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The House Crier: Faking a Shutdown

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Hypocrisy is a pretense of having a virtuous character and principles that one does not really possess. Bear that in mind while I offer an observation that the threat of a government shutdown is just a threat. It is a bully’s threat that is about as credible as the tears of Speaker Boehner. The speaker’s tears demonstrate one of two things, that the shutdown threat is a fake or that the man is emotionally unbalanced. In either case, the threat will loom until the very last minute, when it will be averted. Deals have already been cut.

Speaker John BoehnerHere is a quick example of this hypocrisy. Republicans especially are all about National Defense. They would sooner burn autographed pictures of Ronald Reagan than touch the Defense budget, as they have demonstrated. However, as ABC News reports, if the government shuts down, US military personnel won’t get paid.

The Speaker is responsible for ensuring that the House passes legislation supported by the majority party, in this case the majority of the majority. Boehner’s freshmen are challenging his ability to do so. Representative Paul D. Ryan (R, WI), recently of budget committee fame, had very telling words about the tea party contingent who have propelled the threat of shutdown forward. “The new people did not come here for a political career,” he said. “They came here for a cause.”

Their cause is a risky government shutdown that they seem to think is alright. That opinion found voice in a former member of the House Budget Committee, Thad McCotter (R, MI), who says he thinks the “majority of the public would agree” that a partial shutdown of the federal government wouldn’t be that bad in their lives, according to ABC.

For Boehner, the worse outcome is a split conference that pits the Republican establishment against the tea party contingency. Of course, senior members of the Republican caucus like Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann, who seek to raise their profiles by establishing themselves as rebel leaders, make out but all future Republican progress would be undermined.

Republicans seem to intend to cut benefits and programs for the nation’s retirees and neediest citizens while protecting corporate America and the wealthiest people from paying their share of taxes. The ACLU opposes enacting their FY11 spending bill because it contains amendments that would eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood to legislation that would impose an “abortion tax” on small businesses who want to provide abortion coverage in their employee health plans.

The government did shut down in 1995 and 1996 under Newt Gingrich’s speakership. Two years later, voters sent 20 Republican members packing and the speaker took the blame. The hypocrisy of the tea party ideological cause begs the question that if the Republicans cannot govern themselves, how are they supposed to govern the country?

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About Tommy Mack

Tommy Mack began his career in broadcasting and is a US Army graduate of the Defense Information School. He worked in Army Public and Command Information and earned a BS in Liberal Studies from the State University of New York, Albany. A marketing communications executive, Tommy became a business management consultant for a major international consulting company and its affiliates before establishing Tommy Mack Organization, a business consulting practice specializing in organization and communications management. A professional writer and blogger, he writes about politics, business, and culture.
  • Boeke

    Looks like Tommy was right on this shootout.

  • Last minute deal averts shutdown. You read it first on BC.


  • Baronius

    Not “reports”, Tommy. Opines. Dave and I disagree on a lot of things, but he usually gets that kind of stuff right.

  • Thanks. The truth hurts, doesn’t it? Here is more. It’s not about the money at all.

    The New York Times reports that it is “the policy riders that are the real holdup to a deal.” To Republicans it’s all about abortion, environmental protection and health care. The hold up has nothing to do with jobs or the economy. Negotiators at the White House say “the issue of the spending cuts barely even came up. All the talk was about the abortion demands and the other issues.”

    It is easier to argue with Dave, isn’t it?


  • Baronius

    Tommy, I’ve read articles that I disagree with before. This one was really bad.

  • Gallup reports “The American public has clearly and consistently expressed a desire for elected officials in Washington to pass a new fiscal year budget without bringing government operations to a halt.”

    As to your opinion, my dear Cardinal, you have given away your uncompromising position with your protest. Your ideology is showing.


  • Baronius

    Huh? If deals have already been cut, then what’s the hypocrisy about military pay? And how would that be hypocritical, even if there haven’t been deals already cut? And, by the way, are you aware that the House passed a bill that would specifically extend military pay? Or that the President could order that the military be paid on his own?

    And where’s your evidence that deals have been cut? Considering it’s in the title of your article, shouldn’t you have talked about it? And speaking of the title, what does Boehner’s crying have to do with anything? And is McCotter wrong?

    And if there’s a deal already in place, what does it matter if some tea party supporters would politically profit if there wasn’t a deal already in place? And how does that make the tea partiers hypocrites?

    And considering the Democrats couldn’t govern themselves enough to pass a budget with both houses and the presidency, on what basis do you accuse the Republicans of being unable to govern themselves for having successfully passed a continuing resolution that Reid is sitting on?