Have you noticed that I have had almost nothing to say about the government shutdown? This is because I don’t care. I am aware that this makes me an Insensitive Git, in that some programs that benefit the poor and the disenfranchised have been suspended (together with some things that make the richies happy) but I can’t help it: I just don’t care.
And its not that big government doesn’t bother me. You oldsters in the audience will remember how I used to rail against big government George W. Bush and his usurpation of power. The difference, I think, is the big government Obama envisions is one that helps people stay healthy and live longer, while George Bush, mainly, seemed interested Keeping Us Safe by criminalizing ordinary activities and rolling back longstanding protections from government abuse. (To date, Obama, has not undone any of that. I can’t find the post, right now, but I did beat him up for this and I do officially hate him for letting us down in this regard.) I have the same questions any sane person has about ObamaCare, but I in the aggregate I think socialized medicine is good for America.
So why am I lukewarm about the shutdown? Because I also think arguing and fighting is good for America. The House has the power of the purse for a reason. They are supposed to dig in and refuse to pay for things they don’t like. What the House has done is legal, and constitutional, and legitimately an example of checks and balance. However, at the same time its an example of insane brinkmanship that would not have been possible had the recalcitrant. Members of the House run the risk of facing any real electoral consequences back home.
See, thanks to gerrymandering, no one in the House of Representatives ever has to answer to anyone who might disagree with him. Nowadays, most everyone in the House represents a district that was created specifically to keep him (or her) in office. As a result, these morons can go to Washington and say and do anything they like –no matter how crazy — without suffering any electoral consequences.
Its great that the Representatives are keeping Obama on his toes, but a tragedy that no one back home is issuing the Representatives similar challenges. Their recalcitrance keeps Obama honest, but who keep them honest?