In the movie Casablanca, there is a point when Rick’s is shut down by Louie. Rick asks “what grounds do you have to shut me down”. Louie replies: “I’m shocked, shocked that gambling is going on in here”.
In the lead-up to the Government shutdown, Congress was warned by just about every government agency what the effects would be. They were warned that NIH would stop taking in new patients. They were warned that death benefits to fallen soldiers would be delayed. They were warned that national parks and monuments would shut down. And the list goes on.
Now, every time the news media runs a story about one of these things actually affecting real people, the Pee Party and Republicans run around shouting: “I’m shocked, shocked this is happening”.
It appears none of them ever learned how to listen to anyone. When warned, they simply shrugged their shoulders and said “oh, well”. Then when something happens that puts them in a bad light, the “shocked” scenario blurts out of their mouths.
I would like to point out to our members of Congress that actually listening to someone speak means you must HEAR what they are saying and actually process what the words mean. I wish I could get them to “listen” to this, but I guess that is too much to ask. Because, you cannot HEAR anything when you already made your mind up to go the other way.
The art of making decisions also seems foreign to them. We continually hear that Mr. Boehner wishes to negotiate with the President. But, they cannot decide WHAT to negotiate about. I know I have said this before, but what the hell are they NOT thinking about?
Want proof? Here are some conflicting items on their “wish list” for negotiating.
•House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan penned an op-ed asking for a compromise over entitlements and tax reform, but didn’t mention anything about the president’s health-care law
•Hours later, Speaker John Boehner went to the House floor to insist that Obamacare is still on the table
•The firm run by the conservative Koch Brothers distanced itself from any effort to defund the health-care law and instead called for Congress to cut government spending, per NBC’s Michael Isikoff
•Heritage Action meanwhile, wants to take the debt ceiling off the table and focus instead on Obamacare (even though it has received money from the Koch Brothers)
•And then yesterday afternoon, social conservative Ralph Reed asked Boehner to end subsidies for abortion under the health-care law (yes, abortion) as part of any deal to fund the government or raise the debt ceiling.
If you are confused by this disturbingly conflicted wish list, you are not alone. Here is a majority in the House of Representatives who can’t figure what they want. Yet, they are willing to let the government stay shuttered and threating default of the national debt causing massive hardships on people including THEIR constituents. By the way, from what I have read, if you have your retirement tied up in 401(k) accounts you can kiss it goodbye if the government actually does default. Something to think about.
Did you notice that even the latest Evil Empire the Koch Brothers are telling them to stop the nonsense over the Affordable Care Act? You may at first think that they have a heart. Nope. What they really want is for the EPA and OSHA to be abolished. They don’t want those pesky government agencies coming around anymore checking on their pollution or safety record.
So, here we sit. Waiting for the Pee Partiers and their slaves in the Republican Party to try and figure out what they want, and paying the price for their ignorance.
Next time you hear one of these arm-chair patriots screaming about the effects of their shutdown, just remember Louie in Casablanca. But, unlike the movie, let’s hope that all Americans remember this fiasco and it results in backlash rather than “the start of a beautiful friendship”.