Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Shutdown IV: Live Free Or Shut Down

Yesterday I learned from Televisualist that the Canadians - possibly accidentally but more likely through their trademark exquisite timing - are repeating the West Wing episode "Shutdown", in which a slimy Republican Speaker shuts the government down because President Bartlet won't let him back out of a budget deal at the eleventh hour.

(Note the now-familiar Republican framing, by the way: "We're unilaterally changing the deal for us keeping the government open. If you don't accept those changes, it's your fault that we'll shut the government down.")

It never fails to amuse me thinking back at how many people - people who really should have known better - wailed and gnashed their teeth about how that show was just so mean to Republicans.  Compared to actual-real-life Speaker Boehner, Haffley might as well be James Madison.  All he asked for was a further 2% reduction in spending.  Pretty much every single thing he says in that second video is pure horseshit, but he knew when he'd miscalculated and how to get out from under it.

Oh, and this is how the West Wing dealt with the debt ceiling:

A minute-long scene, and then we move onto something else, because it would never have occurred to Lawrence O'Donnell that anyone could possibly be so viciously, proudly ignorant and vindictive as Ted Cruz and be elected as a Klan leader, let alone a US Senator.

The US is in horrific shape, one of the only two political parties they allow themselves (as Charlie Pierce puts it) is discussing whether to damage the entire world rather than let more of their own citizens get health insurance, and a major reason why is the number of people who've spent the last thirty-three years insisting Republicans really aren't all that bad, and we should be nicer to them.  The next American bobble-head who complains that the US will suffer from appeasing Iran should be punched in the face.

Update: The latest I'm getting is that the Senate is preparing to vote on a deal.  The House GOP, meanwhile, is now talking about insisting a deal requires limiting access to birth control.  It's like watching clowns set their car on fire and piling back in.

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