Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff

Since I’ve got the time…

I’m a bit surprised at how many people say the shutdown can be blamed on both sides equally. I wonder if it would be seen the same way if Democrats forced a shutdown to “negotiate” gun control. I mean, hey, we just want to talk about it. And by the way, we won’t let anything else happen, even stuff we normally support, until we talk about it. And by “talk about it” we mean “you cave”.

I wonder if I could have pulled that at work. I don’t like the benefits, but I’m told they’re not changing. So I shut down all our servers. The company can no longer function. Can we “negotiate” now? Don’t point that finger at me – if we go out of business it’s just as much your fault as mine.

I think many people want to feel balanced and nonpartisan. We’ve all got Republican friends and family, and we don’t want to upset them. So we talk about it as though both sides have a reasonable argument here and, well, what can you do? Crazy old Washington.

Except the two sides do not both have a reasonable argument. There is something fundamentally wrong with the Republican approach. I get that they don’t like the ACA, but that is something they have to address by attacking the ACA, not by attacking Veteran’s benefits and the Grand Canyon. Negotiating means you give something to get something. It does not mean you confiscate everything to get something. In any other arena we’d all recognize this for what it is: sabotage.

My stance on this is nonpartisan. I wouldn’t want sabotage to become an accepted tactic for any party. It creates a constant state of crisis and it’s a stupid way to run a country. Or anything. The fact that the Speaker of the House, the de facto leader of the Republican party, thought this was a good idea, or was convinced to pretend it was, is a colossal embarrassment and obliterates any semblance of competence or good faith. Even more shamefully, this is not an isolated incident, it’s just the latest culmination of an ongoing policy to disrupt the government while there’s a Democrat in office.

I put up with plenty of laws I don’t like. I want to see them changed. But I don’t want to change them by putting all that’s good in our country on the chopping block for political theater. And I’m not going to pay lip service to “balance” either: the Republican party gets full credit for cooking up and executing this crisis. I hope their ploy fails, and I hope they pay dearly in the midterms.

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