October 01

Political fewf as government avoids another shutdown

It seems as if the media can no longer say they cry wolf over fear of a government shutdown, because it did happen two years ago in the Senate over defunding Obamacare. The government shut down, and everyone panicked, but a spending bill was quickly passed that included military funding, etc, so there were no serious dramatic effects, just the PTSD that it could easily happen again. If you remember the sequester, which also cut funding, also had no effects. If you can recall, Democrats said that there would be the same type of government chaos, and the world as we know it would stop working if there were spending cuts. I think there were a couple of bad days at the airport with aggressive lines and delayed flights, but that was about it. The problem with a government shutdown, therefore, is it is bad publicity for Washington.

At a time when people are increasingly less aware of what is happening in a democratic system, and at a time when people are starting to see politics as hopeless, that their vote does not count, and that the whole system is a mess, hearing the word “government shutdown,” does nothing for this overall feeling about DC, even if the shutdown is rather meaningless in the long run. So, what did politicians have to do to ensure that the continuing resolution would pass (a spending bill since the government is over 18 trillion in debt and evidently needs more), which has been ongoing because there has been no budget passed since Obama took the Oval Office. This means that every few months now there is hysteria over a shutdown, as Republican right wingers use the spending bill as a chance to defund some part of the government. Last time it was Obamacare, and this time it was Planned Parenthood. The vote to defund Planned Parenthood needed 60 legislators on board, and only received 47 today. For some politicians, this is a failure, as a government shutdown is totally justified if it ensures the elimination of a policy they are against (i.e. Senator Ted Cruz).

The plan for Republicans who were in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood was to divert the funds to another healthcare source (this detail is not often mentioned). Senator Bob Corker said about the bill today, While it is extremely disappointing there were not enough votes for sensible legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and redirected those funds to other federally-qualified health centers and rural clinics, I will continue to work with my colleagues to hold Planned Parenthood accountable.” Republicans continue to believe that it is a moral obligation to shut down Planned Parenthood, and would like the millions of dollars given to the organization redistributed to a place with more ethical procedures. This has erupted into a media branded “war on women,” and will more than likely be a hot topic issue as the election season rolls on. GOP members are committed to going after Planned Parenthood, and want to find a different way to bring an issue they consider a moral obligation to justice. Like Obamacare, this will be a long fight, this time against the two most extreme parts of the party.