Shutdown

Come on. Don’t tell me you didn’t know this was coming.

Really, I’m serious. Don’t tell me you didn’t see this a mile away. Don’t tell me that John “Crybaby” Boehner, Michele “Bat-Guano Insane” Bachmann, and their ilk weren’t intending this from the beginning. They put this on the table the minute that the Affordable Care Act got signed into law. They fought this tooth and nail, and they got trounced by the Supreme Court decision that upheld it. They tried to “repeal” it – wasting taxpayer money all throughout, because they forgot basic fifth-grade social studies that clearly teaches that once the SCOTUS approves it, you’re screwed unless SCOTUS itself reverses the decision – 42 times and failed.

Think about this: these people hate the idea of someone other than themselves benefiting that they’re willing to shut down the government to force their way. Along the way they have attempted to decimate SNAP funding as well.

I always had a fixed dislike of small children, but there are few things that I hate more than adults who act like small children.

Let’s be real for a moment, folks. If we, when we were small children, would pull a tantrum like this – because this is a tantrum, make no mistake – and interrupt an important function (all opinions of the government aside here, bear with the analogy), then our parents would take us out and give us something to actually cry about, whether verbally or otherwise. Not that I condone violence, and I certainly don’t condone abuse, but it takes one solid trouncing (verbal or otherwise) to instill into a child that such behavior is not tolerated. Behavior continues only when it’s reinforced. Why in the hell, then, are adults allowed to get away with this? Far be it from me to advocate physical violence, but in the case of the Republican Party, verbal evisceration is truly not enough. At least children, when they’re rebuked, understand that they screwed up and don’t repeat the lesson. These…I don’t even want to call them people, truly…clearly lack the same Pavlovian-style conditioning. I don’t think that they live on the same planet as the rest of us. They failed to repeal the ACA 42 times. At least two of those forty-two were after the law was upheld in high court. No, they have to shut down the government, put people out of work – brilliant jobs, plan, by the way!!! /spit – make people go hungry…why?

All this – all of this – is because Pres. Obama signed a law into effect, which was upheld on challenge by the Supreme Court, that guaranteed poor people healthcare, stopped health insurance companies from gouging the consumers any more than they had to, and made it a mandate for everyone to have some sort of health coverage.

Think about it a little. Something that benefits people elicited this reaction. Along the way not even poor families are consequential, because after all, $4.50 a day should be more than enough for a box of ramen noodles, right? (I threw up in my mouth a little typing that – I was a broke college student once, and believe me, if I ever go back to that, I’ll jump off the Brooklyn Bridge first) This is the Republican reaction to the Affordable Care Act.

Oh, and as an aside: the ACA enrollment websites across the country are overloaded right now – because of its immense popularity. It’s a smash hit and is barely off the presses. And to reverse it, they’d happily furlough countless government employees, and put entire services to a screeching halt – just because they don’t want it. In addition to that, they somehow got the delusion that the people don’t want what the law offers. Website stats continue to prove them wrong; personally, I still can’t get into the NYS exchange because there’s such heavy traffic.

Truly, I have no words in the English language, as well as all the other languages I know in varying proficiency, to encompass the extent of the repugnant malice that they’re displaying, and my own rage at them. This is one of those times that I think that Henry VIII was onto something with his ideas of capital punishment.

Let’s point out the elephant in the room for a moment: the Republicans are on their way out, and this is just one more nail – a big nail, fortunately – in the party coffin. They’ve been on their way out ever since the “accidental” racist Freudian slips since Obama’s first election. Hell, they’ve been on their way out ever since the extend of Dubya’s incompetence became clear. The ACA is just the current show point of how out of touch the Republicans have grown from their own constituents. If the ACA were doomed to fail, as they’d like to think, then all the Republicans really had to do was implement it, wait for it to fail, then swoop in and get a clean sweep in the next election. Instead, they engaged in temper-tantrum tactics in order to stall it or stop it. Not because the law is so terrible, but because they know it will succeed, their lies would be exposed, and their political careers will be as dead as a skeleton in the desert.

Which, might I say, will happen anyway. They’re fools to assume that anyone will let them forget this anytime soon, and they’re twice the fools to think that they can tread down on the poor and on women’s rights and expect people to accept it without complaint. No electoral debate will let them forget this. Certainly not the people who had to go hungry and/or without pay. And certainly not the people who, after reading about the ACA, will realize that they’ve been played for the fools that they are for believing the lies in the first place. Because they will realize that they’ve been lied to, and the fallout for the Republicans from that will be fantastic.

But let’s also point out the bigger elephant in the same room: how is what they’re doing not treason? Think on this. They’re shutting down government offices and functions alike to go after a law that’s been signed, sealed, and enacted. They won’t raise the debt ceiling, even though Obama has the lowest number of requests for such a raise in history. All this to try and stop or delay an essential law from being enacted on schedule even after it got upheld. They’re willing to prolong a shutdown, let people starve if their WIC checks don’t come in on time – save me the welfare-queen stereotypes unless you want to have a separate little evisceration – and furlough 800,000 people without pay just because they don’t like one law. Interfering with government operations on this scale is tantamount to treason.

For economic details of this, please have a look at this piece by Paul Krugman: Rebels Without a Clue. It’ll get too damn long if I were to bring the global economics into this.

Going back to the furlough for a moment: don’t you think that it’s really ironic that those people who claimed to be “all about jobs” did absolutely fuck-all nothing about them? This shutdown is the only thing coming from them that influenced jobs on the economic scale – by costing people theirs. Almost a million people were affected in this. So how’s that jobs plan working out for you, Republicans?

