Congress. I Don’t Even.

It’s been a while since I posted anything about politics. You can thank Congress for this one.

It’s kind of stupid that I even feel the need to write this, isn’t it? I mean, not that I feel the need, but that I am compelled to feel the need. It’s stupid that parts of the federal government are shut down because someone is throwing a temper tantrum on Capitol Hill.

In case you’ve (perhaps understandably) willfully ignored what’s been going on but are kind enough not to willfully ignore this post, here’s the deal: parts of the government are shut down right now because a faction of Republicans in the House wanted to force through a bill that would fund the government with riders attached that would require changes to the Affordable Care Act. Or, as people trying to malign it started calling it a while back, Obamacare.

Because Obama is obviously synonymous with everything terrible in the world, in their rhetoric. And maybe you agree. And you have that right.

See, I’m not saying the Affordable Care Act is perfect. I’m not even saying you have to like it in order to read this post. Rather, what I’m saying is… how the FUCK do we get to a point in government where one faction of one part of Congress can hold up FUNDING THE GOVERNMENT because they don’t like ONE law?

Here’s what: The Affordable Care Act was passed by a majority vote in both the House and the Senate in 2010. A lot of people didn’t like how that went down, and I get that. But it went down nonetheless. Majority vote. Bicameral legislature. Passed. Then signed into law by the President of the United States. (Not President Of People Who Like Him But Not People Who Don’t. We don’t have that office.) When there was shouting about constitutionality, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law, by a 5-4 vote, with the deciding vote cast by typically conservative Chief Justice John Roberts.

In other words: done deal by democratic due process celebrated by Americans since 1776.

Since its passage, Republicans (probably not all of them, I know) have tried literally 42 times to defund the Affordable Care Act. And last night, they tried for the 43rd time, by attaching caveats on the ACA to the bill that would determine federal funding of the government.

That’s not representative democracy. That’s hostage-taking for ransom.

And then today I see Michele Bachmann, who didn’t make much sense in 2011/12 and still doesn’t, hugging on a veteran who was just trying to visit the World War II Memorial in DC (which was technically closed, but fortunately some people decided not to be ass-hats and let these men in), and claiming that she and her colleagues were “just trying to protect the lives and health care of these wonderful (smooch on the cheek) men.”

I don’t know why, but I draw a line at condescending to an entire nation while literally hanging on an elderly man who helped save the entire fucking planet from tyrannical government, and then 70 years later managed to get himself together for a flight from his home to DC to visit a memorial that honors the service members who fell alongside him, only to find that the asshole government has said, “Sorry, park’s closed,” and then suffer the bullshit camera-mugging nonsensical antics of a politician who couldn’t be moved to say, “I’m so sorry that my wing of my party is standing in your way.”

My grandfathers fought in that war. Every time I see that memorial, or the stories of the men visiting it, I miss them. There’s  no way in hell I’d let Michele Bachmann or any other self-serving politician of any party anywhere near them at that sacred place.

Alright, I’m done with the Michele Bachmann part of this.

The larger point, you probably have figured out, is that I can’t believe we’re willing to allow a faction of our government to shut down the operation because they don’t like a law they already passed. There are procedures in place for repealing laws, or parts of laws. Attaching riders to critical unrelated bills are not part of those procedures.

And before you tell me we aren’t willing to allow it, tell me whether you’re willing to find out who voted to shut down the government and what their motives were, and whether you’re willing to vote them out next November.

Those service members who visit the WWII Memorial arrive on what are called Honor Flights, by the way. Maybe Congress should take a few.

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11 thoughts on “Congress. I Don’t Even.

  1. I am a Canadian so I should probably mind my own business. So I’ll say nothing other than I agree with every word you’ve written here.

  2. Yeah, you’ve pretty much nailed it. But Americans have become sheep. We are upset and angry, but will do nothing about it. Just wait for someone to blink.

    And by the way, I love how the Republicans are NOW like, “Oh well, yeah, we’re gonna hold the federal gov’t hostage and stop funding all federal programs . . . um, except for these specific ones that are really important to our constituants, i.e. MILITARY FOLK,” Yeah, no. You don’t get both. If you want the vets and reservists paid, QUIT BEING LITTLE BITCHES. The end.

    • I don’t have a terrible disagreement with bit-by-bit remembering to pay people of whom you’re supposedly in favor. I might remind some people that the Capitol Police who responded to today’s danger on Capitol Hill weren’t being paid because they’re on the federal payroll. But the quit being little bitches thing? Yes.

  3. Good to see you back to politics and I agree, if not with the vehemence with which you state it. What’s been bugging me is the squawking in the conservative media (which frequently aligns more with my libertarian tendencies) about how the majority of the people oppose Obamacare, as if a leader should simply follow the polls instead of his own beliefs. And I say this as a person not very fond of our president or the ACA. It sort of cracks me up that we basically run in the red all the time, but because a funding bill didn’t pass, things are shut down … well except for some foot ball games. I think certain Republicans have miscalculated and that this will hurt them in the next election. I hate that because I don’t trust either party to have control of both the executive and legislative branches. I guess I sound pretty grumpy today. Hey, I’m on social security!

    • You don’t sound grumpy… though I haven’t read your post today yet. If that many people opposed “Obamacare,” the websites that let people sign up for health care wouldn’t be overrun. But as I know you understand: things aren’t shut down because a funding bill didn’t pass. Things are shut down because a subset of a party attached opposition to an already binding law to a funding bill. That said: I agree with you. Hence my registration years ago as an Independent. 🙂

    • Yes, it is. But the problem here is that they have attempted 42 times to defund it, and have not had the votes required to do so. So this 43rd attempt circumvents the democratic process because they know they’ll fail that way again. Instead, they’re attaching the defunding to the federal funding bill, thereby saying “We will not fund the government’s operation unless you repeal funding for this one law that passed three years ago.”

      • And they’ll keep trying. They hate the health care bill. They perceive its flaws better than America in general, who hasn’t really experienced it yet. (That’s why you don’t pass things until you read them.)

  4. The irony is that the part that they purport to hate most—the individual mandate— is the part they actually embraced when President Clinton was in office (first term). But I wholeheartedly agree about reading things before they’re passed. See also: Patriot Act.

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