Thoughts on the American Government shutdown

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Current Events, politics

Where I live, my landlord is legally constrained by two things.  There is a provincial law limiting annual rental increases.  Also, a signed lease also makes certain stipulations about rent.  Now lets say that my landlord decided that he didn’t like these rules and that there should be a large rent increase, even though there are laws mandating only a certain limited increase.  If I refuse to pay the higher rent, he responds by refusing to do the maintenance that is required of him, and maybe takes steps to cut my hydro, water, telephone etc.   (OK, I know he can’t really do that, but let’s say he can.) 

That is essentially what the American Congress is doing right now.  Saying that the government shutdown is the fault of the White House is like saying that it’s my fault that my landlord has suspended services, because I don’t want to capitulate to his illegal demands. 

The American Congress offering to pass a few bills to sustain funding for some services, like National Parks, is like my landlord saying that, OK, he’ll turn my water back on if I’m willing to discuss his higher rent demands with me.  It doesn’t make his demands any more legal, and I’m not really inclined to discuss things with someone who starting from such a ridiculous position.  That’s the position that the White House and Senate Democrats are in with regards to this Republican tantrum. 

And that’s clearly what it is.  The Republicans are acting like a little child threatening to hold its breath, or locking itself in its room unless it gets its way.  And, like the small child, being totally egocentric, it doesn’t seem to care about how many people get hurt or how much inconvenience it causes along the way. 

In Canada we don’t have that problem, largely because a party that got less than 50% of the popular vote can manipulate themselves into a position of majority power, which makes it difficult to challenge them.  -Not sure which is better. 

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