I heard some bitching about why Obama just “doesn’t get off his high horse and cooperate”. Why the hell should he? The past five years, he’s done nothing BUT cooperate; hell, he caved more than once to these people. Why should a grown man, the President of the United States no less, kow-tow to some overgrown spoiled children who are pissed off that the health insurance lobbyists won’t pay them money anymore because of the new law? Why the hell should the President cave on a law that was signed, sealed, upheld, and enacted just because they aren’t comfortable? Why in the hell should he “cooperate” when he’s been bullied, harassed, denigrated, and undermined every step of the damn way? Why the fuck shouldn’t the GOP start cooperating instead after they stalled every damn thing the President tried to do for the past five years? Why shouldn’t they start doing some cooperating instead? Trust me, it’s well past their turn to pull the plow.

He won his re-election because he held firm on the Affordable Care Act. The law is right now proving its popularity in spades. How about the Republicans grow up, put on some big-boy britches, and join the real world, instead of their comfortably padded bubble of delusions?

Also, Ted Cruz needs to shut his mouth before someone else does it for him. He talks about his experience as a Cuban-American and conveniently forgets that things pushed forward by the very government he hates helped him get to where he is. It’s really easy to forget one’s roots once you’re comfortable, but he just really loves to forget that if not for government programs enacted to aid immigrants, foreigners, and their children, he would not be in his seat.

I will quote Isaac Asimov: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

And that’s only a part of the problem. Yes, Republicans are ignorant. I’m not differentiating between the teabaggers and moderates because the moderates were dumb enough to allow the teabaggers to take over; they’re equally to blame. I’m stating it straight out because someone has to. These people are straight-up stupid. They don’t know the realities of the people they represent; they don’t know how their own government system works, they don’t know math well enough to compute a basic budget, and they don’t have any logical reasoning skills to speak of. They don’t know how the real world works for people from different economic strata and don’t care enough to find out. The other part of the problem is the second half of the previous sentence: they don’t care.

Like it as not, public service involves some element of giving a damn for other people. I may be an extraordinarily selfish person in some regards, I’ll admit it, but the entire attitude of the Republican Party has boiled down to, “I’m getting mine, fuck everyone else”. The fact that the red states are the ones that contain the highest level of welfare recipients, that outsourcing by the same big-business corporations leaving their pockets lined had decimated any chance of domestic employment in these same red states, the fact that an average welfare recipient has to make the decision between seeing the doctor and paying rent on a regular basis – none of that concerns them. They got theirs, fuck everyone else. And that is what has slowly killed this country over the past thirty years, because Ronald Reagan, whom they worship, has given them a free pass to hoard the country’s revenue without giving a damn for the people on whose backs they make that revenue. Even now, check where the bulk of earned revenue goes. Hint: not to the people struggling to make ends meet.

I’ve been asked time and again what’s wrong with companies claiming a profit. Here’s the thing: companies and company bosses are not the ones making the profit. They’re not the ones in the assembly line. They’re not the ones at the cash register. They’re not the ones at the call centers. The profit is, simply put, not the company’s: it’s the employees’. And this is a cold, hard truth that nearly every single company forgets. The ones that don’t are typically employee-owned and/or mom-and-pop stores.

The entire “I’m pig-ignorant, rich, and the rest of the world can fuck itself” mentality of the Republican Party has been what drove the shutdown. And it seriously sticks in my craw that there’s almost a million people out of work right now, and the Republicans still collect a paycheck.

If this doesn’t show you that the members of that party are one step short of pure sociopaths and no more than overgrown children in dire need of an old-school ass-whooping, then I can’t help you. There is, as of right now, no good reason for an intelligent and logical individual to vote Republican in any way, shape, or form, and it’s time to abandon the idea that the party itself is anything but a very disturbing joke.

But I will admit: it makes my dark little heart very gleeful to see them all eviscerate one another when they’re all equally guilty. They’re eating each other alive, and it’s only a matter of time before they collapse completely. And I, for one, look forward to their disappearance from the political scene of this country and having to think of this time in history as little more than a bad memory.

K.G.

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About Kat G

Sci-fi author. Jazz aficionado, an all-around enjoyer of peace, quiet, beauty, and contemplation.
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3 Responses to Shutdown

  1. dagnome says:

    Yeah – what YOU said… and a bag of chips!

  2. As they used to say about M.C. Hammer, “Come on K.G., Don’t Hurt ‘Em!”
    On second thought–give it to ’em and give it to them good and hard.
    Never in my long life of observing politics have I ever seen such a sorry conglomeration of thugs, morons, maladroits, dopes, and just plain NASTY mofos. This is our own fault for not being more diligent about keep this sort of flotsam and jetsam out of our political mainstream.

    Eventually, the brinkmanship will end and government will reopen, but when it does nobody should forgive or forget the Republicans for making the United States look like the world’s biggest dysfunctional family.

    • Kat Gilraine says:

      I tell you the good things that the shutdown has accomplished: Boehner’s name is mud right now, for all concerned, the ACA is in effect regardless, and the mass success of the early open enrollment – even in the insurance- and healthcare-starved red states – is grossly undermining the teapublican base.

      They’re done. They’re done and over after this. The best thing for them to do is quit politics altogether or be on the evisceration racks day in and day out. Because I severely doubt that the people they lied to will be keen on forgiveness. If they are, whatever shreds of hope I have for the human race will die an agonized death.

      Oh, there will be part 2 to this post, I assure you.

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