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Letter: Crisis is manufactured

My husband, Paul Hodes, was a U.S. congressman for four years. In that time, I got a crash course in how the government actually works. What is happening now with the government shutdown is that the members of one party, the Republicans, are using the highest-stakes bill they have, the continuing resolution to fund the government, to force a showdown over their key legislative goal, to defund Obamacare. This crisis has been manufactured for political grandstanding.

Is this a responsible way to govern?

Recently there was a story on NPR about the Pentagon preparing for the shutdown. What a colossal waste of time and resources, not to mention sending a message of instability abroad at a time of vital international cooperation. My brother-in-law is a career military officer now working as a civilian consultant for the Army. He has already given up six days of pay due to the Republican-enforced sequestration earlier this year. Do Republicans think that defunding Obamacare is more heinous than shutting down the government, putting citizens out of work and creating shakiness in the markets and abroad?

Our government was founded on the principles of tolerance and respectful compromise. Rigid ideological brinksmanship is not in the best interests of the voters who elected representatives to work on their behalf. It has weakened our ability to solve pressing problems and undermined what little faith people have left that their government, our government, can help us move forward.



Legacy Comments9

democrats raised the USA debt from 10 trillion to $$$$$ 17 TRILLION in just the last 4 years. ASK a democrat how they are going to pay for all of their new programs and you will hear political gobbledygook. What we do know is the democrats last proposal was a $$$$1 TRILLION TAX HIKE. How is that Obama / democrats economy working out for ya?

Sometimes there's a right and a wrong and this band of Republicans is counting on most Americans' fair-mindedness and even-handedness to conclude that it takes two to fight and there must be plenty of blame to go around. Not so. Like it or not (and most of you and your children and grandchildren will eventually like it), Obamacare was passed by both houses of Congress (60 votes in the Senate), signed by the President, and upheld by the US Supreme Court. It's not a "bill that the American people don't like," to quote John Boehner. It's a law. Not just any law - but the single greatest legislative achievement of Democrats in a generation. And shutting down the government because Dems refuse to emasculate this law - is just plain wrong. Every major newspaper in the country agrees, history will agree, and Republicans further hinder their chances of winning national office.

does any democrat dare to tell us all why ObamaKare was Introduced in the House as the "Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009" (H.R. 3590). Do democrats know why that bill Passed the House on October 8, 2009 on a vote of (416–0 )

You wrote: "Our government was founded on the principles of tolerance and respectful compromise", that may well be true so when has Obama and Democrats offer any respect towards Republicans over the past 6 years; when have they offered in kind of compromise. You wrote: "Rigid ideological brinksmanship is not in the best interests of the voters who elected representatives to work on their behalf". In fact that is exactly what Democrats did when they passed Obamacare shortly after they were elected. Like kids who were banned from the candy store for 8 years, they immediately went in and turned the place upside down, pushing their agenda as if they never had one before. Well, I am afraid that the lessons you learned from your husband were NOT all that principled. I found that in almost every case from Blue and Gold Star familes to franking, he used "political brinkmanship" at every opportunity. He did, however, act much like Obama in that he took "I was elected and I will do as I see fit" attitude. Perhaps that is why Kelly Ayotte is sitting in the Senate as we speak. Your comments, language and the way that you structure your argument are straight from the Democrat party playbook talking points. Then again, everyone has their cross to bear.

The problem with Obamacare is that it speaks so strongly to the very core values of both liberals and conservatives. It's not an argument about Obamacare itself, it's an argument about the role of government. Conservatives passionately believe that the role of government is to clear away obstacles, so that capitalism can solve the problems of the world. Liberals believe, just as passionately, that the role of government is to take care of the individuals who get left behind by capitalism. As I see it, the Republicans are fighting for what they believe in... the problem is that they've run out of legitimate ways to do so, and in their desperation are now using tactics that can be labled as hostage-taking and even terrorism. Complicating the whole thing is another deeply-held conservative value: Don't allow yourself to look weak in any way. It's the same mentality that criticizes the President for not following through with a physical threat against Syria, even though the end result may turn out ok without a military strike. Now that they've dug their heels in, they cannot see a way to back down without looking weak. It must be awful for them, and I mean that sincerely.

If the press covered things fairly, like news sources should, without bias, things would be much different. They give Obama and Democrats a free pass and always focus on Republicans. It is not about being weak or looking weak, it is about how the Democrat sychophants in the press will play on it over all other news. By the way the least legitimate piece of legislation in my lifetime was the passage of Obamacare, how it was pushed through and the supporters acting like heroin addicts needing a fix. Yet the press went right along.

What you say about the ACA the Republicans at the time said about Social Security and Medicare. There were so many glitches in the beginning. I am sure you are not so young that you don't remember Bush's prescription plan and how confusing that was in the beginning and how it had to be reworked and how difficult if was for seniors to sign up. I remember because I needed to sign up and yet I don't seem to remember Republicans screaming to delay it, delay it. Hypocrites as usual.

Bush's drug plan was a disaster. Lined the pockets of the drug companies, complicated, hurt the folks who needed it the most by not covering certain meds, and is the Poster Child of why politicans should not manage healthcare. Bush made deals with Big Pharma and president Obama has done the same thing, except the ACA will have even more problems because the President also made deals with other groups like insurance companies, hospitals etc. So magnify what happened with the Drug Plan and you will get an idea how the ACA will pan out.

Rabbit, the reason the president had to deal with insurance companies and hospitals, is because that is who really controls the heath care market. People tout the values of a Free Market economy, well that does not apply to medical care costs. The fact that there have been no price fixing charges brought against the parties involved is a mystery. Hospitals can charge what they do because insurance companies will pay it. Insurance companies charge what they do, because most people have no choice. As for Tillie, how true.

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