Don’t Like the Game? Change the Rules

Opinion / 15 October 2013 / by Josh Hudnall
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Not only have congressional republicans forced a government shutdown and then launched a massive campaign to deny it’s their fault. They’ve also changed the rules so that only they can bring forth the vote that will reopen the government. Of course the only reason for this is to prevent democrats or moderate (read reasonable) republicans from offering, voting and passing a solution that tea-party hardliners won’t like.

There is dissent even amongst republicans, they’re not sure they can get what they want, so they’ve changed the rules so that only they can call a vote, and only when it’s a vote on something they like.

Look, you think Obamacare’s a big enough threat to this country that you need to shut down the government over it, fine. Own it. Don’t fart and point at the dog.

John Stewart

You may or may not like Obamacare. It doesn’t really matter. The government shutdown represents an unmitigated failure of the government to govern. Each side blames the other, and to be sure, each side is unwilling to compromise. Republicans claim that they are willing, but their compromise isn’t a compromise at all: They will reopen the government if and when Obamacare is delayed or defunded. That is not compromise.

However, democrats won’t and shouldn’t compromise either. The Affordable Care Act was implemented through legal means, and validated by the Supreme Court. Non-Constitutional provisions were struck down, but what was left standing is legal and constitutional—including the individual mandate. Congressional republicans lost that battle. Now they are trying a different tack; they are trying to legislate without legislating. Compromising by democrats would set a dangerous precedent that laws can be circumvented simply by the opposing party withholding the budget.

I have no special love for democrats nor republicans, but I can tell you that over the past few years—as imbalanced, big-business, Koch-brothers-, Tea-Party-style politics have infected the republican party, and “infected” is the right word—my loathing for the GOP has grown.

So, like Obamacare or not, this kind of political grandstanding and false despair from congressional republicans is abhorrent. They already lost—twice—but like a child who is angry about getting thrown out running to third base, they’ve taken all the balls and bats and gloves, and gone home. And now they’re blaming the refs because the game can’t be played.