Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pulling The Trigger

When discussing any conflict, it's always best to make sure everyone understands the facts. When it comes to the federal government shutdown, it was already obvious Tuesday morning that not everyone in the media either knew the facts, or was willing to acknowledge them.

The facts are as clear this morning as they were yesterday, and as clear as they were Monday night at midnight when a small group of extremist, far-right House Republicans forced the government of the United States to shut down.

As President Obama restated again yesterday afternoon, there will be no extortion of Democrats or the President to get House Republicans to do their jobs. In an interview with Greg Sargent on Tuesday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen confirmed that position: No Obamacare extortion. Period, full stop.

Multiple polls have already shown, Americans should ignore the daily spin wars, as they overwhelmingly agree with Democrats, and heavily blame Republicans for the shutdown. The hostage strategy being used by the extremist tea party wing of the GOP should be rejected strongly.

In short, by letting the teabaggers direct the GOP, Republicans have effectively put a gun to their own party's head and pulled the trigger - and the effects are already as brutal as we'd expected they would be.

It's not just that kids who have cancer are right now being denied access to clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health - which, like the rest of the government, is closed thanks to the House Republicans. It's that things like the World War II Memorial are also closed to veterans - who on Tuesday decided they weren't going to be denied by the group of spoiled brats within the Republican Party. So the veterans made one last charge on Tuesday, storming the closed memorial in order to pay their respects to their now-gone brothers-in-arms.

Actions like that, while somewhat stirring, shouldn't have to happen in America today.

It's not as though there isn't a large enough contingent of BOTH Democrats and Republicans in the House that would vote for the clean spending bill that Speaker Boehner couldn't get it passed right now. There are, as Jennifer Bendery confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

The problem, as Ezra Klein and Robert Costa made clear, is that Speaker Boehner is a selfish coward - and he's not the only one like that in the Republican Party. While a caucus of about 30-40 tea party Republicans appears to be terrorizing their colleagues in the House, the greater majority of the Republican caucus is also acting like gutless cowards, as Jonathan Bernstein pointed out yesterday.

We understand that many Republicans are whining to their own media outlets that they're frustrated too, with the way the teabag right has hijacked their own party and forced them into this stupid defunding fight that the GOP will never win.

Our response to those spineless Republican moderates is to suck it up, and stand up to the tea party bullies, who've already pulled the trigger on your own party.

As Esquire's Charlie Pierce noted on Tuesday, the Democrats have finally brought guns to a gunfight, for once. If the sane moderate Republicans ever want their political party back, now would be the time to stand with the Democrats for what's right.