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Shutdown: Juvenile self-indulgence

Terry Garlock's picture

Some of you blame Republicans for the federal government partial shutdown, some of you blame the Democrats and the President’s refusal to negotiate.

Personally, as a registered Republican, I think the Republican party is superior to Democrats but not by much any more, and that the whole of them taken together have, over the last 50 years, betrayed America and the Constitution. But don’t get me started!

If you listen to the President’s whining speeches, which I no longer can abide for more than a moment, he will tell you the government shutdown is unprecedented, but that is a lie.

I could use the kinder version of saying it is inaccurate, but he would have to be dumber than an Anthony Weiner tweet not to know that over the last five presidents there have been 17 government shutdowns and in every case the president negotiated with the other party to find a way through the impasse.

The only thing unprecedented this time is Obama refusing to meet Republicans at the negotiating table while he points his finger of blame, the only thing he seems to be really good at.

Our mainstream media lap it up dutifully for repetition to brain-dead viewers otherwise known as Obama voters.

Welcome to modern America.

If you argue that Republicans shouldn’t be trying to defund Obamacare since it is the law of the land, unlike many of my Republican friends, I’ll give you that one. However, Obama has modified the law to seek his own benefit by waving his royal finger several times, with nary a thought to congressional blessing since they are the law-making branch of government.

Obama postponed the employer mandate for a year at a cost of $15 billion to the system, with the clear intent of getting past the 2014 elections before employers begin announcing to the world they dislike Obamacare so much they are compelled to move herds of employees to fend for themselves on the government exchanges.

The bone of contention is Republicans insisting the individual mandate – requiring uninsured individuals to buy health insurance – be similarly postponed for a year.

Simple fairness seems to be lost on the Democrats, but once the word “fair” passes anyone’s lips we must pivot to the brazen waving of Obama’s royal finger again to exempt Congress and congressional staff from Obamacare.

But hold on there, that part of Republican outrage is inconveniently untrue. As it turns out, the Obamacare law, by an amendment of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), requires members of Congress and their staff to switch from the healthcare they now have, the same as federal employees, to Obamacare.

An unintended consequence of the law’s wording stripped them of the “employer contribution” towards healthcare cost, thereby unintentionally imposing a serious pay cut.

The President’s executive action – another modification of the law with his royal finger to illegally bypass Congress again – provided a subsidy that makes the change neutral in cost to members of Congress and their staff.

In fact, to be scrupulously fair, let’s acknowledge that they get treated worse than we do since they are REQUIRED to switch to Obamacare. Let’s face it, conservatives, Obama’s abuses of power abound, but this is not one of them.

Of course, Obama himself isn’t blessed with any clarity. Commenting about the looming debt ceiling deadline of Oct. 17 that complicates the impasse, and the likelihood he will have to give Republicans something in exchange for their vote to raise the ceiling so the U.S. can continue borrowing money, the President declares with indignation, “I’m not going to negotiate over the debt ceiling, certainly not with a gun to my head!”

Maybe Obama is the only one on the planet not knowing such negotiation is precisely the way our government is designed to work out differences. I imagine what drove our founding fathers in their design was first their thought of “Here’s how it will work if we get elected,” closely followed by, “But what if those bastards get elected?” Thus the delicacy of balance.

Even so, the President wags his finger at the press while he warns that he “... expects a clean debt ceiling bill,” meaning he expects Congress to pass a bill raising the debt ceiling without any unwanted piggy-back rider deals.

Well, good luck with that, especially considering since 1980 the debt ceiling has been raised 40 times, every time requiring presidential negotiation and over half the time the successful bill carried unrelated amendment deals the president didn’t want but had to concede. That’s how sausage is made.

But his majesty thinks himself above it.

My favorite government abuse amidst this shutdown silliness is what have become known as “Barrycades,” the barriers erected to keep the public out of open-air memorials to which the public might normally have access 24/7.

As you know, a mistake in Washington, D.C., is when someone slips up to utter the truth rather than spin the party line, and apparently a park ranger slipped up recently at the Barrycades to admit receiving orders to make the shutdown “as painful as possible” to fuel the blame game against Republicans. Thus the barricades around memorials, where National Park rangers are absent by furlough.

