To prove it, the House GOP has taken the entire country hostage … again. And there’s no reason to think they won’t try again this month when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling, or next year when it is time to fund the government again. Certainly, stopping a health care law before it becomes popular and successful is an important goal for the House GOP – which no longer governs but only obstructs government – but this hostage taking has been done before when it didn’t have to do with the ACA. We now live with bad ideas such as a “sequester” and “austerity” because of previous attempts to hold the country hostage.
To be sure, President Obama is partially to blame for this mess too. For too long he has tried to stay above the fray and look like the adult in the room. But every adult with a misbehaving child knows that eventually looking like an adult is not enough. You have to act like one too. If your child is misbehaving, you have to take action. The President has for too long assumed he was dealing with other adults, but he is not. He is dealing with bratty children. It has been said that he hates certain parts of his job: using the bully pulpit, lobbying for his ideas, dealing with the White House press corps. We don’t blame him, but we also don’t absolve him. We all have to do things at work that we hate from time to time.
Finally, with great sadness, we assign blame for this mess to our own Congressman, Chris Gibson. Gibson should be living proof that while most people hate Congress as a whole, they like their own representative. He has served his country in the military with honor. He is a good man to speak with. He has bucked his party on important matters to this region like the Farm Bill – which is still left undone – and the food stamp debacle. But he has fallen in with the crazy wing of his party on the ACA. He said he wanted to fund the government, but in this case, his actions speak louder than his words.