Fort Sumter All Over Again or just Bedlam?

By on October 7, 2013

BedlamLunacy has broken out in the nation’s capital and the government is in a state of semi-catatonia. Republican Chief-Inmate-and-candidate-for-the-Joe-McCarthy-Memorial-Crassness-in-Government-Award Ted Cruz has decided to flex his brain by getting the Republican Dixiecrats and ex-John Birchers in the House to close down government if the Affordable Care Act of 2010 was not defunded. Forget that this was not physically possible in the first place, what stroke of genius led them to think the Senate leadership or the President would carve up their baby at this late date.? It’s like asking Lyndon Johnson to sabotage his Civil Rights legislation or Franklin Roosevelt  to jettison the New Deal.

When the Democratic Senate and the White House refused to back down, the inmates came up with a last minute scheme to fund the government piecemeal, passing chits only for those part of government they happen to like this week.  They resorted to grandstanding schemes, like having Michele Bachmann, Reince Priebus  and a grouch from Texas go out to the WWII Veteran’s Monument and pretend like they had nothing to do with this and blame park guards. Someone is not taking their medication.

Rock bottom came this week-end when House Speaker Boehner said he did not have the votes to pass a clean bill, when everyone else in town, including several House Republicans said he did. I used to feel sorry for Boehner, but no longer. Boldfaced lying tells me he has gone from being part of the solution to being a big part of the problem. It’s really time for him to step aside. I suspect the inmates have greased the skids for him anyway, so here’s your golf hat, why delay? Meanwhile morale and confidence in our government is at an all-time low.

Was political life in Washington this bad before the Civil War broke out? Must have been. Washington was thick with conspirators, all looking out for their own interests. Lincoln, like Obama, was abused. Northerners plotted secretly with pro-slavery elements. Two members of Congress came to blows. Southerners were threatening with every instrument at their disposal. Finally came the rupture. The question now might be “Are Ted Cruz and his band of merry men about to fire on Fort Sumter if they don’t get something out of this? We anxiously await the first volley.

bedlam+driveGiven the web-based problems with the ACA roll out and the sheer scope of what we are trying to repair, national efforts should be focused on making this work and repairing it quickly. Right now we seem to be focused on finding out what pulling the plug on the Federal government creates. The inmates plotting the revolt wait eagerly for the next cry of pain. And it has come from just across the Potomac. The GOP chances in the Virginia governor’s race seem to be fading away. Do the Tea Party types care? Apparently not. Not until their own personal nest is befouled. That could come soon.

Meanwhile health care reform needs to move ahead smartly. We have come too far to turn back now. Delaying this that or any factor makes no sense at this late date. The opposition has no comprehensive alternative. Millions of uninsured Americans are counting on the success of reform. Repealing the medical device tax would only add to the deficit. Delaying implementation another year accomplished what? Twelve more months of fun and games?

Fort SumterIt’s time for the GOP to stop carrying the water of fiscal irresponsibility for the corporate friends. And the remaining sane members of the once venerable Republican party need to come to their senses. The Dixie-Bircher faction either needs to fire on Fort Sumter or retreat to the back benches. Preferably the latter. We do not need to fight the Civil War all over again. That War is over and it was horrible. The North won (get used to it) and the President is not going to shine the shoes of those in Congress whop are still licking their wounds.  Has Washington learned nothing in the intervening 150 years?

Tom Godfrey

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