Arthur C. Schaper: Washington Sucks
Friday, October 18, 2013
Not about Boston, Worcester, Providence, or Pawtucket.
I have one target this week: Washington D.C.
Washington really sucks.
Even I cannot hold back my disgust. With Republicans and Democrats in Washington.
Yes, even with Republicans! And to an extent with the representatives brought in with Tea Party packed momentum.
I wanted leadership that would hold the line against President Obama and the Democratic Majority Leader in the Senate. Defunding Obamacare, yes indeed, was “intellectually dishonest” per US Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma).
But it was a start. In negotiations, one should always ask for far more than one ever plans on getting. So, no harm, no foul.
Delaying Obamacare and repealing the medical device tax: those were good ideas, worthy amendments.
If big businesses get exemptions, if unions could command an audience with the President to discuss getting a subsidy or an exit from Obamacare, then certainly We the People deserved a break, too.
And that medical device tax. Even Markey and Warren in the Bay State stumped, campaigned, and got elected to get rid of that tax.
And they voted to keep it!
Boo on them. Poison pills for Democrats abounded in that legislation.
But no. Republican leadership was not leading the ship. They blinked, so to speak, and scheduled to meet with the President.
I called the majority whip (Kevin McCarthy of California) and the majority leader (Eric Cantor of Virginia) to tell them: No Deal unless they delay and repeal. I could not get in touch with anyone in Speaker Boehner’s office. No one can, so many people are calling, or screaming. . .
After three weeks of shutdown-default wrangling, Congress and the President are pretty much back where they started: the spending is still spilling out, the debt is still piling up, and the entitlements are entering into unstable uncertainties all the more.
Obamacare is still careless, unaffordable, and not protecting anyone, except for members of Congress, who will be exempt from the program. And the President, and the Chief Justice who upheld the law as a tax.
From US Senator Ted Cruz’ filibuster that wasn’t to Establishment leaders in the House, and even those Democrats who stand tighter together, yet stand for things that I cannot stand: this shutdown was a mere slowdown from the low down that no one wants to get done:
The government is too damn big. The debt is too damn high. And Congress is too damn unaccountable (With apologies to Jerry McMillan, the founder of the “Rent is Too Damn High” Party in New York.)
We the People are responsible, for better or for worse, for what we see in Washington, in our statehouses, and even in our local city councils. Oh, how I have resisted this. I admit that I want my team to win, and then I want my ideas to win out.
Perhaps it’s time that we stopped trying to change who represents us, and start changing our approach to politics in general.
Instead of trying to get our team to win, why don’t we make sure that whoever sits in office hear our demands first, and make sure that they can win again by doing what we asked them to. (Yes, bear with me)
Free-market economist Milton Friedman could not have stated it better:
“No, we don’t have to change Congress. Politicians are in the business of buying votes. Make the wrong people do the right things.”
Friedman, and all political activists before and after, have pointed out that getting the right people in place is nice, but it’s better to get the wrong people to do the right things.
My state senator, Ted Lieu (D-South Bay, Los Angeles), tried to triple my car tax. People raised a ruckus. “Recall Ted Lieu” showed up on Facebook. He recalled the idea right away.
See? Make yourself heard, and they will hear you!
I decided to have a little fun, try it out, so to speak.
My Congressman is Henry “We’re not broke!” Waxman (D-Los Angeles/South Bay). I made a blog about him, and he got so scared he shut me down in an open forum. When I call his office, his staffer know right away to transfer me to someone who won’t say too much.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles/Torrance) has so many gaffes, you can entertain yourself for hours watching them on YouTube. She hosted a town hall, and I told her “Obamacare can go straight to hell!”
I don’t know if it accomplished much, but I sure felt a lot better. (Thanks, Aunt Medea!)
I spoke with a Republican official from Rhode Island, and he and I laughed when I told him that I have Congressmen Maxine Waters and Henry Waxman in my backyard. You Rhode Islanders, you Worcesterites are so lucky. . .
So, forget for now who is in office. That’s not where the cares of government belong.
“We the People” should.
If Washington sucks, it’s up to us make it not suck, so to speak. So speak up!
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at email@example.com, and read more at Schaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.
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