Shutdown: some historical perspective


Getting my bearings

My two cents and $5 might get you a value meal somewhere.

I like a little historical perspective. It all started when this guy did all these things, but in keeping with his party he vetoed spending on labor, health, and welfare that the majority of Americans must have thought were important since they controlled both House and Senate with large majorities at the time.

Short version of what follows: obstructionist GOP during Carter when Dems had big majorities in House and Senate as well as the presidency. Regardless of the issue, the GOP had zero mandate going for them and tried to override the will of the people.

During Reagan, they were with a divided Congress, so maybe a bit more understandable, except for the one really embarrassing time they just forgot. Forgot. Oh, and that little thing where the Dems finally had majorities in Congress again and didn’t want to fund the Contras and thought broadcast journalism had an obligation to some attempt at objectivity. Because supporting that traitor Ollie North was a good idea, and look what jettisoning the Fairness Doctrine has given us. Hunter Thompson had some fine words about North, by the way.

Under Bush the First, at least it was on principle regarding the overall deficit and he had the sense to oppose Reagan’s “voodoo economics” (which we’re still fighting today). Lo and behold, a reasonable Dem-led Congress and a rational Republican president compromised and it only happened that once.

Then there were the Clinton years where the whole country lost its mind. The Dems moved to the right of Nixon and became neoliberals pandering to identity politics while throwing them under the bus once the votes were in, and the GOP was fanned by lying blowhards like Rush Limbaugh who seems to forget these days that “character matters.” According to his bunch, those newly-right-tilting Dems were harder to the left than ever. The left got thrown under the bus by both parties. Thanks, end of Fairness Doctrine.

Somehow we managed to avoid a shutdown during Bush 43, but we had government surpluses left over from those horrible Clinton neoliberals (great for markets, not for people) to squander on attacking the wrong country (which Ford helped make horrible to begin with) for the wrong reasons (bad intel and lies) while neoliberals and so-called fiscal conservatives both worked overtime in ruining the finance sector so hard that we got the collapse of 2008 so that the radicalized right could blame Obama for inheriting their mess and taking too long to fix it (in a way good for finance and bad for people), you know, when Obama wasn’t too busy also being a seekrit Mooslim Kenyan burned and hanged in effigy because of course it’s not racist.

You know how when you pull the plug on the tub, for the longest time it looks like nothing’s happening, but later you get that little whirlpool that goes faster and faster. I think we’re at the gurgling stage right the tub empties, and it’s because of the hyper-fake-partisan charade foisted on us by our Wall Street overlords. Meanwhile, where’s our genuine labor party? Lip service aside, once the votes are in neither party gives two flips about people with dirt under their nails from working for a living.

This Vox article is a good launching point for looking into our morbid decline into shutdown blackmail.

I hope my 2 cents aren’t too far off. If you see any errors in there, please let me know.

Government-shutdown - Fuck off we're closed

Compass image licensed under Creative Commons by phrawr.