Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Best laid plans...

We had planned to visit Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge this week for a spot of autumn birding. It is one of my favorite sites along the Texas Coast to see birds. Ted Cruz and his delusional band of bomb throwers put a stop to those plans.

They've put a stop to vacationers' and sightseers' plans all over the country. Trips that people have planned, in some cases, for months, perhaps their only vacation of the year, have been disrupted by a bunch of tantrum throwers who can't accept the decisions of voters, because they don't really believe in democracy. Like a two-year-old, they are going to hold their breath until they get their way, even if it kills you!

National parks and monuments and other such federal facilities are popular places for travelers, not just from this country but from all over the world. Imagine someone who has traveled halfway around the world and wants to visit the Statue of Liberty or Yosemite National Park while he is here, but when he goes there on the assigned day for his visit, October 1, he finds the place closed, because Republicans are determined to achieve through blackmail what they have not been able to achieve through the ballot box in a full and free election. Such a visitor might be forgiven for thinking that this is no way to run a country. And he would be absolutely right.

It is a mad way to run a country and it must be stopped if we are even to survive as a country. The only way to do that, apparently, is to make the Republicans pay such a heavy electoral price that they will become more reasonable and willing to actually do the work of governing, if not for the sake of the country then at least for the sake of their own political survival.

That won't be easy, given the gerrymandering by Republicans across the country that has made their districts virtually inaccessible to any Democrat, but as disgust grows over the shenanigans of this "Do Nothing but Repeal Obamacare Congress," perhaps the odds might improve just enough to make it possible. One can only hope.

The tea party Republicans' obsession with denying health care to millions of Americans is obscene beyond my ability to describe. I will always believe that that obsession is fueled in great part by racism, by pure hatred of a president whom they consider a usurper because his father was black and his skin is black. They have disrespected him from the day he took office and have never ever tried to work with him in the interests of the people of this country.

On the contrary, they have tried every way they can dream up to wound him personally and to wound his presidency and make it a failure. They were determined to make him a one-term president and when that strategy failed and he was reelected by a wide margin in last year's election, they simply renewed their determination to make him fail by any means available to them, including forcing him to repeal the signature domestic accomplishment of his first term. As The New York Times put it in an editorial today referring to Speaker of the House John Boehner and the Republicans:  
They are desperate to make it appear that Mr. Obama and the Democrats are the ones being intransigent, hoping voters will think that everyone is at fault and simply blame “Washington.” Mr. Boehner even mocked the president on Monday for refusing to negotiate over health reform, as if he actually expected Mr. Obama to join in wrecking a law that will provide health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans under threat of blackmail. (My emphasis.)
          ...
The Republicans’ reckless obsession with destroying health reform and with wounding the president has been on full display. And as the public’s anger grows over this entirely unnecessary crisis, it should be aimed at a party and a speaker that are incapable of governing. 
They are incapable of governing. They don't want to govern. They want the government to fail. They don't deserve a seat at the table. Let us hope that when the election takes place next year, voters' memories will be long enough to remember this incident and the plans and lives that have been disrupted and that they will send these clowns back home where they can - it is hoped - do less damage to us all.
   

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