, Newburyport, MA


October 19, 2013

The shutdown: comedy or tragedy?


Perhaps someone should be writing a tragic sequel for our time, because it’s the world and common reality that are insane. Without innate idealism, what happens to us?

We’re told that there was never a chance that Republicans could defund Obamacare. But at least the voters, if they ever realize how bad it is, will know which party tried to stop it.

Anyone paying attention knows that Republicans were willing to compromise by just delaying the individual mandate as Obama delayed the business mandate, while giving exemptions to his politically allied groups and to Congress. Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, offered a plan to reopen the government, prevent a default, start negotiations on the national debt and maintain the 2011 agreement to reduce Washington spending. Obama and Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to discuss it, instead adding a demand that the 2011 agreement be violated in order to increase spending even more.

Democrats, in pure partisanship lockstep, wouldn’t negotiate — until this intransigence became obvious to even casual observers. As I write, the Senate may be voting on a “short-term deal” to just get the government functioning (if that is the word) and the debt ceiling raised for a few months. I’m glad I’m not a politician who always has to push the battle down the road because we can’t do our job and be deciders.

Because polls show Republicans being blamed for the partial government shutdown, it’s been in the cynical interest of Democrats to make sure they wring the last drop of pain from the issue. Incredibly, Obama tried to block elderly veterans from visiting the World War II Memorial, while opening up the Mall to illegal immigrants rallying for amnesty. Tourists visiting Yellowstone Park were kept away from Old Faithful, though it erupts without government help. Childish behavior from the most immature president in our history, backed up by the entire Democratic machine, is allowed by the people who don’t want to admit his re-election was a mistake.

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