Government Shutdown—Better than the Alternative!

October 2, 2013

The iconic American humorist Will Rogers used to joke about how much better things were in Washington when the Congress was on holiday. That was 80 years ago. If he was around today, I’m pretty sure he’d include the other two branches of the government in his assessment.

In the Fall of 2013 the representatives of the American people are virtually tripping over each other trying to see who can be first or most prominent in putting their own ambitions ahead of the good of their constituents. But, when it comes to ignoring what the public wants and has consistently expressed as their desire, even the Senators and Representatives have to take a back seat to the Executive Branch and, most obviously, the President.

Barack Obama made his reputation in Illinois as an agitator (although he lists it on his resume as “Community Organizer.”) He learned the political craft in the home of Machine Politics, Richard Daley (I and II) and the people who tell their potential electors to “vote early, vote often.” Chicago is known for having innumerable citizens who have cast more votes since they died than they ever did while they were breathing! Illinois is the state that boasts “Most of our governors serve two terms—one in office and another in prison!” Elected officials in Illinois often have special vanity license plates—because they have colleagues or personal experience making them. So, is it any wonder that Barack (I vote “Present” ) Obama parlayed a short and undistinguished stint as a State Senator into an even shorter and unremarkable partial term as a US Senator into the President who can’t make a decision but can spend most of his time flying around on the world’s nicest personal jet telling people they need to share the wealth! Those who don’t agree get to have their phone calls screened by the NSA and their taxes audited by Lois Lerner!

This year alone, the American government, led by the office of Executive Threats (also known as the White House), has managed to implement the totally ridiculous and bizarre strategy of sequestration. The ever popular Congress offered a bill to the President that said, in effect, it would force its members to compromise or regulatory and legislative pestilence will be visited upon the American people in the form of just plain stupid restrictions and budgetary limits that NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would ever let go into effect. To top off the stupidity, the President signed the legislation! When it became obvious it might actually go into effect, he engaged in an ongoing debate with himself before finally deciding to blame anything bad that happened on the Republicans.

Now he’s taking the same tack with the government shutdown which has been perpetrated over an inability to even talk about how to finance the governmental goofiness with either a budget (there hasn’t been one since 2009) or continuing resolutions. Mr. Obama is saying that his healthcare plan (everyone is entitled to wait in long lines to pay exorbitant fees to see doctors they don’t know) is more important than jobs, peace in the Middle East, the national debt and citizens visiting open air monuments in Washington. If you don’t acquiesce he may even issue an ultimatum—a red line in the sand, if you will—before going off to play golf. (Nothing, as it turns out, is more important than that!)

All of this brings me to the point of asking a simple question: if the foregoing is anything close to an accurate reflection of what’s going on while the government is operating—WHAT’S SO SCARY ABOUT SHUTTING IT DOWN?? I submit that we are safer, more reasonable and unhindered by loathsome interference on weekends, when government offices are closed, elected officials are NOT legislating and posturing in front of cameras and microphones, and the Executive Branch is carting Susan Rice and John Kerry all over Washington and New York to appear on Sunday talk shows. (The situation can become more troublesome when they actually arrive on the sets and start talking!) Anyway, I’m with Will Rogers—let’s let the leaders of the government go on extended furlough! Let the people who work for a living, who understand the concept of SERVING their neighbors and earning their compensation honestly, run things. Let the Greatest Generation visit the National Monuments, let Army play Air Force in football and let the country take a break from career bloviators calling each other names! I’m seriously thinking that the only thing better than a Government Shut-DOWN would be if the Government would Shut UP!