Groups of WWII vets, coming to Washington DC on long-planned “honor flights” found themselves blocked out of the memorial they came to visit. Anyone with an IQ above room temperature must know it takes more manpower to staff the barricades than to merely leave the memorial unstaffed and let the public visit at will. But I guess that doesn’t serve our President’s childish purpose.

Never mind, the vets pushed aside the barricades to visit the WWII Memorial as planned, just as they did at the Marine Corps Memorial at Arlington and at the Vietnam Memorial adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial.

I have to wonder why anyone would barricade the Vietnam Memorial, especially since it was built with private funds. It is usually open around the clock. Some of us like to go there in the wee hours when we can be alone with our thoughts and memories of good guys who died a violent death just when their life as an adult was beginning.

Joe Galloway, a correspondent who spent four tours in the boonies with grunts in Vietnam, is loved by them as the “Ernie Pyle” of that war. Joe tries to comfort the vets he loves in return by telling them he likes to visit The Wall just before dawn when it is very quiet, he says, so if you listen hard enough you might hear the voices say, “We are at peace. So should you be. So should you be.”

I know a lot of guys fuming at the unnecessary barricading of these memorials just to score gotcha political points. Some are sufficiently angry to make the trip for a confrontation. I hope it stays peaceful.

The Lincoln Memorial is also barricaded, just one more attempt by a vain, spiteful, juvenile empty suit masquerading as President of the United States, just one more gambit to point the finger of blame at Republicans and declare to the public, “See, it isn’t my fault!”

I tried after Obama was elected to keep my commentary respectful and give him the benefit of the doubt, but all doubt has long since evaporated. I don’t think Obama would know leadership if it bit him on the backside.

[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is]


S. Lindsey's picture

[quote=Harry Reid]
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is moving legislation to push the debt limit until Dec. 31, 2014, well beyond next year’s midterm election.

Senate aides estimate the bill would increase federal borrowing authority by about $1.1 trillion.

The administration estimates the nation will hit the upper bounds of its $16.7 trillion debt ceiling on Oct. 17, although in recent days experts have said that deadline may be flexible.[/quote]

The function of Government tax and spend...

How much longer can we take it?

Can we keep borrowing, spending, taxing and really believe it just can keep going on and on without
harm to our Country...

Please someone show me where in the World and where in history has this ever turned out well?

[quote=Obama]On July 3, 2008 — the day before Independence Day — Obama said “driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars to $9 trillion is irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” [/quote]

[quote=Harry Ried]In 2006 "Raising the debt ceiling is the last thing we should do. It will weaken the country and hurt the economy."

[quote=Joe Biden]In 2006, Then-Sen. Biden Voted Against The Senate Resolution To Increase The Debt Ceiling. [/quote]

[quote=Nancy Pelosi]In 2006, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Decried A “Debt Ceiling Of $9 Trillion.” ‘This is the path we were on when President Clinton was president, and we would have been debt free as a nation if we had stayed on that course of pay-as-you-go, no deficit spending, debt free as a nation in 2008,’ Pelosi said. “In the course of the President’s administration now, this 4 years, it will have been raised $2 trillion. This is absolutely astounding in terms of these figures.[/quote]

Oh and so did John Kerry and the rest of the Yowling Democrats so.....

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

G35 Dude's picture
NUK_1's picture

What are the illegals protesting there anyway? They obviously have more "rights" when it comes to getting into the National Mall than legal citizens do right now. Would they prefer less rights in this case?

I saw that Nancy Pelosi and John Lewis and a few others also attended and got arrested for refusing to move out of a public street. Lovely show here.

Surely you realize that the administration is 'cherry picking' shutdowns in order to anger the citzenry and blame Republicans. And they'll get total MSM coverage. If there's any political capital to be gained, they'll do whatever is necessary to get it. See my cmt to Terry Garlock.

S. Lindsey's picture

He wants us to suffer as much as Government can make us to...

