Bold beatings of the chest
by BRETT MARINO
“Shut it down, Shut it down,” were the war cries heard from Senator David Vitter’s East Baton Rouge town hall meeting in a local library on Thursday. The statements were in regard to the federal government as a counter defensive strategy to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or popularly known as Obamacare. Vitter has adopted this stance as many Tea Party supported republican Congressmen such as Ted Cruz, R-TX, and Marco Rubio, R-FL, threaten to block any continuing resolution to keep the government running if it includes funding the ACA.
Vitter is not alone in this fight in Louisiana. Governor Bobby Jindal is one of very few Republican governors to support the federal government shutdown. This will help Vitter’s public relations on this issue, since the threatening governmental shutdown is polarizing the Republican party.
As with many issues, the party is again being split down the line, one side being the purists (i.e. Rubio, Paul, Cruz, Tea Party) and the pragmatists (i.e. McConnell, Romney, Boehner).
There is a stark difference in these camps. Vitter is going to town halls with the message that “I’m going to fight like the dickens. I’m going to vote to repeal, to delay, to defund.” And “As long as nobody in this room is going to call me about not getting their check (Social Security, Medicare and others), I’m all for it.”
While Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, R-KY, stated, “the problem is that the bill that would shut down the government wouldn’t shut down Obamacare. Most of it is permanent law and would not be affected by that. It also wouldn’t stop the taxes. Taxes that are going to be on medical devices, taxes on health insurance premiums…I’m for stopping Obamacare, but shutting down the government would not stop Obamacare.”
Looking at all of this, one gets the sense that there is something fundamentally flawed. I, like many Americans, simply want to hear a viable plan, or at least a proper explanation from our elected leaders. I am tired of gridlocks and mudslinging. I don’t want to hear reports of my Congressman leading chants to shut down the government.
In the AP report from Vitter’s town hall, Vitter was quoted saying, “I completely disagree with all of the president’s policies. I think he’s horrible for the country. But I won’t (support impeachment), because I think it would backfire,” suggesting it would increase public support for Obama.
With this statement in context with the whole subject matter, one can only reminisce about the last time republicans shut down the government. The shutdown lasted 28 days, and the major players were Newt Gingrich and President Clinton. After the shutdown was over, Clinton had his highest approval rating since his election, Republicans lost 8 seats in the house, and Gingrich slipped from the heights of his career as Speaker of the House, with a famous cartoon of him throwing a tantrum.
I agree with conservative platforms, but I don’t want my conservative leaders throwing tantrums. I want to hear good, solid plans from strong leaders on how to fix our major problems, such as health care. To simply complain about another party’s plan and say that you won’t move any further without an alternative plan of action will end up leaving you in the dust.
Maybe during Vitter’s town hall meetings this month, he will show us a path out of the present health care mess we are currently in. All I know is that like him, I neither want Obamacare or a government shutdown. So my question is, “You got anything else?”
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