WASHINGTON, October 8, 2013 — The shutdown antics, sideshows, and war of words members of Congress and President Barack Obama are engaged in are worthy of an episode of Saturday Night Live. “Doing whatever we want” and doing it very badly.
The second government paralysis in 17 years revealed our country is being run by a bunch of clowns and that we have too many government workers.
If our essential government can function with 800,000 less furloughed workers, this begs the question why we needed a total of three million? Why do members of Congress have such bloated staffs? Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., thought he did something noble when he announced he cut his staff from 44 to 13 in response to the shutdown. Why do Manchin and other members of Congress need so much staff paid for by taxpayers?
Back to the clown show. From Obama declaring, as if he were King of America, “There will be no negotiations on the debt ceiling” to House Speaker John Boehner and his rowdy caucus’ fixation on defunding Obamacare like pit bulls locked into position, the adults have left Washington.
Whether you have an R, D or independent etched next to your name, no side is blameless in what is looking more like a reality TV show “Shutdown Showdown,” featuring politicians behaving badly. Though Obama fantasizes he is above the puerile play being exhibited by the legislative branch, the president is churning out lots of comedic material.
Just as he did during the sequester when he ended White House tours and told the FAA to create staffing shortages at airports, Obama flexed his presidential muscle to make the shutdown as painful as possible on Americans.
The administration told the National Park Service to get tough. Rangers barricaded monuments like the World War II memorial off from veterans. Monuments are made of stone or marble. They don’t need park rangers to hold them up. So why are they closed to visitors? Yet, while the Park Service abused our veterans, it allowed an immigration rally to take place Tuesday on the National Mall, which is closed, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats are participating in it.
Is the Park Service is an arm of the Democrat party?
The Park Service also arbitrarily shut some roads, parking lots and businesses that lease land from the government. Roads, parking lots and private businesses don’t need ranger protection. During the 1995-1996 shutdown, this level of zealous enforcement didn’t occur.
Instead of negotiating with Congressional Republicans to reach a deal temporarily funding the government through December, because Obama doesn’t think that’s his job, he took a break from his non-negotiations for a Friday lunch with Vice President Biden at a sandwich shop near the White House. Wagging his finger, Obama told the media Boehner could end this mess if he did his job and got the House to pass the Senate bill.
Because Obama doesn’t have anything better to do, like lead the country out of this shutdown morass, he took time out Saturday to excoriate Redskins owner Dan Snyder for the team’s name. In an interview with the Associated Press, Obama lectured: “If I were the owner of the team and I knew there was a name of my team-even if it had storied history — that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it.”
The American people are happy to learn such frivolous, private sector matters weigh heavily on the president’s mind. If only he gave the same degree of thought to the shutdown of the nation or debt ceiling limit which expires October 17, 2013. With the White House staff reduced from 90 to 15, perhaps Obama will take up cooking, as he waits for House Republicans to “do their job.’
But House Republicans are providing their fair share of shutdown giggles too. “This isn’t some damn game. All we want is to sit down and have a discussion,” declared Boehner. Yet the actions of Republicans say otherwise.
A band of House GOP, including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, played doctor this past week, sported lab coats and demanded the Senate fund the National Institutes of Health whose research can save children’s lives. Instead of doing their job and voting to fund the government, the House Republicans want to pick and choose which parts of government to fund. Utterly ridiculous.
Rep. Renee Elmers (R-NC) cried shutdown tears, saying she couldn’t afford not to get paid her yearly $174,000 taxpayer funded salary. Uhm, then she and other members should do the job we elected them to do, serve “we the people.”
Neither members of Congress nor the President nor their respective staffs should receive a dime of pay until they reach a deal to pass a yearly budget not a continuing resolution. Congress hasn’t passed a budget since 2010.
Democrats look ridiculous too. Acting like a spoiled child, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will not negotiate with House Republicans, “So, there! (Pout). Sorry Harry, your job like Obama’s is to negotiate with the other team.
In exchange for Republicans voting for government funding bill without Obamacare ornaments and raising the debt ceiling to over $17 trillion, Democrats and the president must agree to spending cuts and reforming entitlements. Why? Because America is exploding in debt and deficits, putting the nation on an incurable path of fiscal cancer.
In a 2009 meeting about the $800 stimulus package, Obama arrogantly told then Representative Eric Cantor (R-Va.), “Elections have consequences. And Eric I won. So on that, I think I trump you,” (The Price of Politics, p. 14).” Republicans won control of the House in 2010 and like it or not Mr. President, elections have consequences and now you have to negotiate with Republicans.
So, Boehner, Reid, and Obama put on your big boy pants, get in a room and cut a deal. Governing should not look like reality TV. None of you were elected to serve your egos, something you have forgotten.
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