Is that the actions of a President of the united States or is this the actions of a egomanical

Between his lies and his ego I am not sure which is worse.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Gort's picture

SLindsey, the capital mall isn’t closed. Why don’t you organize a counter protest to support your TeaParty members, in the House of Representatives, that started this “Wildcat” strike on the US Government!

They can use the support. Every day I read about how those ‘jelly legged’ Vichy Republicans call for surrender. Now is your moment to act!

You can bill the protest as, “The Meat Puppet Army Returns To Washington!” The capital police and park rangers will be so glad to see you all again.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote for the Democrat.

G35 Dude's picture

You are funny. I'll give you that!!! LOL So you think it's ok to throw vets out of the mall and then welcome illegals so they can protest?

S. Lindsey's picture

Yuking it up is the only thing he does best...

Trying to get a straight answer from him is, well like....trying to get one from DM..

Funny that.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Gort's picture

SLindsey, did you see the news yesterday? New polls out. It looks like the first major success of Obama Care was to cure TeaParty and Vichy Republicans from shutting down the national government and threaten not to raise the debt limit.

The USA may be back in business again by next week!

And you said Obama Care doesn’t work. (heh, heh!) Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote for the Democrat.

Gort's picture

G35, no, no, that’s not what I said. What I said to SLindsey, (our jingo fisted prince of the local TeaParty,) was the capital mall was open and he was free to organize a TeaParty protest if he wanted to.

Personally, I think it’s disgusting for veterans, (or anyone else for that matter,) to be turned away from any of our national parks and memorials.

What I find even more disgusting is TeaParty and Vichy Republicans, (and their chattering minions,) ‘pretending’ to be shocked to learn that federal parks and memorials get closed when they shut down the Federal Government.

So deceitful, it’s despicable.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote for the Democrat.

What you should REALLY be pissed about is the fact that, as CINC, Obama has NOT waved his magic finger and authorized payment of the $100K Death Benefit to families of 5 soldiers who died over the weekend! Now that's purely unconscionable and an insult to all who serve or have served!

UPDATE: Today, the President ordered that the death benefits be restored. That's a good thing---BUT--it should never have happened!

Furthermore, what a shame that neither the Sec of Defense or Sec of Vet Affairs had the cojones to step up and say "Pay them! Don't care where you find the money but pay them! I'll take the heat but we can't allow the families of our soldiers to be treated this way! What wusses!

tgarlock's picture

. . . I'm still waiting for you to write a column with your opinion,

Terry Garlock, PTC

Not intended as such--just didn't know if you were aware of that particular situation or not. As to writing an opinion column, don't think I'm up to that--I'm too sensitive to criticism or correction!

I recognize the angst you detail in the juvenile blame game for the latest government shut down. As you point out, the GOP is receiving much of the blame from the main stream media and non-Fox News viewers. However, conservative zealots must accept some culpability for crying “Wolf” so often that the electorate has learned to ignore them. Since the day he took office, they have ceaselessly excoriate Obama inaccurately for being foreign born, a Muslim, uneducated, etc. None except the tea partiers bother to come out with their pitchforks any more when POTUS is vilified. By wasting criticism on false and useless trivia, conservatives have lost their platform to point out valid problems. This strategy is just as juvenile as that promulgated by the left—look no further than the replies to this column for verification.

It takes maturity to set aside emotional reactions to a personality and focus upon practical realities. Sadly, conservatives refuse to grow up any faster than do progressives. This is good news for progressives since the conservative base in aging and shrinking.

S. Lindsey's picture

You act as if criticizing a sitting President is something new…Where exactly were you from 2000 to 2008?

Just wondering, since all of the things you say are hurled at Obama where also said of Bush and much, much more.

How many books and movies have been made portraying Obama's assassination? One, Two? How about NONE!

This from Ann Coulter explains why many if not most of the American People are upset:

[quote=Ann Colter]Among the other changes effected by this law are:

-- Obamacare will allow insurers to charge 50 percent higher premiums for smokers, but prohibits insurers from increasing premiums for those with HIV/AIDS.

