Random thoughts about the government shutdown

Did the government shut down? Has anyone noticed? There are more questions than answers. Photo: Closed for business (plus.google.com)

CHARLOTTEOctober 1, 2013 – Does anybody have any idea what is going on in Washington? Even the people who are supposedly in the know don’t seem to know.

As always, the talking heads and the media are looking for someone to blame while other pundits are saying everyone is to blame.


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The sun came up on the morning of October 1, 2013 and the government was shut down. The sky was still blue. Traffic looked the same. People went to work as usual. (Except for non-essential folks in Washington who are upset that they are “non-essential.”)

Which poses the question, if the government shuts down for non-essential people then why is congress still there? Are they essential?

As the debate raged into the night in Washington on Monday, cable networks displayed their countdown clocks marking the pending Armageddon and most Americans were tuned into Monday Night Football. That was where the real action was.

If what the founding fathers created more than 200 plus years ago wasn’t so tragic today, it would be a comedy of errors that no screenwriter could ever imagine. Despite that, the rest of the world must be laughing hysterically at the dog and pony show on Capitol Hill while asking if they are really going to trust our Laurel and Hardy administration to deal with Russia, the complexities of the Middle East and global terrorism.    


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With very few answers there is a plethora of questions and Catch 22 quirks about the chaotic gridlock in Washington, D.C. Here are some random examples but not worry, they are just “bumps in the road.”

Who would have predicted that The Affordable Care Act would be open for business on the same day the government shut down for the first time in 17 years?

What happens if the government is still closed in two weeks when the debt ceiling issue hits Washington’s agenda? That will be a far more serious problem that becomes magnified to a greater degree if both issues are not resolved. Will the giant game of chicken continue or not?

Did the Republicans suddenly get a backbone against Barack Obama after witnessing the way Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad made the president and Secretary of State John Kerry look like amateurs in Syria? Was that a signal to Republicans that they could make Obama back down?


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If the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would not negotiate with Republicans about the Continuing Resolution which led to the government shutdown, then why are Republicans getting the blame as most observers claim? Did the House of Representatives not send three alternative plans to the Senate that were all rejected?

Harry Reid told Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) following his filibuster last week that Cruz had wasted precious time while the clock was ticking toward a shutdown. Then the Senate took a break over the weekend, not returning to Washington until 2 p.m. Monday while that same crucial clock was ticking. Was there a timeout during the weekend we did not hear about? Does it not appear that Mr. Reid really was not really as concerned about a shutdown as he said he was?

In one iteration of the CR the House sent back to the Senate they called for delaying Obamacare for a year so it could be tweaked and polished into a more acceptable format. Does anyone honestly believe that if the Senate had accepted a delay that any “tweaking” would have taken place for the 11 months prior to the deadline? In other words, the delay would be nothing more than just that, a delay. One year from now the debate would be no different than it is today.

Following a press briefing Monday, Barack Obama met with his Cabinet. Did someone have to draw the president a map to find out where the Cabinet was hanging out? During that session, Obama, in typically disingenuous fashion, made a statement to the effect that he wishes the Cabinet did not have to be there when they could be devoting their attention to more important things such as jobs and the economy. Why was that suddenly important on Monday when it hasn’t been for five years?

Then there is the on-going comment about Obama negotiating with Russia, Syria and Iran but not with the Republicans in Washington. Truthfully, House Republicans were negotiating with themselves since no one else was talking. The most talkative president in history suddenly came down with laryngitis.

Which leads to one final question, with all the foolishness that is going on in Washington, is it any wonder why the American people have lost interest? Perhaps we should try this shutdown thing a while longer.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).  

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

 

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