Jim Geraghty is getting it
And that makes me happy, frankly, because I like the guy.
In fact, there are many GOPers who I believe, having witnessed the very deliberate attempt by the Democrats to try to cause the people pain, unease, or inconvenience — and even in some cases, threatening them with jail and forcing them to surrender religious convictions — are beginning to recognize that part of the “strategy” of a shutdown (which really isn’t) that we were told didn’t exist was to reveal who and what Obama and Reid and the modern progressives are. And to the great surprise of many who clung to the belief that it was the Democrats’ policies that were noxious and not the people pushing them, who are in every way just as patriotic and solicitous of the country as the self-righteous teabagging Hobbits with their constitutional fetishism, that veil is being lifted — and behind it lies the sinister glare of despotism.
Geraghty, “The Sadism of Harry Reid”:
The good news is that those civilian Department of Defense workers I mentioned in Friday’s Jolt will go back to work soon.
On Saturday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution 407-0 to ensure back pay for federal workers furloughed because of the shutdown. Those federal workers still have the problem of no paycheck coming until after the shutdown ends — but if and when this bill passes, they can at least take assurance that they’ll get paid for the weeks they’ve been furloughed.*
This is quite the revealing moment, as the leadership of the Democratic party and federal government workers are supposed to be the best of friends — symbiotic, really. But when the moment comes to help out federal workers, Harry Reid drags his feet. The only plausible motivation is that the Democrats’ strategy for “winning” the shutdown fight requires maximizing the pain to as many Americans as possible, so that the pressure is maximized on the GOP opposition to accept a deal that amounts to unconditional surrender.
Thus, we have a government shutdown where the federal Amber Alert site is down, but Michelle Obama’s “Drink Water” site remains up. (The volunteer site, AmberAlert.com, and MissingKids.com are still up.) Now wonder this morning people are saying the president lives in “the Spite House.”
I hope those federal workers are paying attention.
Harry Reid drags his feet on alleviating the financial anxiety of hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers, and he’s refused to bring to the floor seven continuing resolutions, all passed by the House, all passed by wide and fairly bipartisan majorities (all or almost all of the Republicans, and another 20 or so House Democrats):
Authorizing military chaplains to do their duties during the shutdown;
Continuing appropriations for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children for fiscal year 2014 (food stamps).
Continuing appropriations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Continuing appropriations for veterans benefits.
Continuing appropriations for the National Institutes of Health.
Continuing appropriations for National Park Service operations, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Continuing appropriations of local funds of the District of Columbia.
Not a single one of those resolutions says anything about Obamacare.
We know why Harry Reid isn’t bringing them to the floor. If he did, they would pass. Senate Democrats wouldn’t be able to vote “no” on any of those priorities without providing fodder for attack ads next fall (maybe the District of Columbia). And if they pass, the pain of the shutdown is mitigated in part.
Harry Reid doesn’t want to minimize the pain of the shutdown. He wants to maximize it.
* I can hear the complaints now: “Jim, why should these federal workers get paid if they’re not working?” If you want to eliminate their jobs, then eliminate their jobs. But these workers have been stuck in a holding pattern: ‘Stop going to work until further notice, and maybe you’ll get paid for the days or weeks you’re not there.’ Most workers and their families could get by for a couple days or a week without pay, but how many weeks could you or your household go by with no money coming in?
These workers didn’t walk off the job. They didn’t quit. This isn’t their fault, but they’re the ones feeling the most pain. In the District of Columbia and Virginia, a worker has to be out of work for a week before filing for unemployment benefits, and payments may not begin for several weeks. And if a furloughed federal worker does collect unemployment benefits, they have to pay them back once they receive any back pay. In other words, there’s a good chance that the unemployment benefit check will arrive just as the check for the back pay arrives.
Once again, here is the crazy strategy the fringe lunatics on the far right extreme are actually pushing: they will fund (or at least attempt to fund) all aspects of the government save ObamaCare implementation unless two conditions are met: 1) that the selective waivers Obama has granted cronies and political clients be made universal, meaning that a 1-year waiver of the individual mandate would apply to all citizens fairly and equally; and 2) that Congress, many of whom continue to reject the wishes of the people and their constituencies and push for the implementation of ObamaCare, agree to enter into it along with the citizens it would insist do so.
The Democratic response has been this: we will not be held hostage to such vulgar fairness; and you can’t put a gun to our heads and demand ransom for such outrageous equality and pernicious insistence on a stable rule of law. Because teabagger terrorists.
Should the GOP stop falling for the trap of allowing that “default” is possible — and that assumes that they really do wish to win this fight, which belief requires a tremendous leap of faith, at this point — and simply keep introducing measures to fund all other aspects of the government, the Democrats will be forced to kill these to maintain their posture. And, even though the media will continue to give cover to progressives and try to pin the blame on Republicans, fairly soon it will become obvious who is responsible for the shutdown.
Already, Obama’s pettiness and Reid’s rank cynicism have broken through the legacy media barrier and made it to the public. A march on DC on behalf of vets is scheduled for October 13, and the party of “the little guy” is busy shuttering private businesses that exist anywhere on government controlled land, as well as booting elderly couples out of their lake homes and denying Americans access to parks they pay to maintain and the oceans Obama, in his hubris, claimed he would heal.
Making the American people suffer and trying to create “optics” that would cause blowback against the GOP has backfired, at least to this point. Which means that instead of following the Pete King Quislings to a surrender, the GOP needs to press this advantage and call press conference after press conference announcing that they are bringing to the floor bills that would fund the government in nearly every respect.
That is — and this is key — they are running the government as it used to be run, back before CRs and omnibus budgets created a lazy out on spending decisions and led to a debt of over $17 Trillion dollars. And such an appropriations measure forces Congressmen to put their votes on record for individual spending bills.
When Harry Reid asked a CNN reporter — he thought rhetorically — what “right” the House has to “pick and choose what to fund,” the answer should have come back immediately from the GOP: Constitutional. And then they should have sent over a copy of the Constitution for Reid to look over.
The House majority is doing its job. And if they stick to doing the job, the American people will eventually make their way through the propaganda thicket and realize that Obama — Hope, Change, Forward — is nothing but a petty and retrograde wannabe despot pushing the failed ideology of his red diaper baby days.
That is, he is who we thought he was.
Well, some of us, at least.