The Republican Shutdown: Why They Did It And Why Obama Doesn’t Care

The Republican Shutdown: Why They Did It And Why Obama Doesn’t Care


Since the Republicans goals for government are very limited, using the shut down as a tool for getting what they want and disrupting the work of government is a logical extension of their basic philosophy and strategy.  Republicans don’t want the government to provide services for people, they don’t want the government to regulate businesses, and they don’t want the government to produce an egalitarian society.  They want less regulation of businesses, lower taxes for wealthy people, more spending on the military and a society which is dependent on the whim and will of multi-national corporations who have no loyalty to the USA.  They want a society that is run by the rich for the rich.  The United States government is just another tool to make that happen.


For the Republicans this fiasco has actually been a great victory.  No one is talking about reforms that benefit poor and middle class people, least of all Obama.  Goal achieved.  No one is talking about reducing the military in the mainstream media.  Ditto.  Both political parties are painted as equally inept.  This alienates voters and makes them less likely to vote.  Decreasing the vote increases the leverage of multimillionaires and corporations because advertising works.  Victory for the Republicans.  The economy ticks down a few notches from the lack of spending and the Republicans howl Obama’s economic policies are a failure, another victory.  The Republicans are willing to hurt the poor and middle class to get what they want.  Obama must be willing to stand up to them, speak the truth and fight for what is right.  But he cannot, or will not.


Obama is not FDR.  He won’t say these people are you enemies and I will fight them.  Rather he mouses that they have a different point of view and properly we should be working together on some kind of grand bargain that he believes will endear him to the very people who hate not him but the cartoon character of him that the right-wing media has created.  How and why Obama thinks that he should meet people half way who maintain he is a Muslim from Kenya and further why he thinks he can reach an enlightened set of policies with them is mind-boggling.


Why he can never say the opposition is wrong, bad for the poor and middle class and only working for the rich who are heads of multi-national corporations (that have no loyalty to the USA at all) will be forever the subject of speculation.  Ralph Nader has stated Obama is a political coward.  Dennis Kucinich believes Obama is getting exactly what he wants and that as a right-wing Democrat the continued dismantling of the New Deal is fine with Obama.  Kucinich believes that Obama is an active participant not a timid politician or inept negotiator and that his pretense of being progressive in the primaries was just that.


Obama acted on the shut down to first stop paying for programs that help the least among us. He stopped feeding poor women and children while maintaining other expenses that he could have cut.  He could have closed all the government agencies and military bases in the Red states.  This would have shown the Tea Baggers what they were losing.  It would have made the cuts hit home.  Permanently closing a few basis in Texas would have made Texans realize how much benefit their communities were getting from the government.  He also could have ordered the military to stop using oil and gas.  The US military is the world’s single largest purchaser of fossil fuels.  Again by hitting the corporate Republicans in the pocket-book he would have made a point.  Instead he cut off programs to the poor which are invisible to the average person.  And of course the media all but ignored this.


Obama’s refusal to call the extreme right-wing the enemy of the American people is incomprehensible.  FDR made it clear that there were people who were working for a better society for all and people who were only interested in themselves.  FDR was clear about which side he was on and was willing to fight.  Obama is not.  Obama’s presidency will now limp from crises to crises as the House Republicans refuse to fund the government or raise the debt ceiling.  Progressive reforms are off the table.  There will be no gun control in a country gone gun crazy (and this includes the militarization of the police who recently murdered a mentally ill person for driving in circles), no single payer health care, no reduction of military spending, no infrastructure creation, no plan to convert to natural energy and away from fossil fuels, no plan to give every child a decent education, no discussion of the student loan debt bomb and certainly no new taxes.  So arguably the Republicans got everything they wanted from the shut down and  so did Obama.


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