Monday, November 04, 2013

The Government Shutdown - Did The TEA Party Go Too Far?

I know this is a bit after the fact but a few people have asked my opinion on the government shutdown.  My opinion is this, it shouldn't have happened.  Our country was built on compromise and mutual respect and I vehemently disagree with those who think it's OK to hold the whole government hostage because they don't like what others did.  If they had the votes to change it, that would be different, but they didn't and they weren't willing to accept that democracy means you don't always get your way.

Before we go any further and before I get ripped apart for being a liberal or a RINO or something else, let me explain the basis for my feelings:
  • I don't agree with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and I think it will do more harm than good.
  • I don't believe that "the ends justifies the means" - just because you feel you're right doesn't mean any action you take to support that is right/justified.
  • I do believe in the concept of karma - the actions you take will eventually come back to you (good or bad)
  • I don't feel that government itself is bad but I do believe it can be managed better than it is.
So, based on that, here's how I feel the government shutdown drama happened.
  • A minority of the Republican Party Representatives (mostly Tea Party Republicans) decided they wanted to kill Obamacare by defunding it.  This is in spite of the fact that the House has passed numerous repeals of Obamacare - none of which went anywhere.
  • This minority convinced (bullied? strong-armed?) the Speaker of the House to make it part of the budget bill.  All this was done knowing that the Senate would never pass it and/or the President would never sign it. 
  • Sure enough, the Senate rejected it.
  • Further, the Senate and the President called the bluff of the Tea Party and made clear that no budget would pass that tried to change/delay Obamacare.
  • The House tried passing different variations of their limits to Obamacare but it was all rejected.
  • The American people blamed the Republican Party for the issue.
  • The Senate minority leader stripped the Obamacare limitations from the budget and the House leadership caved and sent it to be voted on.
  • The revised budget passed.
Here's what I came away with:
  • The Tea Party wants to control government.
  • Ironically, they like to refer to President Obama as a dictator and yet are trying to strong arm their policies through when they don't have support for them.
  • The Tea Party does not seem to care about the government, the economy or anything else apart from their ideals.
  • What the Tea Party did contradicts my personal morals - they held the government hostage in order to get what they wanted.  Do I agree that Obamacare is bad?  Yes.  Do I agree with how they went about trying to destroy it? No.
If you decide the ends justifies the means, you becoming as bad or even worse than those you fight against.

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