The US Government Shutdown: Party Like It’s 1995

America awoke this morning to find its government shut down, thanks to Congress’ failure to pass a funding bill. Eight hundred thousand federal workers–including my wife, a staff attorney at the National Labor Relations Board–will be furloughed today. (My wife will go in for the first four hours to carry out an orderly shutdown of the agency’s services.) Elsewhere, all over the country, government services will be curtailed to varying degrees.  If the ‘fiscal impasse’ continues, matters could worsen:

By Oct. 17, Congress must raise the nation’s debt limit to pay for bills already incurred or provoke a globe-shaking default.

And all of this is the consequence of an utterly misguided effort to repeal a piece of legislation–promised by a twice-elected president–that is the law of the land: passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, and upheld by the US Supreme Court in the face of numerous legal challenges.

The members of the Republican Party–now, more than ever, utterly beholden to the American fascist fringe–who have engineered this fiscal disaster have spoken glibly of carrying out the will of the ‘American people.’ Their confusion is never more starkly on display than when they invoke this term. They seem to care little for those who elected Barack Obama, for those whose representatives voted for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in two legislative bodies; they seem to care little for the American constitution, in light of those provisions this act emerged as appropriately constitutional. They remain fixated instead, on their indefensible ideological convictions, for the sake of which they are willing to deny hundreds of thousands of American’s their wages, and to deny millions others their services.

I’m not sure what language to use to describe those members of the Republican Party who have decided that this is the correct way to wage their battle against the ACA.  And neither am I entirely sanguine that they will face an electoral backlash; after all, these are elected members of the US House of Representatives, who were voted into power on the basis of an electoral manifesto that promised as much sand in the wheels of the US government as possible.  The vulnerability of the US constitution to acts of political hijacking like this, if it wasn’t already manifest in the first Clinton and Obama terms, are even more manifest now.

The tragedy of modern American political life is that real radicals are not in the streets, seeking real, systemic change in a broken, corrupt, system, one beholden to Wall, not Main, Street; instead, another variant is in power, dedicated to making sure that millions of Americans cannot secure healthcare. It all sounds like a bit of a cruel joke, and I really wish it was, but it isn’t.

Note: A brief accounting of our personal costs thanks to this shutdown: my wife faces an indefinite furlough; we have already paid for this month’s daycare so it might all be money down the drain. We are, however, not too badly off compared to many other Americans. For the time being.

2 comments on “The US Government Shutdown: Party Like It’s 1995

  1. Nancy says:

    Surely you do not believe any of this that you wrote. Not one Republican voted for Obamacare. The American people do not want it. Are you aware of the bible?? RFID chips in the bill and Death Panels for Americans. Not to mention how Congress exempted themselves from paying for it. Everything falls on the working class to keep America going. Well this will not be for very long for the Obamacare makes sure people are loosing jobs and hours. Do you honestly think Obama was put in to keep America going. You should know that Government Healthcare is about taking control of people and has we know the IRS which is for the Dems are in more control. This is Sir Socialism/Communism and you are worried about your wife not working when so many Americans have lost jobs. For real where do you people come from wanting to let America go by the waste side??Regan pointed out how Government Healthcare is control of our people and to never let it happen. If your through with America and do not believe what she was founded on then please leave our country.Obama has vowed to have Islam over here and Sharia Law by 2016. Is this what you want? Is this what you and your Government see for our Future. Obama is trying to get Christians labeled mentally ill. I guess if you believe in satan and not God than you think you are safe.The bible tells about past present and future and how we will die for jesus and get our heads cut off that has to be Islam Obamas religion. God have mercy on America.

  2. […] of the most bizarrely naïve expressions of hope in the aftermath of the 2013 US Government Shutdown Fiasco has been a variant of ‘perhaps the Republican Party’s extremist faction will learn from […]

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