Day 13 of the government shutdown finds us no closer to a united House than 14 days ago. The bickering going on inside the walls of the Senate is similar to that heard in the rooms of young siblings everywhere across this nation. The constant finger-pointing is becoming a thorn in the American People’s sides; and with a fallen Republican Party, even those who once rooted for The Boehner Gang are now shuffling toward positions that are more moderate. For the entire world to see, our government shutdown is throwing the spotlight on our congressional idiots as they stumble on parade.
Senate Republicans are fed up with their House comrades for not understanding that they have lost their fight to make changes in the federal health care law. The pettiness and bickering that echoes through the House of Representatives offers no help to end the shutdown and is becoming a sideshow attraction for everyone watching this country. An impending default doesn’t seem enough to snap everyone back to the reality that this mess needs cleaning.
America is hurting on many levels as a result of this impasse. Some people have felt minimal impact due to the shutdown, while others have experienced the unsustainable consequences of neglect. For the leaders of this country to allow anyone to be put in harm’s way shows the deficiencies in their priorities. Using a situation meant to help 40 million Americans, the Affordable Care Act, as a weapon against poor Americans and the middle class, shows an amoral line of thinking that sits squarely in the laps of the Republican Senate minority.
Sunday afternoon found Majority Leader Harry Reid once again trying to do what he could to come to a compromise; but many have expressed doubt in any significant progress being made any time soon.
Those who rely on tourism as a means of revenue, like communities near the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park have been hard hit. Plane, pilot and aircraft inspectors have been put on hold due to furloughs, though some returned to work last week. The Statue of Liberty, this country’s mascot, representing freedom and strength, was closed until Sunday morning. States have “stepped-in” to keep these national parks and landmarks open to the public but this is only a temporary fix for a deeper problem.
Benefits like Social Security and Medicare are still being paid but there could be delays in processing new applications. Federal courts have enough money to operate through the 17th or 18th of October but no later. If the money runs out, the nonessential work will be shutdown, resulting in many Americans not having paychecks for what may be an extended period. The federal government employs more people than McDonald’s and Walmart combined.
That is where this “indivisible” country stands: Unity and solidarity lay on the Senate floor like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The President is dutifully unwilling to waver, his choices are limited; and the Tea Party has all but taken America hostage; any chance at a compromise it seems to many, may arrive too late.
Many countries are in turmoil, a chaos created by wars we started; but the people in those countries do not share the same hopes that we in this country once had. Those countries have both loved and hated America and Americans. We the people, the United States of America, have been seen as a people and a country on top; we are perceived to have the ability and the obligation to foster peaceful and prosperous relations with other people in other countries. Now, as we sit watching the highlights of our government shutdown, we see only what those other people see. We watch as our failed elected leaders march hand in hand, together, off the fiscal cliff that they created –into the abyss of an economic hell that they will inflict upon us all. The idiots are on parade.
Written by: Amy Magness Whatley