Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Republicans Discover Government, Promptly Convene "Imperial Congress"

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H2 10/8/13

opednews.com


Picture a lone Republican running through the darkened hallways of power, paraphrasing Soylent Green's climactic line as he shouts the news to his peers:

"It's people! The Federal government is people!"

That insight seemed to strike Hill Republicans last week, if only briefly: Our government is made up of people helping other people. But don't count on seeing a new era of conciliation or a new embrace of democratic processes. Instead Republicans seemed to renew their commitment to the principle that only one branch of government -- their  branch -- should control it.

Call it the Imperial Congress, and this week it tried to invent a new form of governance.

Of the People, By the People ...

This could be a learning moment for any Republican willing to change. For years they've railed against a dark and faceless abstraction they call "Government." Now that they've shut down the government -- not the faceless monster of their fantasies, but the real-life Constitutional version -- they've been forced to change their tune a little.

Consider Rep. Randy Neugebauer's boorish rant to a Park Ranger, whom he lacerated because the shutdown had closed a park to most visitors. Neugebauer didn't tell the ranger or the crowd of onlookers that we didn't need parks, or that we could do without a government to run them. Instead he tried to place the blame for their closure on a single Federal employee.

Suddenly the enemy was government shutdowns, not government. That's progress -- in a way.

But think of it: A Congressman who voted to shut down the government, while continuing to receive $172,000 per year, dressed down a park ranger who had shown up for work not knowing when -- or if -- she would be paid at all. (The average Park Ranger earns $44,900 per year.)

Neugebauer, and others like him, have been indoctrinated with a far-right ideology which says that Federal employees should "get off our backs." But instead of facing a Randian parasite, Neugebauer was confronted with a human being trying to do a popular job under difficult circumstances. Deep down inside, his rage might have been thinly concealed shame.

It certainly should have been.

This embarrassing moment, and others like it, might have contributed to the GOP's decision late last week to agree that all furloughed workers will eventually receive back pay. (They may have also discovered that Federal employees, like other citizens, vote.)

... and For the People

Neugebauer told the Park Ranger she should be "ashamed" for turning a line of people away from a national park site, even though Neugebauer's party has been orchestrating the shutdown for months (as reported in detail in today's New York Times).

The Congressman confronted another reality that day: The government exists for people just like the ones standing in line with him. And since the people designed that government through their democratic institutions, it shouldn't be surprising that they generally like the things it does. Even conservatives who mouth anti-government rhetoric usually like going to parks and museums, or receiving Social Security checks.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/the-dumbest-bipartisa

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

The Price of Evil at JPMorgan Chase

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Notice, Republicans, the claim above is that gover... by John Sanchez Jr. on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013 at 6:52:04 AM
Progressive pundits need a reality check. &nb... by Ed Lytwak on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013 at 9:47:14 AM