Shut It Down
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The irony is, if Democrats had passed a budget, there would be no danger of a government shutdown.
Time to make DC listen.
But when you get right down to it, most of the blustering over the prospect of a government shutdown is just that: blustering.
The government is divided into two parts, known as essential and non-essential. One of the realities of a government shutdown is that non-essential services and programs are shut down, while essential services and programs continue. At a very basic level, all that ends up happening is that a bunch of government bureaucrats stay home ' and if it goes anything like the last government shutdown did, they'll end up getting paid for that time anyway. That's a far cry from the "anarchy" that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has repeatedly accused Ted Cruz and the Tea Party of seeking.
But the vision of a government shutdown bringing doom and gloom is an essential part of the Democrats' strategy, which primarily involves convincing people who aren't paying much attention that the Republicans and the Tea Party are just a bunch of hateful meanies who don't like the president because of the color of his skin.
What this is really about is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which doesn't really protect patients, and isn't really affordable. Americans were told all kinds of lies as Democrats underwent their mad push to get the bill into law, and now it is the American people who are left to deal with the consequences, as health insurance rates continue to rise, hours continue to be cut, and jobs continue to be lost or never created, as businesses across America contract in order to avoid the Affordable Care Act's unaffordable regulations. This has been going on all across the nation, and has been a major contributor to our nation's continued economic woes ' after all, why should businesses grow and expand, when they know that they'll just be walking right into the employer mandate when it kicks in? How will it help anyone to get health insurance despite preexisting conditions if they can't get enough hours to afford the ever-more-expensive premiums?
What Ted Cruz did this week was groundbreaking: he gave a 20+ hour speech about why it is important to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Despite what the pundits and detractors are saying, he didn't say anything crazy or anarchist ' the vast majority of his time was spent providing clear, cogent arguments about why the Affordable Care Act is bad for America ' something Harry Reid or Barack Obama would be unable to do without the aid of a TelePrompTer.
Since its passage, which was strictly along party lines (not to mention the series of threats, cajoling, and backroom deals that were necessary to get enough votes), the Affordable Care Act has been extremely unpopular among the American people...at least, people who own businesses, manages businesses, or work for businesses don't tend to be big fans, since they're the ones getting screwed over the most by the Affordable Care Act.
Washington politicians seem to be the only ones worried about a government shutdown - Democrats, because if they maneuver right, they can use the prospect of a shutdown to try and scare the people into hating the Republican Party...and Republicans, because they are afraid the Democrats' strategy will be effective. This is why it's so difficult for real conservatives to get the spineless RINOs on board - they tend to be more afraid of what nasty things the left-wing media will say about them than they are about the concerns of their constituents.
John McCain in particular has come a long way in the last few years. After the 2008 election, in the Democrats' mad push to get the Affordable Care Act into law, President Obama made a big show of sitting down at a table in the White House with a group of Republican and Democrat legislators, allegedly to hash out their differences and come to some kind of compromise. It was all an act, of course, and as soon as John McCain spoke up to give his objections to the Act, President Obama wagged his finger at the Senator, telling him "the election is over." Now, Senator McCain is saying much the same thing, as he had the audacity to tell Senator Ted Cruz much the same thing - President Obama won the 2012 election, so apparently the people have spoken...despite the fact that repeated polling shows that the Affordable Care Act is extremely unpopular. All that this proves is that John McCain, constantly lauded as a "maverick" by the media who adored him right up until he ran against Obama, has been thoroughly and utterly defeated. He may have an (R) next to his name, but when both Harry Reid and Dick Durbin are fighting on the Senate floor to get him speaking time because they know that he's sold out, it's very clear that he should either retire, or trade in his (R) for a (D).
Throughout this "debate," the Democrats have been completely unwilling to negotiate or compromise ' even as President Obama reaches out to Islamist thugs in Iran and Syria, he condemns and refuses to speak with Republicans in the United States Congress. Harry Reid has rejected all proposals sent over by the House, choosing to call Republicans mean names rather than trying to work with them on a compromise.
From America's perspective, this is a fight over whether we will be able to get good quality health care in the future. Obamacare does a pretty good job of destroying the health insurance industry, replacing it with government red tape and a system that can't even function while the government tries futilely to set it up.
From the politicians' perspective, this is a fight to determine which political party will have control over the United States government, and, ultimately, the American People. To the entrenched political class, this has nothing to do with making choices or implementing policies that are good for the people of America. If that were the case, there would be no risk of a government shutdown, because the federal government would have a budget in place, and wouldn't be bickering over continuing resolutions. As it is, some Republicans are actually trying to get rid of a bad law, while the Democrats seem intent to force a government shutdown with the goal of pointing fingers at Republicans.
It's sad that so few of the politicians in Washington are actually fighting for the people. Ted Cruz is right ' it's time to make DC listen.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)