Almost as aggravating as the news surrounding the shutdown of the government of the United States is the attempts by the Tea Party Republicans to deflect the blame for it. Fortunately, most rational thinking Americans, and that includes a number of Republicans, aren’t having any of it.
If it needs to be said, it comes down to this: the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, is the law of the land. It passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Obama himself. Further, it was found to be within the limits of the constitution by the United States Supreme Court.
If Republicans don’t like the law, fair enough. Under normal circumstances, repealing said law requires a vote to pass both houses of Congress. One house is available to do that, but not the Senate. Repealing the law also required that a President other than Obama be elected in November 2012. That didn’t happen. So, with Obama standing behind his law and with a popular mandate to do just that, the Republicans’ only recourse is to pass a repeal vote by sufficient majority to override a presidential veto. That ain’t happening either.
Under normal circumstances, that should be the end of it; if the Republicans want to take out Obamacare, their next opportunity to do so is to rely on the electorate to increase their majority and hand them the Senate in November 2014. But a subset of Republicans just won’t take “no” and a significant electoral defeat in 2012 for an answer, nor wait another 13 months to go back to the voters. So, because they won’t get their own way by using the system that all Congressmen and Congresswomen swore to uphold (and have upheld since the late 18th century, save for that five year period called the American Civil War), they are applying pressure on an unrelated set of laws, refusing to act in the interests of Americans unless President Obama and those lawmakers who support them vote against the mandate that they themselves were elected under.
This is nothing more than a temper tantrum, or a hostage taking, if it’s okay to mix my metaphors, here. The Tea Party Republicans are refusing to accept their electoral defeat in 2012, and the fact that they don’t control the two houses of Congress by a supermajority, and so they are threatening the health of the American economy (not to mention the economy of the world) in order to get their way.
Therefore the shutdown is, simply and precisely put, their fault. And now they want to shy away from the blame?
Sorry, folks. You made your bed. Now’s the time for you to lie in it.