Reflections on a government shutdown
By Neal Larson
The mainstream media is asking America, very thoughtfully, “Which party is to blame for the government shutdown, the Republican Party or the Tea Party?” As the pressure builds to reopen the government so we can all start watching the Panda Cam again, most conservatives aren’t asking if the GOP will cave, but when.
At this writing, they haven’t. I have been pleasantly surprised at the GOP’s resolve thus far. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a fortitudinous backbone or a lit up Congressional switchboard, but either way we’ll take it. Both sides claim polling is on their side, with Democrats illustrating America’s reluctance to shut down the government to delay or defund Obamacare. Republicans are rightly saying Americans want their government open for business without Obamacare. Comically, neither side acknowledges the opponent’s polling, but both sides are correct, technically.
But let’s put it in these simple terms. Americans want the government funded. They don’t want Obamacare. Republicans are proposing exactly that. Democrats are not. They want Obamacare to hitch a ride with the rest of the appropriations. While the President claims his election is a mandate to preserve his landmark healthcare legislation, the House of Representatives — the people’s house — has equal footing in saying they were elected with a mandate to stop it.
The President insists Obamacare has been legislated, litigated, and adjudicated and is the law of the land and is here to stay. Apparently his Indonesian madrasa didn’t teach him that Congress has the power (and the obligation) to repeal bad laws. Just because a law has been passed doesn’t mean we and all future generations must live with it as if Gilbert Gottfried is our Siamese twin. Lots of laws have been repealed, from the Jim Crow Laws to the Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act. There are many others, including the National Maximum Speed Law and Food and Fuel Control Act. (And the now-forgotten Joe Biden Affordable Plugs Act and the Nancy Pelosi Affordable Botox Act.)
I know the President has grand visions that in 50 years we’ll speak of the Affordable Care Act with the same reverence we say “Social Security” and “Medicare” or the “Civil Rights Act”. It’s not boding well, however for his health law. In 1935, Social Security passed 372-33 in the House and 77-6 in the Senate. Three decades later, Medicare passed 307-116 in the House, and 70-24 in the upper chamber. The Civil Rights Act passed 289-186 in the House, and the Senate approving 73-27. None of these pieces of historic, nation-shaping legislation required a “Cornhusker Kickback” or “Louisiana Purchase”. All had significant bipartisan support and to my knowledge none of them ever led to a government shutdown.
Ask yourself a question. What’s wrong with having two separate votes? One of them to fund Obamacare and the other to fund the rest of government? I won’t answer, because we all know the answer. The simple truth is that Obamacare cannot stand a legislative test on its own. A majority of states don’t want it. Polling consistently shows strong support for repeal and overwhelming support for eliminating the individual mandate. It’s a partisan-passed law that has grown unpopular, and the Democrats are forcing us to live with it, because I guess that’s just who they are.
Meanwhile, President Barack “Benghazi IRS Scandal Fast and Furious NSA Spying” Obama is telling us… to just trust him and that the ACA will bring prices down. Just like we trusted him when he said we could keep our current plan if we liked it and that health care costs for individuals and families would be reduced significantly.
Those who trust him, deserve him.
Neal Larson of Idaho Falls is a conservative talk show host on KID Newsradio 590am and 92.1fm. “The Neal Larson Show” can be heard weekday mornings from 8:00 to 10:00. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.