Who would sit down at a negotiating table with people who have publicly lambasted them as terrorists, hostage takers and anarchists?
No one in their right minds, that’s who.
So Republicans in Congress would do well to hang tough on the government shutdown until Senate Democrats and the Obama administration conclude their temper tantrums or pass out from hyperventilation.
Democrats, the champions of “civility”, “compromise” and “bipartisanship”, have heaped derision on Republicans since the GOP-led House passed a measure Monday that linked continued funding for federal government operations with cutting funding for and delaying for a year the implementation of the rules of the Affordable Care Act -- better known as “Obamacare” -- on ordinary citizens.
This is nothing more than the same deal President Obama has handed out to businesses, unions and other favored groups and cronies. But Senate Democrats rejected the measure, forcing a shutdown of nonessential government operations. Obama had promised to veto the measure even if the Senate had accepted it.
It was the Democratic Senate’s refusal to compromise on a measure that was “fair” for business, “fair” for unions, and “fair” for various Obama allies that shut down the government. But Democrats, with the help of a supportive media, cast the Republicans once again as the villains in the drama.
And the Obama administration was careful to maximize the pain on the general public from the shutdown, trying to lock veterans out of war memorials, denying them their veterans services, closing national parks and highlighting the children who would be denied cancer treatment at government hospitals. House Republicans offered bills to fund these aspects of government, only to have them rejected by Democrats.
For Democrats, words like “compromise” and “bipartisanship” mean Republicans must abandon their values and do what Democrats tell them to do.
And “civility” for Democrats means referring to their colleagues across the aisle as terrorists, hostage takers and anarchists.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said Republicans were an “anarchy gang” bent on taking hostages to get their way.
“For this right-wing minority, hostage-taking is all they have left – a last gasp of those who cannot cope with the realities of our democracy,” Warren said on the Senate floor.
Warren is little more than a puppet, one of many whose strings are pulled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and President Obama. The bitter, divisive rhetoric mouthed by Warren and so many other Democrats comes directly from the top.
The reality of democracy so blithely ignored by Warren and her fellow Democrats is that there are a great many Americans who believe that Obamacare is a job-destroying mess that is dragging down the economy and that runaway government spending spells the nation’s ruin. For these people, the “hostage-takers” Warren derides are the only ones standing up to the insanity coming out of Washington.
If Democrats put any stock in their high-minded principles, they would stop savaging Republicans and work with their GOP colleagues in the House and Senate, who represent the views of a great many Americans.