American Government Hostage Crisis officially begins as Republicans shut down the U.S. government as promised.
By Andy Cohen
Congratulations America! Judging by the results of the 2010 and 2012 Congressional elections that put Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives, you got just exactly what you wanted……and what you deserve.
There really isn’t any other logical conclusion. The government shutdown of 2013, commenced at 9 pm Pacific time last night, was inevitable. It was no secret that a government shutdown was the goal all along since the day John Boehner took the gavel as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. It’s not like we weren’t warned……repeatedly.
Congressional Republicans are celebrating today, for they’ve achieved at least half of what they’ve set out to do, and they are a mere two-and-a-half weeks away from achieving their ultimate goal: Completely sabotaging the American economy in its entirety by defaulting on the country’s debt. You see, America must fail for Republicans to succeed.
This is the mission of the “American Taliban:” To destroy our system of governance and institute a system whereby the ultimate power resides in private hands. ENRON FOR PRESIDENT!!!
Republicans in general—and the Tea Party in particular—so abhor the very idea of government that in their minds the only good government is no government. They “love” the Founders, and they “love” the Constitution, but they hate the government that the Constitution and the Founders established.
Over the past few weeks leading up to today we’ve heard from Republicans how it’s Democrats and President Obama that wanted to shut down the government, and we’ll continue to hear that in the days ahead as long as the government remains closed for business. It is their claim that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Obama “refuse to negotiate” over the Affordable Care Act—an “act” that is no longer an act, it’s the law. We’re also going to hear the punditocracy claim a pox on both houses, assigning responsibility to both sides for the mess we’re in.
The funny thing is, it was never the Democrats who have been giddily calling for a government shutdown.
In September 2010, just before the midterm elections, Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland gleefully exclaimed that should the Republicans win a majority in the House (Dems were the majority from 2006 to 2010) it was their intent to “do it again” just like 1995. “This is what we’re going to do. If the government shuts down, we want you with us!” Westmoreland said to enthusiastic applause.
“We will do what we have to do to shut down the government if we have to,” said former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh. “Most people in my district say ‘shut it down,’” he later said to Fox News.
“I don’t think it would hurt one bit” if the government shut down, said former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul when asked about a government shutdown.
“Even if it means, say, showing how serious we are, okay, government’s gonna have to shut down,” said Texas Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert.
“I say SHUT IT DOWN!” said former GOP Rep. and newly minted governor of Indiana Mike Pence to cheers of “CUT IT OR SHUT IT! CUT IT OR SHUT IT!” from the crowd. (h/t “Rachel Maddow Show“)
“This is exactly what we hoped for,” said Michele Bachmann on the eve of the shutdown. “We’re excited. We’re UNITED!”
Since the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in January 2011, not a single piece of significant legislation has been passed. Not one. Instead, they’ve been focused on undermining women’s rights and denying access to contraception; combating ACORN—an organization that no longer exists; undermining efforts to develop more reliable sources of renewable energy; passing budget bills that end Medicare as we know it; and voting 43 times to repeal “Obamacare,” ignoring the fact that the Affordable Care Act is the ironclad law of the land, passed by Congress, signed into law by the President, and upheld as constitutional by the most radically conservative Supreme Court in our history, all so that they can deny health coverage to the tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it and cannot get it. Because, you know, “FREEDOM!” (to get sick and die).
Compare that to the first two years of the Obama presidency, where Democrats had majorities in both the House and Senate: Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; it rescued the auto industry, which is thriving and producing record profits today; it ended “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”; passed Wall St. reform; credit card reform; student loan reform (removing private banks that had until then profited on the backs of student for doing literally nothing from the equation); an expansion of the G.I. Bill; Hate Crimes Act; 9/11 First Responders Bill; ratified the new START Treaty; passed the stimulus bill; and on and on and on.
The sole purpose for the existence of the modern Republican Party is to ensure that government does not and cannot function. They set out to shut down the government for the sake of shutting down the government simply because they don’t like government. It is an act of deliberate sabotage. There are no stated goals. Oh, sure, they use “Obamacare” as their purpose for being, but in actuality they know there’s nothing they can do to undo the law of the land as long as Democrats control the Senate and the White House.
Laughably, House Republicans are now placing blame on the Senate, where Reid has refused to assign conferees to negotiate on a last second budget bill hastily put together last night as the clock ticked down to zero hour, pointing to that as proof that the Democrats are the ones responsible for putting hundreds of thousands of American federal workers out of work and out of a paycheck. Yet a year ago it was Republicans who repeatedly accused Senate Democrats of stalling on the budget because the upper chamber had not passed a budget bill of their own. Six months ago the Senate called John Boehner’s bluff and passed a budget. For six months it was the House of Representatives—led by Republicans—that refused to send representatives to a conference committee. And now they’re crying foul?
This is what happens when we place a party in power whose sole purpose for being is to undermine government in order to do real damage to real people’s lives. There should no longer be any doubt about why the United States is no longer the “greatest country in the world.” Exhibit ‘A’: The Republican Party, who has bowed down to the American Taliban, AKA the Tea Party, and who has abdicated all responsibility as a governing party.
Oh, and by the way: As of today, Obamacare is officially and fully open for business.