by Timothy Lane
The government partial shutdown is a consequence of the conservative determination to block Obamacare to whatever extent they can, and the liberal determination to maintain it in full (no matter what problems they themselves admit there are).
Naturally, the Democrats’ propaganda arm (whom I call the synoptic media, a term I get from Biblical studies) interpret everything from the liberal viewpoint, carefully excising from their reports (as I’ve seen in my local “newspaper”, commonly known as the Curious Journal to conservatives) such details as the Senate’s refusal to consider the House’s individual spending bills, the Obama Gang’s shutting down of open-air memorials that haven’t been shut down in previous shutdowns, and the blatantly callous statements by Harry Reid and an Obama staffer.
So what should the GOP do? The most important thing is simply to tell people what they’re doing. If they made public speeches on the Capitol steps announcing their various appropriations bills, even the synoptic media would have to cover them, and thus admit that Harry Reid and Barack Obama are forcing the closure of the NIH, national parks, etc. But there are some other things that should be done.
The most obvious involves accountability, a concept that the Obama Gang is clearer allergic to. Traditionally, the furloughed government employees are reimbursed for lost income once the shutdown finally ends. The House leaders should announce that they will NOT reimburse any managerial employees (and, if they can’t confine it to them, any employees at all) in any bureau (such as the National Park Service) that deliberately seeks to maximize the harm done to the public. Instead, that money would be used to compensate any private business (such as the living history farm in Virginia that was never closed down in previous shutdowns) for their losses – and ALL that money should be taken out of the future budgets of the guilty bureaus.
They should also institute impeachment proceedings against the top management for their gross misbehavior. Presumably these will go nowhere in the Senate, but it would be nice to see the Democrats have to defend the deliberate punishment of ordinary citizens for the sake of political advantage by the sick, spiteful, petty, vicious, callous Democratic Party.
Another thing that would be nice would be for someone to point out an interesting point. Politically, the smartest thing for the Republicans to do is to make their stand on raising the debt limit (always unpopular with the public) rather than shutting down the government (which the public never wants). But in terms of policy, the latter is actually much better. What does it say, then, of the GOP that they chose the option that is better for the country but less politically advantageous? Realistically, the debt limit should be automatically raised to cover those expenditures that have already been passed; but in this case, that’s irrelevant as long as the partial shutdown continues.
As for Obamacare, the obvious thing is to insist on some sort of reforms. Some writers have suggested a bargain of some sort, which involves passing the CR and the debt limit increase in return for tax and entitlement reforms. The problem with that is they would have to rely on promises from Obama and Reid, which wouldn’t be worth the hot air they’re uttered with – not even if they swore on the Bible (or Book of Mormon in Reid’s case) that they claim to revere.
The Republicans should simply pass the individual appropriations bills (which in fact are how Congress is supposed to operate), at least those that aren’t controversial, and make sure people know who’s choosing to keep everything shut down. And they should refuse to raise the debt limit for any expenses not officially appropriated by Congress. Eventually, they should be able to insist on a bare minimum of a delay in the individual mandate, elimination of the medical device tax, and elimination of the congressional Obamacare subsidy (which they shouldn’t be getting anyway).
But, of course, that requires enough Republicans with the guts to maintain that stand, and it requires someone to point out what they’re doing so that the synoptic media will be forced to cover it with at least a semblance of honesty. Does the GOP have any such capability? • (929 views)