All over the airwaves the Republican house members, led by John Boehner have taken to the talking points with two parroted comments about the vote on the CR, the Continuing Resolution to fund the government (but defund Obamacare). The first comment from their talking points memos as quoted by CBS news:
"The American people don't want the government to shut down and they don't want Obamacare," he said, "The House has listened to the American people. Now it's time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well."
The defense in this argument is the House has listened to the American people. Really? Forget that's not exactly correct -- let's just say for discussion sake the public doesn't favor the Affordable Care Act. Okay. Accordingly, you, Congress, should do what America wants. Get rid of Obamacare.
Well, using that same argument, what happened after Sandy Hook (and some of the other mass shootings). The public in poll after poll, in numbers ranging from 80-95% favored universal background checks on guns. A major disaster had just occurred. Scores of children and teachers killed. The public was begging for Congress to act then. Did they listen?
The Manchin-Toomey Amendment to S-694, the Firearms Bill, met defeat, falling short of the 60 vote threshold. This vote was generally along party lines -- with Republicans against. Where was the "listening to the American people" then?
Where was this need to respond to the public's demands? To say you're voting to defund Obamacare because that's what the public wanted is disputed at the very best, and a lie to the more blunt among us.
The GOP did it for political reasons, not in response to public outcry. If you really considered what the public wanted, we might have reasonable firearms background checks, and perhaps even those 12 victims who worked at the Navy Yard might still be alive.
A meaningful background check for the rifle just purchased prior to the Washington shooting might have flagged Aaron Alexis before he bought that weapon which took all of those lives. Yes, the weapon took their lives. Alexis merely aimed and fired. If he didn't have that rifle, those people would still be with us, not just their memory.
So much for that argument of listening to the people and doing what the majority wants. You listened to lobbyists, those people putting money in your pockets. Blood money.
And then there's the other talking point on the way to shutting down the government. Obama's unwillingness to talk to Congress about the budget. This one's a real pip... worthy of Karl Rove. Here's the argument the GOP is using up and down their rank and file, reported by THE HILL:
“Why is the Obama administration willing to negotiate with Putin on Syria ... But not with Congress to address Washington's spending problem?”
Somehow, in the narrow to totally absent minds of the GOP-led house, Obama upholding a law that was passed by both houses of congress, signed into being by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court should be stopped for a minority interest in the House. Not even the House and the Senate. Just the House.
Jeb Bush, hardly a sage but an intermittent voice of sanity within the GOP, put it quite articulately as reported by ABC News:
“If you control one half of one third of the levers in Washington, D.C your ability to influence things are also relative to the fact that you have one half of one third of the government,” Bush said at the National Press Club today. “That’s the reality.”
So to put this in context, Putin controls all of Russia and they could assist us in preventing our entering into war with Syria. So to talk of world peace with Russia's elected leader is far more pressing than dealing with Congress on a law they passed which hasn't even been totally implemented yet. There is no pressing urgency like there was in Syria where we were within hours of a vote to attack.
Make no mistake, we were at the brink of war, and for the time being anyway, that emergency is being diplomatically handled. The same should be true with our legislature. Not a gun put to the heads of all Americans.
The US wants a budget. Spiteful childish nonsense by Rafael Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio along with weak sisters John Boehner and Eric Cantor won't be tolerated. Boehner caved because he's a scared and ineffective leader. I've mentioned a few times that this battle would destroy the GOP. It looks like my predictions are coming true. Move over Nostradamus.
Sadly, these petulant, GOP children know it and each wants to take his bat and ball and go home, preventing the rest of us from getting to play. These destructive, selfish men will get theirs -- at the voting booth.
They say they're just doing what Americans are demanding. Well, let's watch them box up their offices and move back into private life when America sends them packing.