Is this an American government shutdown, or is it a Republican shutdown of the American government? What’s now closed, besides the entire city of Washington, D.C. and all national parks? (How can the country of liberty ever close the Statue of Liberty?) Will the American shutdown affect us Canadians or our shared border? (Not likely… yet.)
Quite frankly, it’s episodes of infant-aged maturity (like this) that further nail supporters of either party to the opinions they’ve already had and still will for some time to come. It’s a tug of war that pulls the middle away from the rational. The shutdown is now, to many, a complete inability to cope with a law that was already passed in 2009 and is just now being implemented (that would be ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act, as it’s less crudely known) on the part of the Republican Party.
The GOP would like the President to negotiate with them, regardless of whether there’s anything to negotiate. The GOP wanted to President to delay the enacting of ObamaCare’s registration process, but it went live – online – on Tuesday morning.
And so, one wing of the American government holding the other hostage.
Folks with a voice and a thought aren’t holding back.
Harry Reid – Sen. (D) Nevada
*In a letter to Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R–Ohio). (via BusinessInsider.com)
“Dear Mr. Speaker;
“I hated the Iraq War. I think I hated it as much as you hate the Affordable Care Act. Even though I voted in 2002 to give President Bush the authority to confront Saddam Hussein, I became appalled at how that authority was used – without clear objectives, a coherent strategy, or significant international support. There were many gut-wrenching nights when I struggled over what I needed to do to end the carnage. In those days, when President Bush was Commander in Chief, I could have taken the steps that you are taking now to block Government funding in order to gain leverage to end the war. I faced a lot of pressure from my own base to take that action. But I did not do that. I felt that it would have been devastating to America. Therefore, the Government was funded.”
Michele Bachmann – Representative (R) Minnesota
“I think the reason (behind this stalemate) is because President Obama can’t wait to get Americans addicted to the crack cocaine of dependency on more government health care.
“Because, once they enroll millions of more individual Americans, it will be virtually impossible for us to pull these benefits back from people… They’re trying to fly a plane they haven’t even built yet.”
*Bachmann made this comments in an interview with far-right site WND (formerly WorldNetDaily). The video below is from Bachmann’s interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer:
Elizabeth Warren – Sen. (D) Massachusetts
“With millions of people out of work, with an economic recovery still far too fragile, with students and families being crushed by student loan debt, with millions of seniors denied their chance at one hot meal a day… with the country hours away from a government shutdown, and days away from a potential default on the nation’s debt, the Republicans have decided that the single most important issue facing our nation is to change the law so that employers can deny women access to birth control coverage.” (via Upworthy)
*The Affordable Care Act aims to offer health plans that will now include medical health services, birth control and preventive care – measure that hadn’t been included before. The act has a six-month enrolment period, starting on Tuesday, and the legislation requires Americans to get insurance or pay a fine.
Daily Show host Jon Stewart (Monday night, before the shutdown)
“House Republicans are refusing to fund the government unless the rest of Congress delays implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, also known as the end of America as we know it for reasons nobody is able to explain.
“Everything appears to have been done literally by the book. This bill is now a law… Did you see the Giants game on Sunday? They lost 31-7. Do you know what the Giants didn’t say after that game? If you don’t give us 25 more points by midnight on Monday, we will shut down the f**king NFL.
“This is not a game of chicken. This is when someone’s driving to work and there’s a car coming directly at them in their lane. That’s not a game of chicken – that’s an a*shole causing a head-on collision.”
U.S. President Barack Obama:
“(We) know that the longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be… More families will be hurt. More businesses will be harmed.
“(It’s an) ideological crusade… They (Republicans) demanded ransom just for doing their job.”
Ted Cruz – Sen. (R) Texas (said on Sept. 25, 2013)
*Cruz compared the implementation of ObamaCare – and the acceptance of the law – to Britain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. (via Business Insider)
“If you go to the 1940’s – Nazi Germany… We saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe, but it’s not our problem. Let’s appease them’… In America, there were voices that listened to that, I suspect those same pundits who say it can’t be done. If it had been in the 1940’s we’d be listening to them.
“I rise today in opposition to ObamaCare… What do all those voices say? Can’t be stopped. You can’t win. Cannot defund it.
“By any measure, ObamaCare is a far less intimidating foe than those that I have discussed, with the possible exception of the moon. The moon might be as intimidating as ObamaCare.”
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R)
“The House has made its position know very clearly. We believe we should fund the government, and we think there oughta be basic fairness for all Americans under ObamaCare.
“The Senate has continued to reject our offers, but under the Constitution there’s a way to resolve this process and that is to go to conference and talk through your differences. I would hope the Senate would accept our offer to go to conference and discuss this, so that we can resolve this for the American people.”
*Tuesday’s government shutdown leaves 800,000 public service workers in America without a job.
Peter King – Representative (R) New York
“(This is) Ted Cruz’s fault. Ted Cruz led us down this path. This was a disaster from the start… I could have predicted this and this is what the leadership predicted three weeks ago when they said they would never pursue defunding because it was going to work against us and we’d be blamed. But Ted Cruz insisted that his people follow him, and we did it, and that’s why we’re in this position. It’s his fault, and he wants us to get him out of it. Listen, I’m saying the President should negotiate, but I’m saying that this was caused by Ted Cruz and his acolytes in the House of Representatives. They led us down this dead-end street.
“Ted Cruz is to blame, and those in the House who stand with him have brought about this train wreck. It’s up to us to try to get it out, and it’s up to the president to step in and stop standing on the sidelines.”
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough (on August 27, 2013)
“I don’t even know what to say about these people (Tea Party Republicans)… John Boehner had the House of Representatives cast 40 votes. Two overturned ObamaCare. And, these people are demanding… you know, shut down the government and basically take the advantage out of Republicans’ and Conservatives’ hands and give it to Barack Obama.
“Do they really love Barack Obama that much?
“They have painted themselves into a corner of the room where they will soon be alone in the political world.”
*Scarborough, who is now a television host, was a serving Republican in the American House of Representatives from 1995-2001 in Florida.