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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

TFD Opinions: John Boehner is a Malevolent Dictator

The current "clean bill" being debated in Congress is not in fact a clean bill. It's a capitulation to Republican demands. Democrats actually proposed spending levels even recently that were $42 billion higher. So Democrats have already compromised by giving Republicans the spending levels that they asked for and have asked for no concessions in return. A functioning government is not a concession made by Republicans to Democrats. It is a simple fact of a functioning society. Republicans have essentially admitted this fact as they now attempt to fund the government in piecemeal fashion as they realize more and more parts of government are not pure luxuries and that real human beings are affected by them on a daily basis. Not everyone who uses government services is a welfare queen. If strong opposition to a duly passed law were sufficient reason to shut down the government, we would have government shutdowns virtually every year over taxes, wars, and other policies. This is an appropriations bill to do the very basic task of keeping the government going. It is not an endorsement of every law in existence.

In addition, this alleged great concession by Republicans to fund the government is only for 6 weeks. So we will be having this fight again in November. Before that, there will be another fight over the debt ceiling. Even conceding means 2 more crises in the next 6 weeks. This is a win for Democrats? Even the best case scenario at the moment is wholly unacceptable. For federal workers, every day that passes is either another day of being denied their promised salaries or giving them back pay for doing nothing. This is a lose-lose scenario.

So the Senate has agreed to the "clean bill", the President agrees with the "clean bill", the majority of the public agrees with the "clean bill", and even the majority of the House agrees with the "clean bill." So why hasn't it been put into effect? Speaker of the House, or more accurately, Dictator John Boehner refuses to allow a vote on the clean bill. He is singlehandedly keeping the government closed because he is afraid of fewer than 100 members of his party in the suicide caucus who come from very conservative districts and wouldn't care if the government stayed closed for eternity (as long as they can still pose with their constituents at memorials and lie to them that everything is fine, see Michele Bachmann). Despite the fact that he knows that a clear majority of all major institutions as well as the country as a whole is against him, John Boehner couldn't care less because he only cares about ensuring his title as Speaker of the House is safe. He doesn't even care about the Hastert Rule anymore as bringing up the bill would probably be supported by more than half of Republicans.

This is not a functioning democratic society. It's a pure dictatorship and John Boehner has engineered a coup without much of any resistance. John Boehner cares more about himself than 800,000 federal workers being furloughed, the hundreds of millions of dollars being lost every day, and the millions of people being harmed by the government shutdown. That is a profound degree of selfishness only mirrored by the dictators this country has fought wars to depose. He can end this shutdown in an instant and yet his current plan seems to be to let it drag on for weeks on a prayer that the Democrats will give him more goodies he can present to the suicide caucus as sacrifice for sparing him from tea party ridicule. Like all selfish, tyrannical, and shameful dictators, John Boehner must be removed from power. Unless he allows the US government to function, he should be stripped of his speakership by his more reasonable colleagues who understand that no man's ego and no ideological squabble is more important than protecting the ongoing function of the government and those who serve the public in the midst of ongoing funding crises and pay freezes.

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