Imagine you’re in a Capitol Hill restaurant. Let’s call it the “Gridlock Grille.”
The Republican waiter serves you, unsolicited, an unsavory-looking plate of government shutdown. Then, as you chomp down on the disagreeable
entree, the Democrat manager stops by to ask you how you’re enjoying it.
When you tell him how nasty it tastes, and how you never ordered it, the Democrat walks away with a self-satisfied smirk.
That’s the 2013 government shutdown.
For some reason, Republicans thought it would be a good idea to alienate a good bit of the American population, by goading Democrats into shutting down the government, in order to make a political statement about Obamacare.
Note to Republicans: You knew the Democrats would never agree to defund Obamacare. Besides, Obamacare was already unraveling of its own bureaucratic mass. Why don’t you just let it unravel – rather than step in and risk being blamed for the mess?
Moreover, anger is not a strategy, and protest is no way to
legislate. We’re not unsympathetic to the Republicans’ concerns about Obamacare, but much of the country surely will be – especially as they see children and veterans denied basic government services.
Republicans had to know going in that the left-leaning, Obama-lapdog media would do their best to portray Republicans as the enemy. Why would they lean into that? It’s just inane.
And if Republicans thought that their churning out a few spending authorization bills to re-start various government agencies, and daring Democrats not to agree to them, would save their image – well, we’ll see about that.
Certainly no one is blameless in this sad episode. Democrats should be dripping with discredit for the unforgivable act of attempting to bar World War II veterans from around the country from visiting their outdoor memorial this week. Thankfully, with the help of some members of Congress, the barriers were parted and the veterans soaked in the somber spot.
Perhaps the White House is hoping Americans blame someone else for that outrage. It falls squarely on the commander-in-chief’s desk. Republican Sen. Rand Paul wryly noted the security detail guarding the memorial outstripped the security at our besieged outpost in Benghazi. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but no less biting.
Still, Republicans, so far, have pushed all their chips in on the shutdown, which looks from here to be a losing wager. They’re banking on Americans being informed enough to realize that Democrats are technically the ones who shut the government down by not agreeing to the Republican House bill that defunded Obamcare. They’re also hoping that Americans see Republicans as trying to restore services bit by bit, with Democrats declining to go along.
Democrats long ago realized that most Americans aren’t that tuned in. Good grief, a Jimmy Kimmel Live video showed that people on the street don’t even realize that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing.
What they do know is that their friends are being furloughed and that veterans are having to cut crime-scene-style tape to get to their memorials.
That’s fitting enough. It’s a crime.