Anger in the Shutdown

I'm getting more and more angry at the piecemeal, partial funding bills that the government is passing amidst the shutdown. This is not governing. This is not budgeting.

It's not governing to fund only the parts of the government you need, or to rewrite the rule sin the middle of the game. The GOP is going the wrong direction - entirely - and the Demcrats aren't making that case. They need to make that case. They need to win this - and they are letting Republican congressmen vote to close down the government and then berate the park rangers that show up to enforce closed monuments, without promise of a paycheck.

This is wrong; flatly wrong, and I'm disappointed both in Washington for not making this case more clearly, and my fellow Americans for letting the hostage-taking GOP off the hook. We're failing ourselves, and no one seems to even realize it.

The Idiocy of the Shutdown, in 3 Acts: Map, Thought Experiment, Speech - James Fallows - The Atlantic

 I would write a post about this but James Fallows said it better:

The Idiocy of the Shutdown, in 3 Acts: Map, Thought Experiment, Speech - James Fallows - The Atlantic:
Thought experiment. Let's suppose it's the fall of 2005. Suppose George W. Bush has been reelected, as he was in real life. Let's suppose, also as in reality, the Senate remained in Republican hands. But then suppose that Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats had already won control of the House, rather than doing so two years later. So suppose that the lineup as of 2005 had been:
  • Reelected Republican president;
  • The president's Republican party retaining control of the Senate; and
  • Democrats controlling only one chamber, the House.
Then suppose further that Pelosi's newly empowered House Democrats announced that unless George W. Bush agreed to reverse the sweeping tax cuts that had been the signature legislative achievement of his first term, they would refuse to pass a budget so that the federal government could operate, and would threaten a default on U.S. sovereign debt. Alternatively, that unless Bush immediately withdrew from Iraq, federal government funding would cease and the debt ceiling would be frozen.
In this imagined world, I contend:
  • "respectable" opinion would be all over Pelosi and the Democrats for their "shrill," "extreme" demands, especially given their lack of broad electoral mandate;
  • hand-wringing editorials would point out that if you want to change policy, there's an established route to do so, which involves passing new bills and getting them signed into law, rather than issuing "otherwise we blow up the government" ultimatums;
  • no one would be saying that the "grownups in the room" had to resolve the crisis by giving away, say, half of the president's tax cuts. (Even though, to my taste, that would have been a positive step.)
The circumstances are the mirror image now. A party that within the past year has:
  • lost the presidency by 5 million votes;
  • lost the Senate by a total of 10 million votes;
  • held onto control of the House through favorable districting, while losing the overall House vote by 1.7 million nationwide
... is nonetheless dictating terms to the rest of the government. This would have been called extreme and unreasonable under an imagined Nancy Pelosi House in 2005. It is extreme and unreasonable now.

The Story of the Shutdown

First, some obvious points: this is an unprecedented situation, in that the government shutdown has been forced because the party forcing has lost a constitutional challenge and cannot repeal the law
Now, there's a reason that Congress gets the power of the purse - the ability to starve programs by cutting off funding seems like its within Congress's purview. The problem in this case is that Congress isn't doing that - it's just straight refusing to function. It's not clear if furloughed workers will get their salaries back either.

However, this is much better than the debt ceiling limit being broken. The thought here is that the Tea Party interests can be managed - and that the GOP can wave the white flag at some point allowing government funding and the debt ceiling increase to go through.

What I don't think anyone has fully understood is how radicalized these politicians might be.