What If We Didn't Make It Us Vs. Them? Conservatives Speak Out Against The Idiotic Government Shutdown.
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What If We Didn't Make It Us Vs. Them? Conservatives Speak Out Against The Idiotic Government Shutdown.

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | October 1, 2013 | Comments ()


While you’re out there grappling with the every day realities of the government shutdown (be it closed parks or the lack of a paycheck) I hope you remember that it’s not just liberals who have had their hides chapped by this colossal cluster*ck. In fact, our collective disdain for Congress might just prove to be a unifying thing. This isn’t merely a partisan issue. Really, it’s a bureaucratic one.

Please, if you will, take a moment to read this piece from The American Conservative entitled “Republicans, Over The Cliff.”

When I think of the Republican Party, I don’t think of principled conservative legislators who are men and women of vision strategy. I think of ideologues who are prepared to wreck things to get their way. They have confused prudence — the queen of virtues, and the cardinal virtue of conservative politics — with weakness.

That’s from The. American. Conservative. So for those of you who couldn’t go to work today, I’m sorry. I hope this changes soon. But don’t paint a target on every conservative’s back. They’re not all against you.

This guy, however. I don’t know.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • ,

    Don't blame me, I'm a Libertarian.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    It doesn't mean anything coming from someone who hasn't even ever been to America, but I'm thinking of you guys. Impotent comfort, huh?

    I know it's not the same thing, but some years ago I was a TA and my union had this big labour dispute because we either weren't getting paid enough to make it over the poverty line (we were getting fewer dollars per month than the housing for graduate student was charging for rent per month), or the part-time professor were getting worked like dogs (as in, supervising 18-20 theses at the same time). They shut down the university down, a dog and pony show quickly turned into a pissing match and know how things go because that's how things go: we were getting charged all of the regular fees, effectively meaning we were getting charged for services we weren't receiving by the entity that was paying us nothing. Eventually the government stepped in which of course means that the union got none of its demands, everyone got fired, no one got any back pay because it was illegal to do anything about our mounting piles of work and no one got a dime for six months. What were we supposed to do? Get jobs? We had ones and who knew when that donnybrook would get drained? Again, it's not even close to the same thing and I'm a single woman with no dependents, so I had relatively cushy circumstances and my family did what they could to help out. I got some under the table work, but still, that autumn and winter was just miserable.

    Good way to lose weight, I suppose. Spoiler alert: I gained it all back. And then a prescription I was on ravaged my teeth a couple of years later and I had to get one dental surgery a week for two months straight. Never get sick, okay? That sure as fuck wasn't free. Good way to lose weight. Spoiler alert: I gained it all back.

  • emmalita

    I think I get your point. You know what it is like to be at the mercy of larger entities, none of whom really care if you are ok. And then through near starvation and again through dental surgery, you lost weight and then gained it back. My aunt and my mother both lost a lot weight as a result of a nearly fatal accident for one and cancer for the other. They couldn't recommend the weight loss methods, but were pleased with the results. Spoiler alert, my aunt gained it all back. :)

  • Xander

    The solution is simple. Stop paying the police and secret service in Washington. The Congress problem will be solved quickly

  • Thor

    If only the USA had a third political party, and perhaps shorter term limits. Japan has a new leader every year, and Britain has a few parties to choose between when one gets too crazy. Just three parties would prevent some of this cock-measuring we see every day on the news.

  • manting

    also their elections are like one month long. Ours are YEARS long. Term limits would be great, so would doing away with the electoral college (so I vote for someone to vote for president for for me? Lets cut out that middle man and pass the savings onto me) and having our Presidential Election done by straight up popular vote, you know, like in a democracy. We are a representative republic - not a democracy.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Obviously, our elections in Canada are vastly different from yours in myriad ways that I'm sure the readership is smart enough to know to a passing extent. So, (I say it all the time), I can barely handle your elections, I don't know how you can. And they just go on, and on, and onnnnnnn. Here, if an election is called, voting day is about a month-five weeks later and that is fine by me. I don't envy you guys for that (or SATs).