-- Nationally, Obamacare will increase men's individual insurance premiums by an average of 99 percent and women's by 62 percent. In North Carolina, for example, individual insurance premiums will triple for women and quadruple for men.

-- Health plans valued at $27,500 or more for a family of four will be taxed at a rate of 40 percent.

-- No doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare.

-- A 62-year-old man earning $46,000 a year is entitled to a $7,836 government tax credit to buy health insurance. But if he earns an extra $22 in income, he loses the entire $7,836 credit. He will have more take-home pay by earning $46,000 than if he earns $55,000. (If he's lucky, he already works for one of the companies forced by Obamacare to reduce employees' hours!)

-- Merely to be eligible for millions of dollars in grants from the federal government under Obamacare, education and training programs are required to meet racial, ethnic, gender, linguistic and sexual orientation quotas. That's going to make health care MUCH better!

-- Obamacare is turning America into a part-time nation. According to a recent report by economist John Lott, 97 percent of all jobs added to the economy so far this year have been part-time jobs. Ninety-seven percent!

-- Obamacare is such a disaster that the people who wrote it refuse to live under it themselves. That's right, Congress won a waiver from Obamacare.

Responding to the people's will, House Republicans first voted to fund all of government -- except Obamacare. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it.

Then the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but merely delay the implementation of Obamacare for one year. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it.

Finally, the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but added a requirement that everyone live under Obamacare. No more special waivers for Congress and their staff, and no waivers for big business without the same waivers for individuals.

Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it. So as you can see, Republicans are the big holdup here.

A longtime Democratic operative, Karen Finney, explained the Democrats' intransigence on MSNBC to a delighted Joan Walsh (aka the most easily fooled person on TV) by comparing House Republicans to a teenager trying to borrow his mother's car. "No, I'm not negotiating!" Mother says. "It's MY CAR!" [/quote]

So you see stf… it is those darned principles again. I know you feel like we have to just roll over and play good doggy but this time I intend to snap back.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

I see. The mean old liberals said bad things about President Bush, so the conservatives are obliged to snap back with personal attacks on POTUS. Only, no one is listening except other conservatives. Good luck with your strategy, but the American electorate isn't buying it. I only want a mature response so EVERYONE will listen to the criticisms. You must know that Ann Coulter is poison to everyone except right wingers. Conservatives must choose spokespersons who don't drip venom with every reference to POTUS. Thoughtful conservatives like David Brooks express opinions without vitriol and actually communicate to a wide audience.

S. Lindsey's picture

Ann is correct in her points rather you like the delivery system or not..

The blame game has been around for ever stf.. Every sitting President is soundly critized be the other side.

This is nothing new.

I know for many people history begins and ends at ones own personal point of view...but in fact history has been around awhile.

Now don't get me wrong stf I do agree with your assessment on the Republicans.. that is why I am a stauch member of #DefundtheGOP....

I think they have gone the way of the Whigs and need to go... We already have a Socio-Liberal Progressive Party in the Democrats why do we
need a Socialist lite RINO Party...

It is past time for those like McCain, Graham, Boeher and others to leave and I couldn't care if it was quietly or not..

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

tgarlock's picture

. . . the empty shirt in the Oval Office would fill volumes. No time for details, and I'm not going to write you a book trying to convince you anyway, just have time to say you're dead wrong.

I will give you this. Too many righties have spent too much time on the stuff that leads nowhere, like Obama's birth certificate. But his failures and betrayal of American principles are, in my book, legendary.

Terry Garlock, PTC

My point is not that Obama has been a great president, but rather that the righties squandered their platform to be heard by complaining about nonsense. Now when conservatives want a fair hearing, everyone except their base ignores them.

tgarlock's picture

. . . fine TV cop/drama "Justified," finally in my decent Comfort Inn room after the first leg of my long-awaited drive through Kentucky with my bud Tony Armstrong, I will keep it short by saying you have a point.

Terry Garlock, PTC

Thank you Mr. Garlock. I trust that you will enjoy your blue grass experience and the remainder of your journey.

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