No comment on specific GOP government shutdown arguments. No comment about whether Republicans are being truthful and fair. No argument about hostages, blackmail, and extortion.
Instead let’s ask what the GOP would think if Democrats made similar demands in a similar situation. A value neutral argument. What would Republicans do if positions were reversed?
Imagine, for example, if a law had been passed banning same sex marriage and Democrats held out on a budget fight unless that law were repealed or restricted.
Or anti-gun control legislation.
Intelligent GOPers — which I don’t expect to find many of these days — might point out that they oppose the Affordable Care Act because we cannot afford it. Of course this is bulllshit. We can afford health care reform. In fact, we cannot afford NOT to enact health care reform. The huge deficits forecast to happen decades in our future result mostly because of out of control health care costs arising from our broken status quo and not because of any new spending wish list coveted by liberals.
Republicans do not understand fiscal policy and macroeconomics. The last 25 years pretty much prove that. They have no credibility on the subject. Besides, isn’t the anti-Obamacare rant about freedom?
Republican budget and health care complaints are ideological, plain and simple.
So let’s put the shoe on the other foot and ask: What would your typical GOPer do if Democrats held the line and said no to a Republican president until and unless he withdrew a law that Democrats did not like. What then? Imagine the outrage!
Very simply, why would a responsible executive — regardless of political party — allow a fringe group to coerce change to federal law? It isn’t going to happen and it shouldn’t happen.
Raising the debt limit does not increase the amount of money we owe. Instead a higher debt ceiling enables us to pay the bills we already owe. In comparison, decades of unfunded Republican wars did not sound budget alarms. We incurred that debt and continue to pay today. So is it simply coincidence that Republicans now become fanatical about fiscal responsibility? Hardly.
What we see is petty and unprecedented. Health care reform, as incomplete as it is, has passed and Republicans cannot deal with it. Making it worse, Barack Obama, a leader for whom they show no respect, signed it into law. They cannot deal with that either. The response has been outrageous petulance, approaching malfeasance. It is shameful behavior.
Responsible Americans want this to end. Approve the increase and move on.
- Shutdown and Default: Republicans Want to Change the Subject, Democrats Shouldn’t Let Them (huffingtonpost.com)
- Better Dead and Red: How the GOP blocked health care for red state Americans (dailykos.com)
- The House GOP Proposal Is Still Extortion (dannyvinik.com)
- GOP Loves Democracy So Much They Change House Rules So Only GOP Can Participate (wonkette.com)