By Kathi Bliss
They finally did it. I never thought that they would actually do it, but our so-called leadership actually did it.
Our leaders got so involved in their own motives and means, they became so dedicated to their own lines in the sand, that they actually triggered a “government shutdown.” I’m sure that my many friends who are classified as “non-essential personnel” have enjoyed this last week of forced vacation time (for which they may or may not ever be paid). I’m sure they have loved spending time with their children and their families – at least the ones who aren’t busy working. And I’m certain that they’ve loved their leisure time so much that they aren’t at all concerned about how they will pay their mortgages or their electric bills, when the time comes due, because they were forced out of work by the very people they elected to “lead” them.
It’s appalling, and it needs to stop. It needs to stop today. And I strongly recommend that we all start calling, writing, emailing or otherwise badgering our elected representatives until they understand that NOTHING about this government shutdown is acceptable, and they need to rectify the situation now. Right now. Right this minute.
Instead of pointing fingers at the Right or the Left, instead of continuing to babble about “Tea Baggers” and “Socialists,” we need to realize that the war is not between us, as politically separate factions. The war is between the Government and the people. The opening salvo was fired long ago.
The Right is not to blame. The Left is not to blame. The President is not to blame. They are ALL to blame. There are 537 elected officials on Capitol Hill, and there is plenty of blame to share between them.
To my representatives on the Right (Mr. Farenthold, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Cruz, I’m looking at you): Stop it. Just stop it. We get the point you’re trying to make, and a whole lot of us appreciate the point you’re trying to make. It’s not working. It may be time to back off, regroup, and find another plan. You didn’t get your way this time. Get over it.
To my representatives on the Left (Mr. Doggett, this one’s for you): Knock it off. You and your colleagues are acting like petulant three-year-olds. You know full well that nearly half of this Nation has no interest in the Affordable Care Act, but you’re refusing to negotiate the point. That’s you, failing fully to represent more than half of this nation. Though I notice that the Left wasn’t screaming, “it’s the Law of the Land” when it came to the exceptions, delays and amendments that have been written so far.
Mr. President: Stop leading your Party in acting like petulant three-year-olds. You’re willing to negotiate with anyone on anything, but you’re not willing to negotiate with OTHER AMERICANS about a piece of legislation that you KNOW about half of this Country hates? That’s not leadership, Sir. Governing is prioritizing and making compromises, not drawing a line in the sand with your own people. You’re being ridiculous, and you need to stop.
Of course, we here in the trenches need to stop, too. We need to quit using political differences as an excuse for hate, and we need to quit blaming bad behavior on politics. The woman who was killed after the car chase in Washington, D.C., last week? We couldn’t WAIT to say that she was under pressure because of the shutdown and was blaming the government. No… she was just sick, and thought the President was televising her thoughts. Who cares about her politics. She was mentally troubled, and had a long history of BEING mentally troubled. That’s not the Republicans’ fault. It’s not the Democrats’ fault. Sometimes, things just are what they are.
We also need to look at this law, long and hard. After all, we were told when it passed that “we have to pass it to see what’s in it.” Okay, so a lot of what’s in it, we have come to find, doesn’t actually address the problems it was intended to solve, and it will make things a whole lot harder on the people it was meant to help.
So why NOT delay it? Why NOT step back, and adjust the Affordable Care Act so that it actually does some good, and addresses where the medical billing empire is actually broken, rather than feeding good money after bad into widening the breaks? Last time I checked, it was a bad idea to pack the cracks in the dam with plastique explosives.
For those who are saying, “But Kathi, it’s the law of the land!” I can only say this. Yes, it’s the law of the land. There was a time when Prohibition was the law of the land. There was a time when DOMA was the law of the land. There was a time when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was the law of the land. There was a time when women couldn’t vote, and it was perfectly legal for people to own other people.
Do you know what those “Laws of the Land” have in common? They were bad laws. Enough people acknowledge that they were bad laws, and so they were thrown out, or rewritten and replaced with laws that actually make sense, and address what they were meant to address.
And I’m pretty sure our Nation is better for it.
So here’s my idea. Compromise. Put your Party Politics in your pocket, and remember what your job actually is, and who gave it to you.
Stop trying so hard to keep your job… start actually doing your job. And let the “non-essential personnel” go back to doing theirs. I promise you, they need their paychecks more than you do, and we’re all going to remember that they didn’t get them, come next November.