The Irresponsible GOP

congress-614Is today the first day of the last days of the GOP?

As you know, last night the GOP members of the House forced a shutdown of the federal government. In doing so, they have not only caused harm to America, they have caused harm to themselves. Some Republicans have enough sense to see this.  Rep. Peter King of NY said he wouldn’t vote in support of a shutdown.  Sen. John McCain has repeatedly told his fellow Republicans in Congress that Obamacare is now the law of the land— deal with it and move on.  Charles Krauthammer, the relentless anti-Obama, has renamed the Tea Party the Suicide Party.  But their voices have not been heard and the majority of Republicans are obviously supporting the shutdown.

The fallout will be substantial, and all bad.  Republican actions will cause further damage to our still fragile American economy.  More people will lose their jobs, not counting the 800,000 federal workers who were furloughed today.  More furloughs mean more people collecting benefits and fewer people paying taxes. Companies doing business with the government won’t get paid.  That impact will in turn trickle down to their employees and suppliers.  Who knows what the end cost will be, but rest assured there will be a cost and the American taxpayer will have to pay it.  Thanks, GOP!

Eventually, this current crisis will come to a conclusion and the government will restart.  At that point, when the GOP brand image is irretrievably in the toilet, some GOP leaders will try to convince you that not all Republicans are irresponsible radicals, grenade throwing anarchists, juvenile delinquents, or sadomasochists.  They will try to convince you that there are some “good” Republicans.  But it will be too late.  The GOP now has a modus operandi— a plan of attack that includes Molotov cocktails, and they plan on repeating it over and over again.  This is not simple political gridlock.  No party has shutdown the government because it didn’t get its way on a piece of legislation.  This is unprecedented.  So, why, why, why is the GOP doing this?  As the number of voters affiliated with the GOP declines each year, they are faced with the prospect of winning fewer and fewer congressional seats.  This was foreseen long back.  That’s why the GOP’s major legislative initiative during the past 3 years has been to change the voting rules in the states.  They’re circling the wagons to protect their weak position.  Today’s government shutdown could be the GOP’s Little Big Horn.  It may be fatal, they know it, and they’ve decided to not die quietly.  They will cause as much damage as they can on their way out.

Today the GOP handed the Democrats a victory.  The Dems should be able to win a majority in Congress next year and for many years to come.  All they have to do is demonstrate that they are the adults in the room. We’ll see.

2 thoughts on “The Irresponsible GOP

  1. From your lips to God’s ear, Rick. So far, Obama is holding the line and expressing the issue well: part of one party in one part of one branch of government has shut down the Federal government because it cannot get its way about a law that was passed by Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court and ratified by Obama’s re-election. Let’s hope he keeps his spine straight.

  2. In the blog entry above, I made a statement that this action by the House of Representatives was “unprecedented”. This morning I learned this actually has happened before. In 1879, in a maneuver very similar to the current one, a group of Southern Congressmen threatened to withhold appropriations for the military unless the President stopped enforcing voting rights laws in the South. They attached “riders” to the appropriations bill which would prohibit Federal troops from monitoring elections. Recognizing the long term implications to the office of the President if this threat were successful, President Hayes vetoed the riders five times. Each time, public support for the president grew, and eventually the threat died. Deja vu all over again? This information courtesy of Heather Cox Richardson, who teaches nineteenth-century American history at Boston College.

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