The budget debate is a pathetic, disgusting, carnival freak show. The miniscule amounts of deficit reduction being discussed by either party illustrate that no one got the message in November. Lip service and symbolism simply don’t cut it anymore. I’ve seen enough from the GOP already to justify my serious reservations I’ve had since the mid-terms. Boehner and the GOP leadership don’t have the cajones to step up to the plate and do what they promised.
This is not a blanket indictment of the entire GOP. 54 Republicans, including 22 freshmen, did the right thing and voted against the party line on the stopgap extension. Why was it not 100%? Two reasons. First, you have the old guard establishment led by Boehner who have laid their cards on the table face up and told Reid and Obama that they are not going to allow a government shutdown. This is, of course, precisely why you haven’t seen any counter offer of any substance from the democrats. Why should they? Boehner has already called his own bluff and ignored the election mandate. Our POTUS, a.k.a. Mr. Disengagement, can afford to take his lumps in the press for not getting involved when he already knows the outcome.
Second, the remainder of the freshmen class has already been taken to the woodshed by the party leadership. They are learning the ropes on what’s required to join the fraternity. If you have aspirations for a committee, particularly to someday chair a committee, then you have to toe the line and vote along with the party leadership. Start bucking the leadership, especially a freshman right out of the gates, and you will find yourself at the end of the line when the assignments are awarded. That’s always the way it goes when you are in any organization. You have to pay your dues.
You can go here and see the entire results of the vote. Take a look and see if your member in your district is serious about saving our country from financial armageddon or if they are just willing to kick the can down the road for three weeks. It’s fine if you wish to give the entire GOP class in the House props for voting against Obamacare. That was a necessary step, however, it was only one of two steps and it was the one without any real repercussions. Defunding Obamacare is step two and this is why a stand must be made here. Boehner can talk all day long about playing by the rules and not duplicating Pelosi, but it doesn’t hold water. They get to make the rules, it’s part of the victors’ spoils.
The GOP has a short leash and still only a few real options available to them absent control of the Senate and White House. Defunding is their primary tool and they must use it. Screw this up and they’ll find themselves right back on the outside looking in again after the 2012 election.
The fear propaganda campaign surrounding a government shutdown is akin to the same being spewed forth concerning radiation fallout from Japan affecting the United States. Our citizens won’t be keeling over in the streets despite Henry Waxman’s hopes and dreams. You can be assured that CNN will be searching far and wide to locate a U.S. citizen who has gotten sick from radiation poisoning.
A government shutdown affects the sector of government that the left covets the most. The discretionary funded “unnecessary” employees. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the military continue to function per normal. By law. No, I don’t mean every facet is unchanged as some functions would stop and some personnel will be sent home immediately, but the programs don’t simply cease operation as the propaganda would insinuate. So I say shut it down! The GOP simply doesn’t have that many bargaining chips and can’t afford to let this one go. At the end of the day, Obama has to cave in, at least if Boehner were to force him. It’s his constituents and voting block most affected by any shutdown of substance.
The same goes for the debt limit. Obama does not have the upper hand in either debate. Yet, the GOP acts as if they are the ones backed into a corner. If Boehner were a poker player, he’d be the one wearing the mirrored sunglasses so you could see his cards in their reflection. Japan may be at a level 6 on the nuclear emergency scale, but we’re at a level 7 or DEFCON 1 or condition red under the DHS threat level system when it comes to our finances.