Discussion: What’s behind the government shutdown?

October 7, 2013

It was easy driving in from Virginia this morning, and downtown Washington is relatively quiet.  Our readers who comment are amusing themselves with various scenarios on what’s going on with the government shutdown. How it will end?  Who’s right and who’s wrong?  As Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan write in their blog The Fix,  “as a survivor, [House Speaker John] Boehner understands that the only way he stays on as speaker if Republicans hold the majority in 2015 is if the cast-iron conservatives view him as someone who understands them.”

John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) leaves a meeting of the Republican Conference on the fifth day of a government shutdown on Oct. 4. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

We’ll start with DWebsterTruth, who suggested that “Obama wants to bring equality to all Americans, by making us all slaves to paying off the massive debt he is building by his continued deficit spending. Tell Obama you don’t want to be a slave. Tell him to stop deficit spending and debt building and to produce a plan that eliminates both and balances the budget. Make him stick to his campaign promises made in 2008. Make Obama an honest man.”

CXT20 said, “We all understand that when Boehner talks about programs driving the debt up, he is talking about a need for the Ryan Budget. And the Ryan Budget is impossible unless the GOP works to destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (which helps pay nursing home expenses for infirm elderly who have worked all their lives with small income and few benefits). When John Boehner and the GOP talk about ‘entitlements,’ be very afraid if you are among those who have paid all your life into Social Security and Medicare. Also remember, Republicans want to do this to protect historically low income taxes and some other taxes on people like the Kochs and the Romneys.”

Scout_wife wrote, “And what are Republicans willing to compromise? Funding the government and raising the debt ceiling are the status quo, sorry. These aren’t things that benefit JUST Democrats. That’s the point here — the Republicans are not negotiating. Also please learn the difference between spending and raising the debt ceiling. They are different things — the way to deal with the debt is to compromise on a budget, which Obama has said he is willing to do … once the GOP stops holding the country hostage. Although the GOP has refused to raise taxes on the ultra rich, so their definition of ‘compromising- is more like — you give us 100% of what we want and we won’t ruin the country (any further than we already have).”

Viewfinder said, “Ohio’s 8th Congressional District ought to establish BoehnerWorld, a theme park that would help the rest of us better understand not only how its hero got second in line to the presidency, but how the election process devolved to such an extent that he had no Democratic opponent last time and how he convinced 239,221 people (99%) to cast ballots for him. If done right, it’ll include an explanation of why the voting age there is 9.”

Pga6 offered, “You know, Boehner is a bit of an evil genius.  He knows the House ‘kill Obamacare’ plan is not ever going to happen, so he crashes it onto the rocks repeatedly. He’s wondering, as well as we are, when the crazies are finally going to understand it. The problem is, Tea Party won’t ever get it. They think they’ll bully the President into dumping Obamacare, or some grounds to impeach him. Boehner also knows if he’s booted as Speaker, some Tea Party nutjob might get the Speakership. That’s something no one with sense wants.”

To which Hunt458 added, “But there is no difference if Boehner is doing the Tea Party bidding for them.”

 C. David Kearsley suggested that “The President should raise the debt ceiling via executive order, citing Article XIV, Section-4 of the U.S. Constitution, and dare the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach him, with the full knowledge that he will be acquitted by the U.S. Senate. Such would be widely viewed as an act of heroism, particularly by what remains of the GOP establishment, and by the business sector more generally. It would also be a dagger in the heart of John Boehner’s speakership, sending the GOP into further disarray going into the 2014 elections.”

Thelynngroup added, “I agree. Boehner is an empty suit. He simply will not stand up to the crazies and the wing nuts and has made himself irrelevant. The President has no choice but to lead.”

KT11 opined that “It’s hard to decide to feel pity for or to despise Boehner. Does he really want to hold on to the gavel so badly? I remember even Chief Justice Roberts rose to the occasion with the ACA ruling. Regardless of how Boehner personally feels about the situation (and many believe he’s a much more reasonable guy), he is definitely doing the devil’s work for his herd of masters. Can he really sleep at night? Maybe he should be admired because a ‘lesser’ person would have just got up and walked away.  I still wish Obama would consider using the executive order route to increase the debt ceiling if he needed to, to deprive the GOPs a chance to use it as another hostage-taking tool.”

Rose4 wrote, “Republican strategy must simply be to keep repeating the same talking point lies in hopes people begin to believe them. I well remember James Baker intoning over and over, ‘The votes have been counted,’ during the vote counting in Florida in 2000. Perhaps thirteen years ago a white man in an expensive suit could persuade some folk. After eight years of bush-cheney, most of us learned the hard way not to believe Republican politician talking points especially when we hear them countless times.  We learned a whole lot about trust from the worst attack on our homeland ever, two mismanaged wars, one based on lies, numerous tax cuts for the very wealthy, attacks on Social Security and Medicare (think about your Social Security benefits had they been invested in the stock market as bush, jr., wanted!), a great American city abandoned in crisis, and the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.”

And The-Historian  replied, “LOL Just like 2012, Ryan/Romney in a landslide.”

 

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TJ Ortenzi | October 1, 2013