Frankly, I don’t have too much more to add about the current DC mess (at least for now) that hasn’t already been said by countless others. Then again, that’s never stopped me before – so I’ll offer just a few short observations.
#1 Adult Supervision: Our government (Republicans and Democrats) obviously need serious help with maturity. Unfortunately, the only people capable of enforcing that kind of “tough love” happen to be THE PEOPLE – and the people haven’t exactly excelled at politics in recent years . . . Nevertheless, history offers some reason for hope. Despite long periods of citizen apathy over the past 200+ years, eventually there are tipping points where Americans finally do get mad as hell and just don’t take it anymore. Let’s hope we’re getting there.
#2 Un-American Governing: Both shutting down the government in an effort to stop Obamacare (whether you support it or not) AND even considering defaulting on the national debt as form of “protest” are equally moronic and ultimately downright dangerous. We can likely handle the shutdown. A debt default, on the other hand, would bring about such immediate and unthinkable catastrophe that I find it virtually impossible to contemplate as a real possibility. Still, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all be profoundly concerned about the glaring lack of basic economic knowledge among members of Congress (combined with their aforementioned immaturity). The Constitution is 100% clear about what Congress should do if it wants to overturn a law or change fiscal policy: introduce a bill and get enough veto-proof votes to pass it. End of story. Cutting off essential services, willfully hurting millions of citizens and threatening to send the country (and possibly the world) spiraling back into recession are unacceptable, unethical and un-American.
#3 Gerrymandering: While Congress now has a continuously falling approval rating of around 8%, one has to remember who elected those jokers . . . WE DID (if you even bothered to vote, that is). Nevertheless, the current crisis is by no means entirely the voters’ responsibility. Because of out-of-control gerrymandering – the careful drawing of Congressional districts in ways that essentially define them as “red” or “blue” until the advent of major demographic or political shifts – we’re living at a time when it is infinitely harder just to “throw out the bums.”
Becoming a serious country again is going to require major reform – something that will only happen when everyday citizens, Wall Street, big business, unions and loud voices of every persuasion literally smash the status-quo. Otherwise, just expect more of the same – or worse. We’re America, folks, and it’s time to grow up.