Shutdown and Politics Blog 6

George Washington is Not Amused

I was identified as a post-modern. Apparently this means I am environmentally conscious, socially liberal, and watch the Daily Show on a regular basis. All of this is correct. Essentially the quiz pinned me as a tree hugging, peace loving, white college student from the suburbs. I’d be offended if it wasn’t accurate.

In general, post moderns favor diplomacy and discussion over force and conflict. So when it comes to the federal government shut down, post moderns are not in favor of the irrational way Congress has been acting. I have to agree. It seems absurd to me that a group of people elected to serve in the best interest of citizens have decided to shut down the government. Think about that sentence. Imagine if company executives couldn’t come to an agreement and just decided that the company was no longer going to work. They would be FIRED and replaced with people COMPETENT enough to do the job they are paid to do. Here is my opinion: sorry to everyone who didn’t want the bill to pass. It passed. The Supreme Court approved it. That is how our legislative system works. You do not get to shut down the government like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum because you do not like the outcome.

(The Statue of Liberty is not having it either.)

I searched for a source that could explain why anyone would see this situation as acceptable. I found this Forbes article. The article explains that defunding a law that is detrimental to the country is better than promoting that all laws should be funded indefinitely. Right now, we fear a Congress that will defund any law that it slightly dislikes. Our response is to say that Congress should not be able to defund laws. Therefore everything should be funded, which would mean increasing the debt ceiling. But “isn’t the ultimate threat to democracy an enforced vow, that once one hapless collection of Members or another votes to spend money on something important, that we have to pay for forever?”  The article argues that if members of Congress think that if a law “is horrible (like, a truly inexcusable mistake with real, rotten, and lasting bad consequences) then they’re in dereliction of their political duties not to try to take the money away.” Basically, if Congress needs more time to deal with a law that they think is going to be disastrous to the country, then a government shutdown is acceptable.

I think that if Congress was truly trying to defund the law for the sake of the country, and that the law was going to destroy America as we know it, then go ahead and shut down the government until you figure things out. It has happened 17 times in the past, provoked by extremely polarizing topics, according to this Washington Post article.  But it is my sense that the opposing party is selfish reasons. The law was approved by Supreme Court justices that were elected mostly by Republican presidents, despite the fact that Republicans are currently trying to defund the law. I trust the court’s decision and it seems to me that the nation’s welfare is no longer the priority of Congress, the shutdown is unfounded, and this is a pathetic excuse for what our government was created to do.

12 thoughts on “George Washington is Not Amused

  1. I agree with all of your points about the government shutdown. It baffles me how those elected to lead our country are unable to do so. The concept of a shutdown is just ridiculous. If I don’t want to go to class a certain day, I can’t just shut down all of Bucknell. Yes, this example is a stretch. But it just shows how farfetched what we are going through really is.

    • As ridiculous as the government shutdown may be I was surprised to see just how many times it has happened before, 18 times in total 3 or 4 of which (depending on your age) have been within our lifetime.

      • Yeah, I understand that Reagan and Tip O´Neill used to do this some in the 1980s? I know Clinton and Gingrich let it happen in 1995 or 6 because it helped Clinton win re-election. That one did close things. I think some fo the others were more like on paper shut downs. Maybe?

        The ceiling is an altogether different and worse thing

  2. I agree that this temper tantrum needs to stop. Our government could be much more effective if parties worked together to come up with a solution, instead of just fighting against each others solutions the entire time.

  3. I also worry about the precedent here: using total shutdown to relegislate past issues.

    I can see Lowry´s logic. If the stakes are high enough, then how can one not resist?

    Like, if it was I will shut down the government until we repeal the fugitive slave law, ok. Or until we repeal the Iraqi war bill. Ok. If you believe super passionately about a cause that seems to be about fundamental rights, maybe you go to the barricades, dig in, and engage in monkey-wrenching and sabotage. (Sabot-age was literally Dutch workers putting Sabots, shoes, into machines they saw as threatening their livelihood).

    BUT, health care is a big, messy systemic problem. The ACA has many, many parts.

    It is not really amenable to such stark contrasts.

    And here is a rela problem. if we ht the debt ceiling, Obama faces a constitutional crisis. The 14th amendment says we must pay our debts. Congress sis saying we cannot incur more debt to pay off past debt (essentially). It has also said, by law, through past budgets, that we will pay soldiers, regulate banks, fish, and air, pay social security,e tc.

    No matter what Obama does in that case, he is breaking some law.

    • While I agree with you that Obama is faced with a major dilemma it wouldn’t be the first time that the US has been forced to increase its debt ceiling. According to wikipedia the US has increased the debt ceiling 90 times in the 20th century.

  4. I loved your description of “throwing a temper tantrum like a toddler.” I agree that it is their job to work for us and for our country, yet it seems that the parties are so focused in on themselves that its becoming all about them. Its irksome that they’re attempting to defund a passed law and fight it so much instead of trying to move forward. It has been a touchy debate since the beginning. I just wonder when representatives will stop bickering over it.

  5. I love this post! Theresa, you are hysterical and everything you say I agree with. There really is no excuse for this government shutdown. This government was not founded on the principles of stomping feet and crying in the corner! Your pictures/title are great! Enjoyed your post so much.

  6. I personally appreciate your honesty when describing your opinion about the shutdown when you said, “sorry to everyone who didn’t want the bill to pass. It passed…” because I completely agree and I also loved your analogy to a corporation because one could argue we, as citizens, are the shareholders and stakeholders of America Corp. and thus management (the gov) is not managing in either of our interests…

  7. Pingback: Blog Council 6 | B-Ethics

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