It’s been a week since lawmakers in Washington failed to come to an agreement on funding our government, and therefore we remain in a partial government shutdown. I wish I could tell you there’s been movement in negotiations, but that doesn’t seem to be the case thanks to the Democrats.
While politicians in Washington continue to sling arrows at one another, not much has been done in the way of work by Democrats. House Republicans have continued to pass a series of bills to fund various parts of the government such as furloughed federal workers, FEMA and WIC, but Democrats in the Senate haven’t taken up a vote since last Tuesday.
What’s amazing is that Barack Obama and the Democrats seem intent on making sure that impacts of the shutdown are as hyped and publicized as possible in order to inflict maximum amount of pain and spin the story to their advantage. Remember what a White House official said last week: That we (the administration) are winning. But the fact is that according to estimates from CBO and OMB data, 83% of the federal government has continued to operate. In other words, people are realizing that we can survive with 17% of our government shut down, but that wouldn’t make for the story Obama and the Democrats need. So they push these stories in order to create a sense of panic or crisis.
Breitbart is keeping a list of some of the more outrageous moves to shut down various places around the country. Last week’s news cycle was dominated by the WWII memorial in Washington DC being closed to WWII veterans. Other monuments like Mount Rushmore have been blocked off from viewing, and they have even tried to close beaches. They’ve even closed the beaches of Normandy! People traveling to pay their respects, veterans and family members travel all the way to Omaha Beach only to find it closed because of Obama’s shutdown.
Families and businesses are being kicked out of their homes or forced to close their businesses because they are on federal parkland.
Drudge pointed out this morning that the Obama administration’s website for Amber Alerts showed the following message: “Due to the lapse in federal funding, this Office of Justice Programs (OJP) website is unavailable.” But if you went to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” website, it was completely up and running! After attention was brought to that issue, it has since been changed. Go figure.
It’s to the point of absurdity. Federal workers are being threatened with criminal charges if they attempt to check their email while being furloughed. And did you hear about the furloughed Catholic chaplains who were supposedly threatened with disciplinary action if they celebrated Mass? Priests cannot even volunteer their time, without pay, because of government rules.
Yet the media continues to report this exactly as the administration desires: This is the Republican or Tea Party shutdown. Not only that, but then Harry Reid tells us this morning that journalists are being unfair … to Democrats! He told the Politico, “You and other journalists have a real shortcoming in that you are trying so hard to be fair that you are unfair.” He goes on to say, “Democrats have had almost nothing to do with the problems here. It’s all Republicans.” That’s the spin! However that doesn’t actually match reality. Last week when the shutdown began, the Media Research Center did a study of mainstream media coverage which found that 21 stories blamed the Republicans, 4 said both parties were to blame and 0 stories blamed the Democrats. Zero. Now perhaps that has changed as time has gone on, but you’d be hard-pressed to find stories in the Obama-mania media that do not pin the blame squarely on the Republicans.
On MSNBC, Mika Brzezinski went as far as to suggest that Ted Cruz and Republicans who support this effort to defund ObamaCare do not love this country. Even Joe Scarborough had to disagree, and rightly so. If anything, you could say that Republicans like Ted Cruz have an immense love for this country and that is why they are resorting to such drastic measures to save it. ObamaCare will not be a good thing for this country; It will only create more government dependency, have a negative impact on the quality of care, negatively impact jobs and cost Americans billions in the long-term. Republicans pushing to defund ObamaCare have an immense love of country and they believe that it is worth fighting for.
The rollout of ObamaCare continues to be a colossal embarrassment for this administration. Software glitches continue to plague the system and even the federal government has acknowledged the need for software redesigns. I’m not aware of updated figures from over the weekend, but as of Friday CNBC reported that “as few as 1 in 100 applications on the federal exchange contains enough information to enroll the applicant in a plan.” In other words, 99% of the people trying to sign up for ObamaCare have actually completed the process. This is probably why administration officials like Jack Lew refused to answer questions over the weekend about the number of people who have signed up for ObamaCare.
While the administration refuses to be straight with the numbers when it comes to ObamaCare, what IS clear is that thousands of Americans and businesses have already been affected by the law. For example, a new study by the Illinois Policy Institute found that 66,000 will be impacted as a result of ObamaCare. Because ObamaCare has changed the definition of full-time workers to 30+ hours, businesses have been changing their business models to prepare for the law. As a result, the study finds that in Illinois alone, “the loss in hours equates to 66,000 retail, food, and merchandise jobs since 2011.”
Why Barack Obama and the Democrats insist on forcing this law onto the American people is the real story here. Republicans are standing up for the American people, and it is Harry Reid, Barack Obama and the Democrats who are standing in the way. As Rand Paul writes in the Washington Times this morning, “It was not a good idea to shut down the government. It’s also not a good idea to give Mr. Obama 100 percent of what he wants on Obamacare. Why is the president so opposed to trying to make this law less bad? Why is he continually refusing to compromise?”
Despite the Democrats’ PR campaign, and the Obama-mania media’s willingness to cover this shutdown the way Democrats want it, I believe that the American people are figuring out what’s really going on here. Democrats own the incompetence of ObamaCare, and that probably hurts their credibility when it comes to this shut down hysteria.