off the lights and lock the doors until things are resolved and the thousand-headed creature we built to serve our needs goes back into action.
The cynical among us (and this is now possibly a numerical majority) will say, in an effort at bipartisan disgust, "They're all bums and crooks. Throw 'em ALL out, I say."
Not me. I don't want to be a cynical old crab pretending to have the inside scoop on everything. I want to fix blame where it belongs, and that, my friends, is on the Republican House members, specifically those elected in the last two - four years. Yes, I'm talking about the tea party crowd, now about a third of all GOP members of the House.
The Republican regulars welcomed these newcomers into the House, where they took charge as a party, but not in fact. What's easy to forget is that these white, southern mostly male group may not know a great deal about healthcare or government finance or how the national debt works, but they sure do know how they got elected, and whose money made it possible. The redistricting which took place made dozens of little GOP fiefdoms in which the incumbent's only worry is: Will some guy even farther to the political right challenge me in the next primary?
It's not an exaggeration to call this group what they, in fact, are. Not doubters or cynics or even partisans. They are haters, and there is no one they hate more than President Obama. Put the term "healthcare" in front of them and they're already suspicious, but if you give it a name - "Obamacare", you have a howling lynch mob. Once you've called the president a "Sharia-supporting socialist and tyrant/ baby killer, there's just no way to back to Shreveport or McAllen and talk about working on a "compromise".
This group is uncontrollable in the House, and view the people who are their nominal leaders as "squishes" and "sellouts". Their orders are more likely to come from the NRA or Exxon Mobil than Speaker Boehner, a fact he has discovered, and capitulated to. The wonder isn't that the tea party crowd won't follow the Speaker, but that he doesn't look over his shoulder and see a bloody knife handle sticking out.
Of course, I could be exaggerating just to be entertaining. Perhaps a few days of no compromise will humble the GOP enough to drag themselves back into acting like a functioning part of the Constitution. But when they do, we will have a new healthcare system and we will manage to do what Reagan did eighteen times - raise the national debt ceiling, the alternative of which is even scarier than closing the road to Yellowstone National Park.         

Now, back to the teaser question. The commentator filled the blank with "the British Premier League", the world's most-watched soccer organization. I'm pretty sure I am going to watch more BPL this season, perhaps even enough to know something about it.


Post a Comment

<< Home