  • manting

    If the Affordable Care Act/Obama Care is so terrible than why did Republicans nominate Mitt Romney as their candidate for president? His health care laws in Mass. passed when he was Gov are the same fucking thing. I believe race and pandering to racist constituents are the prime motivators in the unfounded attacks on the Affordable Care Act. Death Panels people. Death Panels.

  • foolsage

    The ACA is based on a plan by the Heritage Foundation. Romneycare in Mass is based on the same plan. Obamacare is a centrist-right-wing health plan, that requires everyone to buy into a PRIVATE CAPITALIST insurance system. Big corporations love this.

    But because modern Republicans are wholly post-policy, it doesn't matter what the idea actually is. What matters is that Obama supports it, so Republicans do not.

    It'd be hilarious if it weren't so horrible.

  • Wigamer

    Marry me. I like your brain.

  • foolsage

    If you say I'm great, thank you very much. But I know what I am. I could be better, man, you know?

    - Keith Richards

  • Thor

    Bill Maher called it the "Black Peddle" : When a Republican changes his view on a subject simply because Obama now supports it.

  • Matt Willis

    It's not Obama's job to push legislation that only half the country believes in . Period.

  • Wigamer

    That's precisely his job. He was nominated and won the presidency as a a Democrat, promising this health care reform. Why wouldn't he publicly, vociferously support this legislation?

  • Ruthie O

    It's not the House GOP's job to override both the Senate and the President-- bodies who were also elected by the people-- in decision-making. It's called separation of powers for a reason.

  • ,

    It's called checks and balances for a reason.

  • foolsage

    Obama was elected, twice, by people who either agreed with his views, or at least preferred them to the opposition. Regardless, Obama doesn't create laws; Congress does.

  • BlackRabbit

    So just don't push anything?

  • jim88

    Joanna, you're a fucking idiot. Just cut your throat and be done with it. Those of us who don't want this pretender that just changes the laws he sees fit to would appreciate it. You deserve the filth you wallow in.

  • Thor

    I'd say something witty, but it's not nice to pick on the mentally deficient.

  • Wigamer

    Do you understand anything about the executive branch? It's the least powerful of all three. The president can't just "change" laws, dude. They teach that in elementary school.

  • Thor

    Wigamer, it's not nice to pick on grade school dropouts.

  • Wigamer

    Forgive me. I teach junior high and should instead be thankful that old jimbo never made it that far.

  • foolsage

    From what I understand, she's quite hygienic. I doubt the same could be said for you. Her IQ is also twice yours, from this small sample.

    You might want to take a civics class someday. If you do, you'll hopefully learn about the three branches of our government, and which of those branches creates legislation. It seems unlikely that you will, but hey, a man can dream. For now, just know that your whinging about "pretenders" (lawfully elected, twice) and "chang(ing) the laws as he sees fit" (he doesn't create or change laws, actually) isn't impressing anyone favorably. Nor for that matter is your frothing savagery, but I don't expect you're self-aware enough to have much idea what I mean by that.

    Note, too, that you speak for nobody but yourself, and that only barely.

  • Right now you're at a ten...we're going to need you to bring it down to about a two.

  • Secret Agent Lover Man

    I have been watching news, bummed out all day, and your comment made me snort with laughter. I have came into contact with at least 20 ppl today that I could have said that to.

  • Uncle Mikey

    So the shutdown is a problem, but the mountain of debt that brought it about doesn't raise an eyebrow around here? You people have your priorities scrambled.

  • manting

    the shutdown isn't over debt - this is the first shutdown in U.S. history that wasn't. All other shutdowns were over MONEY, this one is over The Affordable Care Act, an law that was passed by both houses and signed into law by our twice elected president. It was challenged at the Circuit Court Level, the federal court level, and the Supreme Court Level. It is the law of the land. Some Republicans simply don't get it and they are setting a very dangerous precedent where not even one half of one branch of our government is holding our country hostage.

  • birdgal

    This, exactly.

  • foolsage

    A) The deficit has dropped by 57% since Obama took office, despite a recession and two wars dragging our economy down. That's an essential bit of context when speaking about the debt.

    B) This government shutdown wasn't about the debt; the debt was merely a hostage in an elaborate extortion scheme. Let's not conflate issues.

    C) The shutdown is putting 800,000 people out of work and costing taxpayers $300 million a day. It's not trivial. This is hurting us, right now, and it's completely unnecessary.

