Welcome To The Government Shutdown

McClatchy DC has the story Government starts shutting down.

“You cannot negotiate when you take hostages and extort,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. said. “We’re happy to negotiate. There’s a budget. They can talk about spending for (Obamacare) in the budget. You don’t do it this way.”

Refusing to negotiate with people taking hostages sounds more like a Republican stance.

The article also states the following:

As the clock ticked toward deadline, the House tried a new tactic, voting 228-199 in the early morning hours Tuesday to set up direct negotiations with the Senate by appointing a team of budget negotiators called “conferees” to work with Senate counterparts in the coming days. The Senate flatly rejected that proposal before leaving the Capitol.

“We like to resolve issues,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “But we will not go to conference with a gun to our head.”

Earlier on I had been wondering why they just didn’t go to conference with the two bills and hold the standoff in the conference committee rather than include the entirety of both houses of Congress.

The House vote of 228 to 199 or an earlier vote of 228 to 201 shows how little it would have taken to get an agreement.  With a clean continuing resolution and no changes of position the vote could have been 201 to 228.  If 14 Republicans could have changed position, the whole thing would have been resolved.

I know, you could have made the reverse argument about the vote in the Senate.  Somehow, after losing two Presidential elections over this issue, you might have expected the Republicans to at least give the new idea a shot by at least agreeing to try it out for a while.  They might have given some thought to the possibility that they were wrong.  A tryout period for Obamacare might have provided some more evidence of who was more right and who was more wrong.

During the Bush administration, the Democrats gave in to some wacky Republican ideas which ended up doing more harm to the country than Obamacare ever could.  Maybe the lesson is that the Democrats should have tried harder to thwart Bush.

If the American people cannot come together enough to at least try something to solve our problems, then we may be seeing the end of the American era in history.  Maybe that would be a good thing.  Should we try some good, old-fashioned capitalistic creative destruction on our political system?  After all, what could possibly go wrong with that?

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