Political truth: “Those whom the people blame, ‘cave.’”
The Republicans lost the great government shutdown public relations gamble of 2013. The rhetoric slingers on the left won it. This has been said often enough, in so many venues, that it should be no secret even to those low information voters who only get their news secondhand from their buddies.
I’ve been wondering: When the shutdown occurred, and nonessential White House employees were sent home without pay, why wasn’t Joe Biden furloughed? OK, I’m kidding; I’m kidding.
Now it’s aftermath time. After the administration’s victory, the gloating of “the man” is understandable. It is a price a losing side must endure. So be it. The president struts and scolds, Harry Reid raises his gloves in victory, and the Republicans tape up their cuts and apply balm to their bruises. Dang.
For me the gloating and the strutting are not big deals. What does get under my skin a bit, though, is the unhinged reckoning of left-wing commentators. It’s beyond wacky, and yet, there seems to be little notice or care about the almost comical hypocrisy being demonstrated.
Time and time again, leftist writers condemn the Republicans’ tea party faction of lacking willingness to negotiate and compromise. And then, moments later, they laud the president’s refusal to negotiate and compromise. OK.
That kind of commentary only works on an emotional level, sort of like “Nyaa, nyaa, nyaa.” But emotion always has been king of the hill. And a loosening of logic is allowed when one is taking victory laps.
That’s enough said, though, about those in the rarified world of Washington politics. Their lives are very different from those of you and me. Those who won in D.C. will be fine, and so will those who lost.
A bigger concern for us in the mundane world may be what have we won and lost. Here are a couple of things to think about.
The administration’s win has assured that Obamacare will stumble out, Frankenstein-like, and walk among us. Although its implementation is probably being delayed, we must accept that “It’s alive!” And sticker shock, I suspect, will be just one of the slaps in the face Americans will feel.
When it was discovered that the NSA was snooping on regular folks, there was much complaining about the loss of privacy. Now regular folks will be uploading intimate details of their lives into an online ACA form, and they can kiss even the illusion of privacy goodbye.
And with the glitch-filled performance of the government website that we’ve seen so far, it seems reasonable to expect that it will be a fertile field for hackers to lust after.
The administration’s victory on the debt limit extension is another big deal. Our Constitution says that only “Congress shall have the power
to borrow money on the credit of the United States
But the deal that was signed to end the shutdown includes, temporarily, The Default Prevention Act of 2013, which permits the president to borrow virtually unchecked by Congress. This is dangerous fiddling with the balance of power concept that the Constitution provides.
As of August 2013, our federal debt has exceeded our GDP. As the boys in the loan shark business would say, “That’s a big nut.” And the more we borrow, the more interest we taxpayers will be paying.
If the Republicans have some ideas to turn the joblessness of this “recovery” around, and to put some money in people’s pockets, they’ll need to win the public’s support in order to put those ideas into effect.
“Those whom the people blame, ‘cave.’” Team R needs a much better marketing plan before the next showdown.
Former Elkhart furniture store owner Richard Leib has served on planning committees in several industries. An avid auto fan, he raced in the 1972 coast-to-coast Cannonball Run. He has written on a wide range of subjects.