President Obama to Republicans: “You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job”

president-obama-republicansLate this afternoon, President Obama once again spoke publicly about the looming government shutdown and the effects it would have on a wide range of Americans.  The president spoke about how a shutdown would have a domino effect and adversely impact communities all across the country, while hurting millions of Americans in the process.

President Obama said in part:

“You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you’re supposed to be doing anyway. Or just because there’s a law there that you don’t like.”

Don’t try to tell Republicans that, however.  They’ve been insisting on governing through temper tantrums and threats rather than doing their jobs like competent adults.  Instead of working toward real compromise and taking into account what’s best for the country, Congressional Republicans have proven that they’d rather play political games in an attempt to keep affordable health care from millions of Americans.

It’s a completely symbolic nod to the far right and tea party elements of the Republican base, something that’s going to end up hurting Republicans severely — but only after they first accomplish their goal of hurting others for no good reason.

The president has repeatedly made clear that the Affordable Care Act is off the table — it was passed by Congress, signed by the president and ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court.  Not only that but Republicans had their chance to repeal it last year when their presidential candidate based a large part of his platform around repealing the law — only to be embarrassed in his general election landslide loss to President Obama.

It’s no surprise that according to a new CNN/ORC poll, 69% of Americans say Republicans are acting like “spoiled children” rather than responsible adults.  If Speaker Boehner was serious about trying to act like an adult and keep our government at least somewhat functional, then he’d put the Senate’s continuing resolution up for a vote in the House.  But it’s clear he’s not serious.  He’s sat back and watched spinelessly as the tea party elements within Congress have called the shots.  Boehner himself has called the idea of a government shutdown “irresponsible” and has acknowledged that it would end up hurting the country and his party, but yet here we are faced with the reality of it happening tonight thanks solely to Republicans and their unhealthy obsession with “Obamacare.”

President Obama did what he could in getting this point across yet again earlier today.  “The idea of putting the American people’s hard earned progress at risk is the height of irresponsibility,” he said.  “All of this is entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the Senate has already done.  The simple act of funding our government.”

Sadly, funding our government and acting responsible seems to fly right over the heads of most Republicans.  They’re so out of touch with reality that some of them have been trying to blame the president for “holding government hostage” — simply because the president refuses to roll back part of his legacy which was already decided to be a Constitutional law.  They’re so out of touch with reality that you have people like Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.), who today said that a government shutdown would provide federal workers with a “paid vacation.”  Many of these federal workers who would be without a paycheck while government is shut down are living paycheck-to-paycheck as is, but yet to Rep. Farenthold it would just be a big ol’ fun paid vacation since they’d “eventually, probably” get paid.  Who cares about food and bills for now, right?

When you have people who are this out of touch with reality in a position of power nationally, we all end up paying the price.  Hopefully we have finally learned our lesson — the very hard way.

Thomas Barr

Thomas Barr

Thomas Barr is a writer, editor and activist who's passionate about progressive ideals, with extra attention given to the fight for universal health care, medical marijuana, and saving our nation from decades of devastating trickle-down policies. Thomas is also a dedicated advocate for Type 1 diabetes research and education.
Be sure to check out his archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.
Thomas Barr


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