I was never of a mind that a government shutdown was a good idea. As of two days ago did not think it would happen; thinking that all the bluff and bluster would resolve itself. I assumed that the constant harangue by Senate leadership was a negotiating position. Defunding was not going to happen, although I rooted for it. Considering the sad state of the ObamaCare roll out, it seemed a delay was a rational fallback position in light of the polling; both for the President and ObamaCare. I was WRONG!
I thought our ‘ruling class’ would identify the political jeopardy in cutting out special provisions for themselves and their staffs. I was WRONG!
Heck, I thought, there have already been seven ‘modifications’ to ACA, absent the legal basis upon which to do it, what’s one or two more? WRONG!
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
Apparently, any sense of rationality is horribly misplaced. Apparently I forgot my own maxim; “it’s never about what they say it’s about”. ObamaCare has always been about control and the power that accrues when a central authority controls 16% of the economy and your most intimate information.
Once again, public opinion seems to carry no weight with some on Capitol Hill and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or more accurately it’s not meaningful in an off election year.
The Democrats are correct; if you want to control the agenda, win more elections! At the same time if national polling is correct this political theater should help do exactly that. While Republicans will, without question, be blamed by the national media, the national media’s numbers aren’t all that good either with just 11% (Gallup, September 2013) saying that they have a great deal of confidence in the mass media. In Pew polls only 26% think the media gets their facts straight. The most recent RCP average on ObamaCare shows approval at 39%, with the worst of the polls at a 31% approval. The President is at 44% and the right/wrong track is at better than two to one, wrong track; 27.3% right track, 64% wrong track.
Within that context and considering where we are, Republicans should make it a point not to blink. They have assumed a variety of positions regarding ObamaCare and if indeed the President is in decline, ObamaCare is being rejected and the media lacks credibility, why not take a stand, now that the Senate and the President have forced a government ‘slowdown’?
Delay something that is not working? Extremism! Insist that Congress joins the rest of us in the ObamaCare morass? Terrorism! Fight the issue that you were elected to fight, that everyone on the hill knew you were elected to fight? Radicalism!
It was, of course, not radical to take over Health Care on the backs of a single political party. It was not extreme to pass such a consequential bill absent knowledge of what was in it, by the people passing it. Nope, that’s just good old mainstream American politics. To redefine a week’s work as less than the fulltime definition in Europe (34 hours) was not a problem; except that it is. To have to hire consultants (yes I did) to wend my way thought the options for my employees Is expensive and may lead nowhere positive.
It is also fully acceptable that the President, faced with a challenge did nothing other than what he does best, give speeches, minimize opposing opinion, denigrate men and women of good faith who oppose his policies and provide main stream media talking points which were quickly picked up and repeated to the point of distraction.
Rep Jim Moran (D Va) when asked about the carve out for Congress and Congressional staffs responded; “they are overworked and underpaid and they should not have to deal with this”. The highly insulting implication was that if you’re on the Hill ‘your special’. That no one else works as hard as you do or is as underpaid as you are. They do work hard, so do the Chambermaids that work in my Housekeeping Department.
The ruling class has spoken; for thee, but not for me.