Thursday, September 19, 2013

GOP thinks it can't afford to "lose" on Obamacare, whatever the personal sacrifice of people

E.J. Dionne follows up in the Washington Post today with a column “Why the Republicans are desperate for a shutdown”, link here.  The Post also has disturbing stories of the personal sacrifice, mostly among federal employees and some people needing certain medical services, resulting from the political “hostage taking”.  There is also a disturbing story that a substantial portion of the public, especially Republicans, think that the debt ceiling should not be extended even if it meant that the government failed to pay all its bills on time and the result was sacrifice and sudden extreme hardship for some Americans.  In general, the debt ceiling issue (Oct. 18) sounds much more serious than a potential Oct. 1 “shutdown”.  And Newt Gingrich has been saying that the GOP should open every conversation with “We want to keep the Government open, but…”.  Indeed, “Yes, but…” wasn’t an excuse when I was a kid.

Dionne argues that the GOP doesn’t want Obamacare to be allowed to work (which it almost certainly will, given time and freedom from political disruption) because then the party ideology will have no purpose.  The hardliners feel that it can’t be allowed to work, period.  If that means taking hostages, whether cancer patients who don’t get treatment or retirees whose savings evaporate if the dollar or economy collapses, too bad.  We all have to take our lumps and depend on “family.”

In fact, the way some social conservatives use ‘family values” as an excuse for bullying is particularly offensive.  What, you’re supposed to support mom and dad when they don’t get social security checks?  (That risk is overblown as I have explained, but it makes a certain point.)  You’re supposed to protect your “family” (maybe with an armed fortress) if civilization is allowed to fall apart?

I wrote at length about this at some length on my main blog yesterday.  In my situation, there’s no way to be a victim.  It is what it is.  If I’m taken hostage, whether by an indignant carjacking kidnapper physically or by a political battle that wants a purification so it can start over, it’s over for me.  It is what it is. 

Social conservatives think that “inequality” should be remedied by people taking care of one another personally, largely through the “natural family” and that sexual morality (regardless of “personal responsibility that goes with adult choices) should become the great equalizer.  “They” stumble when dealing with the inequality that demands attention outside the family.  Sure, volunteerism from churches, going overseas (Belize, Nacascolo, as I have covered before) can be impressive but is only a start.  And, true, there are some things in a society that have to get done by individual people, and sometimes they get done better if everyone believes everyone else will share in the risk and obligation.  But there are some things you cannot solve without public policy. 
In contrast to the Post and a NYTimes editorial recently quoted, Karl Rove criticizes the GOP strategy as self-destructive, driving away independents in the WSJ here. And NBC questions whether the GOP really wants to end Obamacare, here

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