    D) Anyone who cares about the debt as much as Republicans pretend to ought to be very concerned about the interest rate on that debt. Right now, interest rates are incredibly low, but if the Tea Party decides to broach the debt ceiling, our interest rates will spike, and we'll lose hundreds of billions of dollars overnight.

  • Thor

    I was gonna reply, but foolsage has this. *claps*

  • Secret Agent Lover Man

    I wish Republicans would think about this when it's time to vote again.
    I have a lot of friends that are conservative/Republican/Tea Sharty that are saying, sorry guys, it wasn't me. But it was you. Republicans haven't changed their tune in at least two elections. We were warned about what the Tea Party was up to, what was happening with the Republican Party.

  • DominaNefret

    I live in NoVa. This shit sucks. Went to get lunch at 1:30 and the traffic was utterly horrendous because no one is at work.

    You know, on top of the fact that I probably wont make any money this month.

  • PerpetualIntern

    Right there with you, NoVa and all. Fulough solidarity! *raises fist*

  • American Conservative?

    Serious? Your idea of a conservative website is one in which they have a question on their About Us FAQ, "Why are you so critical of Republicans? What, Democrats can do no wrong?"

  • It's actually a pretty decent website, if you dig a little. It's one of the very, very, very few political websites I bother to read.

  • Viking

    The only good think about the shut down: Ron Swanson's happy face.

  • Artemis

    This situation, right here, is why America needs to have an independent body administering federal elections so that partisan gerrymandering doesn't incentivize the most extreme and idiotic factions of each side (though the Republicans, I think it is clear, have far more of their crazy elements driving the overall agenda).

    Right now, it absolutely makes sense for a large number of Republican congressmen to shut down the government in a temper tantrum over Obamacare. Because even if 60% of the population opposes a short-term shutdown, they were elected in districts that were crafted to always vote Republican and their primaries are won and lost based on your appeal to the people who would rather burn this country to the ground than concede that they've lost the healthcare fight.

  • BlackRabbit

    Yeah, but it's a pipe dream for the same reasons you explain. Who's gonna be on that panel? Who's gonna appoint them? How do you keep it free from influence-peddling? Solve those questions, and I'd support it.

  • manting

    Judges. Federal Judges. Like the one Woody Harrelson's dad murdered.

  • BlackRabbit

    No good. Again, who appoints them?

  • manting

    the president and they are confirmed by the senate. They serve for life so they are not beholden to those that appointed them or constituents. They do not run for re-election. They are about as fair as we get in the U.S. They are like the supreme court only there are a lot more of them

  • BlackRabbit

    Exactly, because Supreme Court judges never rule in a way their appointer would desire. The President could be as biased as anyone else. It's just corrupt turtles all the way down. Makes me sad.

  • Thor

    What if we had a rabbit appoint them, the way they pick superbowl winners?

  • manting

    or that octopus in Germany that could pick World Cup winners.

  • foolsage

    It's a nice idea but impractical, agreed. In the era of Citizens United, one would expect that this panel would be wholly owned by corporations, one way or another. It's conceivable that we could create a legal framework to protect this body from said influence, but it's completely implausible given this Congress.

  • BlackRabbit

    Or any Congress really, but i agree the issue has gotten worse.

  • Josh

    I agree with this sentiment as a person who typically votes Democratic, but the problem comes when it gets to election time and the great majority of voters forget about any transgression of their favorite politician in favor of swooning to campaign quotes. This sentiment becomes meaningless when the only thing in recent history that has actually hurt an incumbent's chance is stupid theories on rape. Just about everything else is forgiven on election day. This applies to the members and constituents of any party. People are so mad about the shutdown, but I really doubt that next year a large portion of these congressmen actually are threatened with being voted out. Actually, if the last two congressional elections are a sign, the more rational members of congress will get voted out.

  • VohaulsRevenge

    I couldn't agree more. I posted something similar on a FB thread about the shutdown: that we say we want our representatives to compromise, yet rake them over coals when they do. One politician in a thousand will deep-six their career for the sake of taking the higher road, from the President downward.

