The End Of The Government Shutdown 2013
Image by Stephen D. Melkisethian
Washington DC, The US Capitol, around 6:30pm October 16, 2013. We were blessed with an exceptionally beautiful autumn sky this evening on the 16th day of the US Government shutdown. This is also the date when the failure to increase the debt ceiling starts to kick in a default on our national debt obligations. The Senate is in session at this moment voting to approve a resolution to end both the shutdown and the "deadbeats r us USA" debt embarrassment. Will the House follow? Most Americans are fed up with the ongoing right wing extremist attack on what’s left of our fragile democracy. Could this be the end of the Tea Party influence in our politics? Will they get the drubbing they deserve in the upcoming elections? Let’s hope so, but what we really need are many more tough progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and no more ‘lesser of the two evils’ war-mongering corporatist Democrats like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton etc. I invite anybody reading this to send me a list of even forty members of Congress who should not be sent packing.
Many attribute extremist Republican obstructionism to their deep ideological convictions against "big government" and deficit spending but that’s baloney. They’ve shown no inclination ever to rein in the bloated sectors of the state that make them and their supporters rich. Relentless advocacy for budget-busting military spending on endless wars, the grotesque expansion of the state surveillance apparatus, cheerleading for radical global extractivism, the war on women’s reproductive rights, scorn for the rights of anybody but the rich, the slaughter and mass incarceration of minorities for petty offenses, the militarization of our civilian police, voter suppression and other forms of election rigging, lavish corporate welfare handouts, brazen dismissal of any facts that don’t agree with their agenda (e.g. climate change denial…) and the perverse promotion of boundless personal greed as an expression of religious belief do constitute an ideology but it is not Republicanism, it is not Conservatism and it’s not anything like what my grassroots Constitution-loving Tea Party friends used to say that they believed in. This ideology has been variously shamed as American Facism, crony capitalism, plutocracy, oligarchy, kleptocracy, inverted totalitarianism and even neo-feudalism. Call it what you will but it is profoundly anti-democratic and out of step with the values of most Americans.
The hardest of the hardcore right wing shills in Congress have the nerve to call themselves The Freedom Caucus. Yes, they do endorse the freedom to bomb anything everywhere worldwide especially if the targets are brown or black people, the freedom to rip off everything everywhere that belongs to working people including fair wages and decent working conditions, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, pensions, veterans benefits etc. and the freedom to take a Federal paycheck and brazenly, gleefully do no useful work at all because they not only hate any form of democratic government but also the very dignity of work itself. Shame on you, old dirty bastards.
The Congressional ‘tea bagger’ stooges who waged this latest attack on their fellow citizens were bought, paid for and sent here to run interference by our wealthy ruling elites who profit from the endless wars they promote, don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes nor have their business activities regulated in any way, no matter how rapacious, cruel, lawbreaking and immoral (meaning that they violate the fundamental tenents of all religions including the ones they ‘like’ and the ones they don’t know or care about…). That’s the story. Follow the money.
Postscript. The Senate voted 81 to 18 to raise the debt limit and reopen the Federal government. The legislation was then taken up by the House where shortly after 10PM it passed by a vote of 285 to 144. In the early hours of Thursday, October 17 President Obama signed the bill. Furloughed workers will start returning to work today and Federal facilities will reopen. The shutdown cost our economy tens of billions of dollars, disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers and deprived many citizens of vital services. Will we repeat this sad scenario in just three months?
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