Pretty much the entire mainstream media and the liberals they work for are busy laying the blame for the government shutdown and stalemate over the debt ceiling at the feet of Republicans. According to the liberals, there’s a small radical faction within the GOP determined to bring the country to ruin. And evidently, nobody within the rest of the GOP is man (or woman) enough to stand up to the radicals.
But who are the radicals? Yesterday, Democrats rejected a proposal offered by Republican Senator Susan Collins to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling (e.g., see here). In return, all she wanted was to maintain current spending levels (as set forth in the “seq-uester” that only modestly slows the growth of the central government) for six months, delay the medical device tax imposed by the ACA, and improve income verification for those signing up for a policy under the ACA.
Collin’s proposal was hardly radical, and the Democrats who rejected it are demonstrating the arbitrariness of their own views. Forget about Republicans, the real question is where have all the moderate Democrats gone? To paraphrase the Kingston Trio, it seems they’ve gone to graveyards everyone. Instead of moderation, all we get are headlines such as “Obama and Democrats, united by shutdown, looking for gains beyond it” (e.g., see here).
Yes, Democrats are looking for more: they hope to seriously weaken the opposition. If successful, they will continue to impose their big government agenda upon 315 million Americans. Liberals are committed to unprecedented levels of spending and greater centralization of authority, which will invariably lead to stagnation and decline. And nobody within the Democratic party is man (or woman) enough to stand up against this agenda.
Moderates in both parties aren’t very well represented in this current Congress, compared to the past. I think that’s part of why they don’t represent the more centrist public as well, and why overall public disapproval of their actions is at an all-time high.
There was probably little resistance against income verification in Collins’ proposal, but the medical device tax repeals unfair tax perks and deductions previously granted to medical-device makers, none of whom are suffering from low profits. Delaying it would remove key funds designated for use in implementing the ACA. The GOP gets far more campaign bucks from the corps that make the devices than Dems do, so asking for a delay was just begging on behalf of a big contributor.
I’m certainly not as moderate as I believe the average voters are, so I personally hope this process does negatively impact the Tea Party. Too many of their members have refused to govern. They are getting paid for not doing their jobs. Governing does require constant compromise, a willingness to negotiate in good faith, and acceptance of the rule of law. When a law has passed all three branches of government, you don’t get to start over without implementing it, and you don’t force a partial shutdown that hurts innocent people for the sake of a symbolic obstruction. Every politician involved should lose their job, at minimum.