    A coalition government might be an improvement, but no one would vote for one, not ever.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I almost wish that were true, but it's a sad fact that a number of Tea Partiers have beaten incumbent Republicans in primaries over the past few years.

  • manting

    true that - it includes many repubs who received A+ ratings from the NRA but were deemed "not pro gun enough," to be reelected. This is scary because what is more pro gun than an A+ rating from the NRA? C- from Thomas Lubanga?

  • I've been getting that Ron Swanson header picture in my e-mail pretty regularly all day. It started with my father at about 7AM and has appeared about every 20 mins/half hour since from various people. It's sometimes accompanied by snarky comments about 'non-essential functions' or warnings to stay off of Facebook today(which is easy to do since I'm not on Facebook). I roll my eyes, or chuckle, as the situation warrants, delete it and move on with my life.

  • lowercase_ryan

    It doesn't matter. I would love to say that the sane portion of the Republican party will take back the reins, but I don't see it happening. This is what happens when you spend 10-20 years kowtowing to the anti-intelligence crowd.

  • manting

    Totally, Bush 1 was not a bad president. Bush 2 on the other hand . . .

  • Guest

    I'm of the opinion that the Tea Party will implode eventually and the Republican party and conservatives will have to pick up the pieces. Which I think is actually good, because the party has been pretty effed up since Nixon decided to politicize everything for his own personal glory. Not to mention the Reagan adoration that is inexplicable. It needs a fresh start.

  • IngridToday

    Historically whenever society starts changing and becoming less "moral/traditional" (i.e. dated, sexist racist, etc) there's all a small part of the population who becomes extremely 'conservative' as a knee jerk reaction. It's what happened in Germany before Hitler took power (on a conservative stance) and what happened in Iran (before the conservative Islamic power took over).

  • manting

    nope - they lost their way when Regan embraced the religious kooks in 80. The "moral majority" crowd were neither moral or a majority. The Tea Party just amplified all the bad characteristics of the republican party like racism, ignorance, and an excessive and unhealthy concern with female parts. The tea party is a regular republican mixed with large amounts of alcohol.

  • I have to disagree. What you get when you mix a regular Republican with large amounts of alcohol is P.J. O'Rourke's Republican Party Reptile, which is what the GOP should get back to.

  • Pat Sponaugle

    Thanks for the message of support, Joanna.

  • I mentioned it in the bottle episode thread. But this is why I've found Ron more and more annoying as the show goes on. He doesn't come off in the same manner real life faux-anarchists do. But he agrees with them in principle, which makes him a moron.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I can understand what you're saying. It seems like somewhere in the fourth season he started to a walking billboard for his character's libertarianism and there were times when I would think that they're leaning on that a bit heavily and he became a character that was a bit of tell than show. But, I do believe that he deliberately puts on the 'self-sufficient, good ol' days manly man' disposition on and he has a bit of apprehension surrounding the possibility of that performance being revealed for what it is--him pretending he wasn't affected by Tanya (is that her name? I don't care for or about the character so I started tuning her out a while ago) dumping him, the whole Duke Silver thing, getting teary while reading poetry,. I have a lot individual moments with that character that are good for a laugh but are sometimes a bit too absurd (he had never eaten a banana, telling Ann that he had never heard of cholesterol). It's a bit of an archetype run amok that they seem to simultaneously tease and affirm, perhaps?

    Is that even in the same universe as what you're thinking?

    They'd better name that baby Tammy. I always despise pregnancy storylines and just abandon a show until that junk is over, so they'd better (like they owe me something) make me love this.

  • Guest

    You provide a really well written, accurate description of what's happening with the character. Thanks!

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Thanks for the compliment, Norwich!

  • Ruby

    I'm assuming the character is also playing up his liberal beliefs just to fuck with people.

  • Guest

    If he truly does agree with them, why does he have a city job in which he does nothing? I think you might be taking Ron's libertarianism a bit too seriously. It's a comedy, for one. Also, he has acted against his own self interest many times on the show, so I tend to think his politics are really just an affectation. I can see why that might be annoying, but again, it's a comedy. It's not making any serious political statements.

  • foolsage

    Wake up, Congressman. Time to vote.

  • alwaysanswerb

    O, that Budweiser were still running their "Real American Heroes" campaign

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