The Shutdown Rant

I can tell that I’ve already alienated people on Twitter because I’ve been on this topic. I’m pretty okay with that. I figure you have to speak up for what you believe in. If your political opinion or religious faith *offend* someone, then that’s up to them to deal with. I believe in loving one another and tolerance, but I don’t believe in ignorance.

I can’t believe that the government has been in “partial” shutdown for nearly four days now. I could get into all the yadda-yadda-yadda about who’s to blame (Tea Party Republicans and the GOP leadership) and why it’s bad for the country (our politicians aren’t supposed to throw a fit to change LAWS they don’t like; we have a different process for that. It’s in the constitution!)

But James Fallows at The Atlantic pretty much nails it. So you can go read his take instead. Remember: both sides are not equally culpable. It’s the GOP who is crashing this country. If you want to blame the President and the Democrats for doing nothing and for not negotiating, you go right ahead. They don’t have anything to negotiate on. The Tea Party is being completely unreasonable.

To review: The Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010. The Supreme Court upheld the law as constitutional in June 2012. And Obama was reelected in 2012.

Yeah, the law is complicated; most laws are. And yeah, a lot of people have a lot of misgivings and doubts and questions.

But you don’t shutdown a government because you don’t like one of its laws. That’s not how it works. Well, I guess this time it is.

Guess what? Government is shutdown, and Obamacare is rolling out.

I have serious concerns about this shutdown. It is hurting real people. Real families. I don’t think Congress and conservative pundits realize that. I heard a bunch of conservative pundits going on yesterday about how it’s a minor inconvenience.

Guess what, if you have two parents working for the government in non-essential roles, it’s a little more than inconvenient to not be getting a paycheck. Especially if you’ve already been affected by the sequester, and have been furloughed for the past few months.

If you are a poor mom who depends on Head Start to get to your job on time while knowing your kids are fed and cared for until school starts, you’re a little more than inconvenienced. If you don’t have a backup plan for childcare, you’re shit out of luck.

If you are poor, elderly, sick, and you rely on government programs to help you get well or get work, you’re screwed.

And let me tell you something else: the GOP doesn’t care. They aren’t holding their breath until they turn blue. They are getting paid.

They’re telling poor, and sick, and elderly people, they are telling “non-essential” government employees to hold their breath.

Donate to your local food banks. See if they will take formula and diapers because WIC, the program for Women, Infants, and Children, is running out of money and shutting its doors across the country. Write, call, email, and tweet your representatives. I didn’t vote for the Republican in my district, but I’ve emailed and tweeted.

I could very well lose my job, too, and I don’t work in government. The company for which I work depends heavily — too heavily for my comfort right now — on government spending. It’s a little tense around the office lately.

Don’t sit around and think this shutdown stinks because people won’t stop talking about it and some tourists are being inconvenienced.

Act now. And do something in the next election if one of your guys (or gals) contributed to this mess.