By Erin Drushel
Who said the manufacturing industry is dead? It’s clearly alive and well in the right-most wing of the Republican Party where they continue to manufacture any number of crises.
The Monday night deadline for Congress to agree to continue funding the U.S. government came and went. This was following a series of redrafts to a Continuing Resolution (CR) which – if clean of any ideological amendments – would likely have passed both houses.
Instead, here we are for the first time in 17 years, with part of the government shut down waiting for Congress’ next move.
And who’s to blame? Well, Republicans will say the Democrats. And the Democrats will say the Republicans. And some Republicans will say other Republicans. And all will say it’s because the “other side” is being inflexible.
I miss my Canadian politics.
Although I may be frustrated by some majority governments that seem to be able to run rough-shod over the voices of the opposition – *cough* Harper *cough* – if you don’t approve of the government in power, you vote for someone else next time. But in the interim, national stability is (generally) maintained.
And unlike the current situation in America, minority-type deadlocks in Canada either force the parties to work together to find a compromise, or force an election. Elections are expensive, so the incentive to compromise is generally greater. The goal of a minority party should be to prove to the electorate that it is capable of governing – not just whining – so that it can earn a fair shot in the next election.
The U.S. system of democracy was set up to have checks and balances so that no one level of government would have too much power or influence over the country. Sure it’s a good theory, but that only works in a civilized environment where – upon losing a vote – the losing side accepts the loss and moves on for the good of the nation. When a minority of a party can hold the nation hostage unless their demands are met, not only does the system break, but the very ideals that formed America break.
Unfortunately with this shutdown, the losing side refused to accept their defeat and now the country will have to pay the price. This is the politics of beating a dead horse.
And for those who would say it’s the Democrats who are being inflexible, I have three arguments against that stance. One, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare) was enacted as a law by both houses of Congress in 2010; two, that same president was elected to a second term after the ACA was made into a law; and three, the law was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.
In short, it’s a done deal that was affirmed by an election and deemed constitutional by the highest court in the land. It’s time to get over it and prove to the country that you’re capable of governing the people… not just willing to play games with their livelihoods.
Americans affected by this crisis can’t afford to wait a year for the next round of elections to bring an end to this stalemate.
– Erin Drushel