Calhoun's Cannons for Oct 2 2013
Nope, wasn't the jihadists. This time, Washington was hijacked by a cohort of wild-eyed government-hating, Christian, jihadist Neo-Confederates who do not like green eggs and ham.
Actually, it's Obama they don't like. Neither does the mainstream Republican Party, the old guard that the Neo-Confederates have now managed to take over. From day one they all vowed to resurrect the tactic of Southern Resistance and stand with the ghost of Governor Wallace in the schoolhouse door -- segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever! -- with rhetoric filled with Southern grievance, dog-whistle music and sick fears of ol' Nat Turner.
And for the past 5 years, while the country foundered, desperate for help from Washington, in Congress it was all one long ridiculous Wallace-ite blockade: Not today, not tomorrow, not ever! Even legislation crafted by Republicans themselves was suddenly dumped when it appeared the President might possibly support it too. Cooties! Cooties! No! No! Never!
Instead of governing, these fools wasted time repeatedly voting to defund, defeat, deny Obamacare to millions of uninsured Americans. It was their ultimate Green Eggs and Hamish bet noir. And like cocaine addicted lab mice, they kept futilely hitting the anti-Obamacare bar again and again, hoping against hope that this time --- pleeze, pleeeze, puh-leeeze -- they would be rewarded by one teensie bit of cheese for their micey little handsies so they could claim they "won" a fight noted only for its monumental stupidity and utter futility. Forty-three times, forty-four? I've lost count.
Finally, they shut the place down. That'll show 'em! So what was the despised, hideous, awful "government" they shut down? Well, for example, it was a VA employee helping an Iraq vet get benefits, including treatment for ongoing PTSD. Yes, the same bunch who couldn't wait to send that vet to war in the first place, were now more than willing to toss him under the bus for reasons of obsessive ideological purity and conservative resentment.
They were also willing to toss their own staffers under the bus, offering at one point in their desperation, to force all Congressional staff members be required to "buy their health insurance on the new exchanges [but] without any government subsidies." So while they made sure they'd keep their own Cadillac plans (paid for by the taxpayers) they were happy to toss their staff -- the little people -- to the wolves. Portrait of self-serving politicians who don't want to govern but want only to rule -- the perfect Marie Antoinette moment.
And so came Oct 1, and two very important things happened: 1) The Government was shut down by a handful of radical, crazy-eyed Neo-Confederates in order to "save" the American public from the sheer horrors of Obamacare. 2) The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) started signing up people on the exchanges and the system kept crashing because so many people were trying to access it in order to sign up for the horrible, terrible, dangerous, freedom-destroying, awful, no-good, Obamacare.
Is it possible that Americans are finally figuring out that they are not helpless passengers on this ship of state, but crew? And being crew, it's up to them to keep the ship in working order, keep it off the rocks, keep it steady. And if the captain and ship has been hijacked by wild-eyed pirates and is being held hostage, it's up to the crew to take the ship back and set things right.
Now, where's Seal Team 6?