Sunday, October 6, 2013

They Jumped

And it's about time, too.

It may be too early to tell for sure, but it's beginning to look like the Republicans may have found their spine.  The Republicans in the House, anyway.

The caucus stood together in their insistence that Obama and the Senate Democrats negotiate on the issue of Obamacare implementation and the issues of the CR and upcoming debt ceiling debate.  Predictably, Obama and the Dems are shrilly denouncing "heartless" Republicans for shutting down the government and "hurting millions of regular Americans".

Setting aside, for now, the fact that the much-anticipated roll out of the ACA has thus far been an unmitigated disaster, it has become clear that it is, in fact, the Obama administration that has actively sought out ways to make sure that their "regular Americans" feel the maximum pain and encounter the most inconvenience the government can possibly inflict.  Keep in mind, this is the same government that actually instructed bureaucratic officials to make the impact of sequestration as painful as possible and actually refused attempts by department managers to lessen the impact of the mandated budget cuts.

The Republicans in the House have sent several appropriations bills over to the Senate since the beginning of this fight.  Democrat Harry Reid, the leader of the Senate, has refused to bring any of these proposals to the floor for a debate, much less a vote.  He has said, when challenged, that he's not going to get "trapped" into doing things piecemeal.  He has said that he doesn't know where the House Republicans get the idea that they can "pick and choose" what parts of the government to fund.  It's called the Constitution, Harry.  The Separation of Powers specifically vests the power of the purse in the hands of the House of Representatives.  There is nothing in the Constitution about "clean CR's".  If we still had a government and a Congress that followed the rules of the Constitution, we'd have a general budget proposal generated by the House and the Senate.  The competing budgets would go to committees made up of representatives of each body and a compromise would be worked out.  Once that was done (usually well before the budget deadline) it would be the responsibility of the House of Representatives to write up and pass individual appropriations bills dealing with specific aspects of the budget, detailing the funding levels and sources.  It would then be up to the Senate to pass the appropriation bill as written or to insert amendments of their own and send it back to the House.  At that point the appropriation would go to a similar conference to have a compromise worked out before it was presented to both chambers for a final vote.  That's the way it works, Harry.  At least, that's the way it would work, if your side had done it's job once in the past 5+ years and passed a budget.  But then, you'd have to go officially on record as to how much you want to spend and on what.  A never-ending series of CR's conveniently obscures all of those details, doesn't it?

To put pressure on Republicans, the Obama administration went public with the story that sick children with cancer were being turned away from clinical trials funded through the National Institute of Health, saying that Republicans would rather see sick kids suffer and die.  The Republicans responded by passing an appropriation bill to fund the NIH.  Not only did the Senate refuse to take up the legislation, Obama himself  vowed to veto any legislation other than a "clean CR".  The same for the national parks and memorials.  80 and 90+ year old WWII vets were barred from visiting the WWII Memorial on the Mall in Washington.  This is an open air memorial that is not regularly staffed.  The Obama administration order barricades set up and guards posted to close access to these vets.  Some Republican Congressmen who were accompanying this particular Honor Flight wouldn't stand for this and took the barricades down and invited the vets to proceed.  The reaction of the Obama administration was to import higher fences and additional guards.  The WWII Memorial is now more secure and has more guards than the Consulate in Benghazi, Libya!  All to prevent octogenarians access to the memorial honoring their service and sacrifice.  If he is willing to show such disrespect to "the greatest generation", there is no limit to what he'll do to the rest of us to force compliance and obedience to his dictates.

This administration has made a political calculation that they can succeed in the implementation of their agenda by making the people as uncomfortable as possible and blaming the Republicans for being "obstructionist".  We, The People, are nothing more than that.  Political calculations.  Pieces on a game board to be manipulated according to the whims of the party in power in furtherance of their social engineering agenda.

For now, House Republicans are keeping faith with their constituents and with the promises they made in the last election to do what they could to impede Obama's march "forward".  If they can stick to their guns until the 17th (the expiration of the current "debt ceiling") we may finally have a chance at the real "fundamental transformation" of the culture in Washington, D.C. back to a true Constitutional Republic and a government that stays within it's Constitutional limits.  At the least, people may finally realize, just as they did with the predicted disaster that would result from sequestration (odd, isn't it, how that's not even mentioned in the news anymore?), that a government shutdown isn't the end of the world as we know it and that maybe, just maybe, we can stand on our own two feet.


For those who don't understand the referent of this blog's title, it refers back to a comment I made in an earlier blog post about the previous debt ceiling debacle:  Geronimooooo.  You can find it in the archives, if you're interested.

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