Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Watch the GOP Implode
All the news right now is about the federal shutdown, which was caused by a handful of Republican senators in a last-gasp attempt to keep the Obamacare bill from going into effect. So far, the shutdown has done no worse than to send a lot of park rangers and CIA analysts off on unpaid vacations, but there are promises of worse to come. I've heard dark mutterings, from various old and disabled folks, that if their Social Security checks don't arrive, they'll march on local Republican Party offices with torches and axes. I don't think they're joking.
Of all the stupid moves the GOP has made over the last dozen years, this one has to take the cake. I can't think of any single move the party could have made that's more guaranteed to cost it votes, and possibly send it spiraling down to permanent eclipse. Already, here in Arizona at least, more voters have registered as independent or Libertarian than either Republican or Democrat -- and this is supposed to be a "red" state.
And the worst of it is the GOP's obvious and thundering stupidity! Okay, so the Repubs don't like the Affordable Care Act; well, a lot of citizens don't, including me, for good reason. It's a huge (2900 pages!), sprawling, sloppy, bureaucratic mess, with all too many opportunities for corruption and pork -- and nobody who voted for it even read the damned thing first! It's a classic example of a bad bill.
Even so, the Republicans have tried more than 40 times in the past four years to repeal it, have it declared unconstitutional, defund it -- and failed every time. Instead of those 40 repetitions of failure, why didn't the Republican senators do the smart thing? If they'd spent half as much time going over the bill -- page by page, paragraph by paragraph, line by line -- and thrown out all the redundancies, excessive bureaucracy, cute little bits of pork (like one paragraph that allocates $100 million to rebuild the infrastructure in Gaza), and just plain inefficiencies, they could have cut away more than half of it by now. They might even have cut it down to less than 100 pages, and come up with something actually workable -- like simply expanding the coverage of Medicare, for example. But no, they had to insist on throwing out the whole pie. Stupid!
Of course, if Congress really was serious about cutting down the debt, and federal spending in general, it should have paid attention to the Government Accountancy Office -- which has spent the last three years looking over the federal bureaucracy, hunting for redundancy, inefficiency and waste, and has found no less than 1500 departments which should be abolished completely. Simply voting to get rid of those useless departments would save trillions, right there. But has anybody in Congress even brought this up? Stupid!
The antics of the GOP are sending it down to destruction, but I suspect that the Democrat party is not far behind. Indeed, if there was a third party that had any kind of decent advertising, they'd both be on the trash-heap of history already.