US Government Shutdown - One Republican's Perspective
I am a registered Republican. I voted for McCain and for Romney in the last two presidential elections. However, I am not a "Tea Party" Republican. I cringed when McCain picked Palin as his running mate and I voted against a Tea Party initiative to oust a Democrat from a Senate seat in my own state.
Personally, I see this shutdown of the US government primarily as the fault of the Republican party. Boehner had a deal on the table for approving the budget but with Obamacare removed from that bill (basically approve everything else and deal with Obamacare afterwards). He said he would support that and then changed his mind because the Tea Party conservatives said that they would lose any leverage to try to defund Obamacare if they could not hold the rest of the budget for ransom. I don't fully agree with Obamacare, but the nature of a Democratic Republic means that the majority will win out and that sometimes you will not be in the majority. That is just how it works. You don't sacrifice everything else for the sake of trying to derail a law that has already been ratified by Congress. You do a better job negotiating to improve bills before they become laws.
I feel like I am watching Mom and Dad argue about whether or not they should pay the monthly payment for the car they already purchased on mutual agreement and having one of them say "if we don't default on this car loan, then I am not paying any of the bills and I am not feeding the kids". You simply don't negotiate by holding the nation and the jobs of thousands of workers for ransom. You negotiate by compromising and making laws you don't approve of (like Obamacare) better by getting provisions in them that ensure that they don't do the damage that you fear they will do. Much of Obamacare is identical to what Republicans proposed years ago as a response to Hillarycare. I have a decent memory and I can recall that. I feel that Republicans could have worked at negotiating a better Obamacare rather than attempting to stone-wall it. Instead, it is what it is. Obamacare is not going to kill the nation. In some ways it is going to help. Medicaid helps people, but has problems that lead to a huge rise in the cost of prescription drugs (i.e.: government not having the power to negotiate prices and the law requiring that medicaid pay the "going price" led pharmaceutical companies to simply raise their prices). Still, Medicaid has not destroyed the nation despite its problems. This government shutdown is hurting people. While Congress draws a paycheck, thousands of hard-working people are not drawing a paycheck. These are not people who make a living off of exploiting our system of entitlements, but people who go to work and pay their bills like responsible citizens. These people are out of work because the Tea Party wants to make a stand on Obamacare. The Tea Party is that parent who is saying "we should not feed the kids or pay any of the bills unless we default on the car loan and let the car get repossessed". The bad thing is that many of the Republicans (including Boehner) are listening to them. I will vote against any House Republican who stands with the Tea Party on this. It is simply wrong. This nation has responsibilities to pay its bills and to its hard-working citizens. Those are non-negotiable and should never be used to gain leverage on something like Obamacare.
I've long felt that the Tea Party makes some good points like those on fiscal responsibility and the alarming size of the federal government. The mere fact that we have to raise the debt ceiling is troubling. When will it end? But the bad that comes with the Tea Party's good principles is often too much. I think the Republican party should let the Tea Party split off and adhere to their reactionary principles while the Republicans move more towards the middle in order to garner more support for strong aspects of the Republican platform. I think that any votes lost by abandoning the Tea Party constituency will be overshadowed by the number of moderates that will return to the Republican party. I also think that we can return to fiscal responsibility without holding the nation ransom. Sometimes the answer is not to stop spending money, but to find ways to spend it more wisely.
Those are my thoughts and I wanted to share. Some of you may disagree with me and some may do it vehemently, but I felt I needed to get that off my chest and speak my mind on the matter. Feel free to speak your mind in the comments, but try to stick to Verge forum rules and keep it civil since this is a topic of political nature.