We are in day two of this partial government shutdown and at this point it doesn't look like it will end any time soon. Barack Obama will meet with top Congressional leaders today, but the line we continue to hear from the administration and Democrats is that they will not negotiate on their position.
As politics paralyzes Washington, perhaps nothing has been so emblematic as the standoff between a closed federal government and WWII veterans. Yesterday dozens of veterans in their 80s and 90s showed up to the WWII Memorial in Washington DC only to find it barricaded off, closed. Luckily with the help of some lawmakers, they were able to cut through the barriers and visit the open-air memorial nonetheless. It's the least that we could do for their service to this country. But the battle isn't over. As the shutdown continues, more WWII veterans are scheduled to visit their memorial in the coming weeks. These are trips of a lifetime to people whom we owe our lives to. Yet Obama and the Democrats rejected requests to open these parks back up and allow people like these veterans to visit without fear of being arrested. Last night Democrats blocked GOP efforts to open the Veterans Administration, the National Park Service and the government in DC. Instead, in the case of the veterans and these memorials, the federal government ratcheted up their effort to build barriers around these monuments so as to prevent future visitors. So let me get this straight: We don't have the money to keep monuments like this open to the public, but we have the money to pay people to build barriers preventing people from visiting? This is just a prime example of the stupidity emanating from Washington these days. Just like the battle over the White House tours and sequestration, this administration seems intent on inflicting the maximum amount of pain in order to drive headlines and prove a point. But wouldn't the headline of “90 Year Old WWII Vet Arrested Visiting Memorial” go a long way toward highlighting the ridiculousness of this charade in Washington?
The President and the Democrats continue to insist that the government remain shutdown, that WWII veterans remain barricaded from their own memorial, in order to inflict maximum pain on the American people and force them to accept ObamaCare (which the majority of Americans don't want). That's what is really going on here. Democrats want 100% while somehow the Republicans are painted as the unreasonable ones for asking for a compromise.
I stand with fellow conservatives who believe that the Republicans in Washington need to hold the line. I think the worst outcome for the GOP in the House, in their reasonableness, is to cave. They need to stand firm for however long this takes. As ObamaCare's upstart continues to unravel, and the debate in Washington rages on, the GOP needs to point to two things:
- America: Do you see this train wreck of ObamaCare that is being forced upon you? Mandating that you take part in this disaster is the reason why we are currently in a deadlock in Washington. You can thank Obama and the Democrats for that.
- America: We need to get our spending and our debt under control or we risk losing everything within decades. The numbers simply don't add up and you are placing your grandchildren on a path towards an America they will not recognize; They will not be able to enjoy the freedoms and liberties we do today. The Democrats' unwillingness to acknowledge this is essentially digging an opportunity grave for the future of your grandchildren, all in the name of liberal, big-government ideology. While America doesn't want a government shutdown, Americans do want to see us get our finances under control. The GOP should harness this.
In the meantime, Republicans should start to pass legislation funding the government piece by piece. This idea, however has already been met with backlash from Democrats. Harry Reid calls this “just another wacky idea” from the Tea Party. Obama says that he will veto any piecemeal funding bills. What's so wacky and veto-worthy about this idea? Barack Obama and the Democrats don't want to negotiate on the budget or the debt ceiling and they will only accept current rates of spending growth that are placing us on the path to eventual spending oblivion. THAT'S the wacky idea in Washington right now – That not only can we not cut government but we can't even slow the rate of growth!
If the Republicans were to cave now and simply pass a clean CR and then allow the debt ceiling to be raised, what leverage do they have left in Congress and what message will that send to their base? While the American people may want that to happen, what will that ultimately do for America in the long-term? It will saddle us with ObamaCare and resign our country to the continuous and seemingly unstoppable growth of government.
There is no doubt that the Democrat PR campaign will be in full force. Obama is already scheduled to hold a series of events highlighting the consequences of this shutdown. This is no different than what we saw during the battle over sequestration. The only difference is that this time around, we heard the president's dire warnings of sequestration and then we saw that once it went into effect, the president was full of it. His doom-and-gloom, apocalyptic predictions didn't come true. So I find it hard to believe that Americans won't view his warnings this time around with a skeptical eye.
And then the predictable animosity towards Senator Ted Cruz continues. Democrat Rep. Peter DeFazio blamed the government shutdown on “Cruzites,” which is a term he has apparently come up with for “anarchist, radical, libertarians who don't believe in government.” That's news to me. I'd dare you to find one politician in Washington, of either party, who says that they don't believe in government. Again these Democrats aren't bright enough to understand the difference between limited government and no government. There is absolutely a role for government but that role has been perverted by progressives and liberals to mean that we are reliant upon government and that it has a say in virtually every part of our lives. Conservatives like Ted Cruz do not subscribe to this, therefore that makes them an “anarchist?” Good grief.