Shutdown and Politics Blog 6

Two Parties, Just Caught Up in Fighting and Hubris


The “Where You Fit” quiz classified me as a solid liberal, which quite honestly surprised me since I’m labeled as being part of the 14 percent of the population that is “highly politically engaged.” I always thought of myself as more of a passive liberal, as a typical white college student who holds progressive viewpoints on the environment and racial equality but doesn’t go as far as to protest or obnoxiously tell everyone (who will listen) my opinions. But it was a simple quiz, and I had to be marked down somewhere, and I feel as though the heart of the government shutdown and the debate over Obamacare is exactly the same principle: it is a crisis between Democrats and Republicans fighting to act in the way they think they should based on political identity.

Rich Lowry’s article “The Fight Goes On” is an excellent example of the influence of Republican identity on the battle over Obamacare, since he advocates that Republican obstinacy and the ability to fight the general idea of the bill are expected and encouraged (just look at the title). Lowry believes that a dialogue between Democrats and Republicans resulting in “minor improvements” essentially equates to “surrender” of conservative values. Republicans believe that “resistance is not futile” and eventually the Democrats will lose, and they are content with prolonging the government shutdown since, according to Byron York, it is only a 17 percent shutdown and the military pay act is naturally still receiving full funding.

While I believe both parties are acting unhelpful and almost childish in their persistence to simply fight back for the sake of fighting, the both parties are just as guilty of being stubborn because they think it is their duty as members of that party. Lowry’s article and other right wing sources demonstrate that, regardless of political view, it is extremely easy to find a plethora of flaws and stupid decisions in both parties. I don’t believe Obamacare is a good system, but it has become an amorphous cloud of problems and revisions that Democrats advocate for because they understandably like the concept of accessible healthcare, and Republicans fight against because they think it is a waste of everyone’s money.

Moreover, the specific cause of the government shutdown is not extraordinarily relevant in this case, and continued disagreement between parties is a result of refusal to meet in the middle since political identity is so crucial to our system.

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7 thoughts on “Two Parties, Just Caught Up in Fighting and Hubris

  1. I think that by using the word “childish” to describe both parties stubbornness related to the government shutdown, you paint a good picture of how they two parties are acting toward one another. I believe that most of them are just fighting because they feel like that is what is necessary to support their party. But I am sure there are better ways to solve this problem than acting like a child.

  2. Political intensity or ¨winging¨it ( I am trying to avoid the negative extremism) are good traditions. Thomas Paine? Total radical. SO was that Republican, Lincoln.

    The problem is not strongly held beliefs, but the ability of the government to allow them to find ways to keep governing.

    Letting the government shutdown,and much, much worse, the debt ceiling to kick in, is non-governance.

  3. I agree with your argument when you say they are acting childish. That’s what I wrote my article on and I find it hard to grasp that our own government and leaders are allowed to act this way with no repercussions. It’s sad to see that they would rather be stubborn and let the government shut down than try and agree about something and negotiate.

  4. I would agree that at this point in time both sides are fighting just for the sake of fighting. I also get the feeling that because the elections didn’t go their way the Republicans are willing to do whatever they can to limit the President’s ability. I think the situation calls for both sides to realize they can’t change the results and work towards compromising in order to re-open the government.

  5. I agree with you when you say that Obamacare is not the best system. In addition, it seems to be the heart of all this tension. Neither side is willing to give up what they believe and feel is right. However, the longer we stay in limbo I feel will make it just that much harder to recover. One side or even both sides are going to have to make an adjustment.

  6. I really love your last line, “Moreover, the specific cause of the government shutdown is not extraordinarily relevant in this case, and continued disagreement between parties is a result of refusal to meet in the middle since political identity is so crucial to our system.” How sad that we have a system that breeds this political mayhem! The true issues of this country are not being addressed and that is a terrible shame that will hurt us (is hurting us already).

  7. Pingback: Blog Council 6 | B-Ethics

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