September 27, 2013

The Myth Of The Government Shut-Down

  12:06 pm

The government of the United States is not going to be shut down this week. Or next week. Even if the continuing budget resolution is not passed by both the U.S. house and senate, and signed by the president, the government will not be shut down.

A government “shut-down” has become a term of political myth, partisan melodrama, and rhetorical comedy.

First, the vital functions of the government are not ever shut down. Second, the current impasse is an incessant replay of a wearying political soap opera in which one party attempts to score points in public opinion against the other party. (Usually these points are won by the party occupying the White House because of any president’s media advantage. This also heavily favors Democrats since the Old Media overwhelmingly favors the liberal party.) Third, most of those who endure any consequences are government employees, most of whom vote for Democrats. Presidents can also easily grandstand by closing down low-cost items such as White House tours (which are made to seem much more important than they are).

The last “shut-down” confrontation produced the celebrated “sequesters” which were advertised in advance by the Obama administration as imminent disasters. In fact, the sequesters have turned out to be rather effective, if uneven, as a limit on public spending and only a minor inconvenience. Sequestering is not a viable permanent solution, but as a short-term strategy, it has turned out rather well.

Obamacare is in deep trouble. The administration has already postponed major parts of the legislation, and might have to postpone more. The various components of the labyrinthine so-called healthcare reform are mostly not ready to be implemented. The Democratic legislation itself is extraordinarily unpopular, and in 2010 led to an electoral disaster in that year’s midterm elections. It threatens to result in the same in 2014. Various states have already begun to set up Obamacare exchanges, and some are claiming they will work, but the numbers so far do not add up.

Senator Ted Cruz conducted a 21-hour pseudo-filibuster against funding Obamacare, but it was not meant to be anything more than a publicity monologue for the Texas senator, aimed at the conservative political base. Immediately after concluding his effort, Mr. Cruz voted along with the entire senate (100-0) to begin debate on the continuing resolution — a debate that inevitably led to its passage.

The U.S. house has voted one more time to defund Obamacare, with Republicans again fulfilling their promise to vote against the unpopular legislation. However, without control of the U.S. senate and the White House, any action of theirs is merely symbolic, and cannot accomplish anything except public relations.

Some of the most thoughtful conservatives who strongly oppose Obamacare have suggested that Republicans in Congress should, in effect, get out of the way, and let the long-winded, contradictory and unsustainable legislation begin to take effect. As totally the political property of the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama, these conservatives say, let them take the inevitable backlash for its construction and enactment.Former Republican Governor Mike Huckabee, now a conservative TV commentator/host, has made this case particularly well.

Like so many political issues today, realities are clouded by emotional and intimidating rhetoric. “Governmentshut-down” is one of the most blatant examples of this.

The public should ignore these petty games, and demand that both parties work out settlements that will actually improve healthcare delivery, boost the economy by helping entrepreneurship, lower unemployment and stimulate positively the public markets.

Copyright (c) 2013 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.


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92 Responses to “The Myth Of The Government Shut-Down”

  1. Ryan60657

    Am I the only one HOPING for a Government shutdown?

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I felt ZERO effects from the current sequester. I expect the same zero-effect results from any kind of shutdown. Only we wont be spending as many taxpayer dollars as we are spending currently.

  2. Matthew Kilburn

    “Obamacare is in deep trouble.”

    This is an incredibly optimistic assessment. Obamacare may well be a disaster…but the argument that it is in “big trouble”, with the major provisions going into action within the week, just doesn’t seem to pass muster.

  3. Right Wingnut

    Cruz now leads GOP field in latest poll.

  4. RD


    Sequester has been pleasant for our economy and only helped maintain our high credit rating.

    A shutdown would only cause the opposite, that is severe damage.

  5. RD


    Your name sounds like you work for the DNC. Do you?

    Per link..

    The Democratic National Committee signaled they are happy with the idea of Mr. Cruz becoming the face of the Republican party by blasting out the poll results to reporters.

  6. Ryan60657


    Please explain how a shutdown would cause “severe damage” to our economy.

  7. Right Wingnut

    5, No, actually I’ve been around here off and on for years. You? I dont recognize the name.

  8. Ryan60657

    Republican Grandstanders Have Committed Themselves to Defeat

    “But there was an odd sort of irony to the way the speech attacked other Republicans for casting symbolic votes against the law, and for, well, giving fiery speeches against the law that inevitably left it in place. And there was more than a bit of disconnect between Cruz’s repeated exhortations to “make D.C. listen” and the fact that they came in the midst of a 21-hour talkathon.

    Cruz wasn’t listening. He was talking. And to a great extent, that’s what this whole shutdown saga has been about—not defunding the law, but talking about defunding the law.”
    “What Republicans have right now is a lot of talk. What they don’t have is a workable legislative strategy. Not on Obamacare. Not on the debt. Not on tax reform, the unsustainable entitlement state, or on any of the big domestic policy issues that Republicans say they care about, or that actually confront the nation today.”

    “Right now the GOP has no strategic or tactical savvy. Instead, the party has a surfeit of bluster.

    The appeal of such aggressive tactics is perhaps understandable given the Obama administration’s deeply frustrating policy choices. But they would be far more appealing if they offered any chance of victory. What the failed defunding fight makes clear is that there’s little if any substantive advantage in this approach. “

  9. Joe

    “[Obamacare] is extraordinarily unpopular, and in 2010 led to an electoral disaster in that year’s midterm elections. It threatens to result in the same in 2014.”

    Conveniently ignoring the 2012 elections, when the GOP lost the White House, lost seats in the Senate and lost the popular vote for the House by 1m votes.

    Besides, it’s not “extraordinarily unpopular”, especially if you don’t call it “Obamacare”. Not to mention that about 15% of the people who don’t like Obamacare, don’t like it because they wanted a public option.

  10. JT

    Do any of you who were trumpeting Cruz’s effort earlier this week (while I was saying that it was a waste of time, would not delay any vote and the senate’s stripping would take place as scheduled, today) want to revise and extend your remarks?

    Cruz accomplished NOTHING with respect to Obamacare or governance, but he got exactly what he really wanted: the spotlight. I wonder if McCain will let him use his 08 “Country First” slogan?

  11. SteveT

    Yes Cruz has accomplished his goal. He has temporarily taken the lead for the GOP nomination in an incredibly fluid field.

    He knows how to manipulate things to his personal advantage.

    Has he advanced the cause of overturning Obamacare? Of course not. That was never the point.

    He will get in the 2016 race and will be very aggressive. Do not underestimate him. He is very bright.

    I also do not think that he is as conservative as he tries to come across. He just understands the right better than most.

  12. Guy from Ohio

    9 There’s an additional 15% who don’t like it because its not liberal enough.

  13. Joe

    Oh and same-sex marriage just became legal in New Jersey.

    How’s Christie going to respond to this I wonder…

  14. Ryan60657

    11. “I also do not think that he is as conservative as he tries to come across. He just understands the right better than most.”

    I think you are correct. I am suspicious of his motives, now more than ever. Ted “me first” Cruz?

  15. RD

    BREAKING: Obama believes he can reach nuclear deal with Iran “because Iran isn’t making crazy demands to destroy the world economy.”

  16. RD


    The New Jersey judge ruled that state must allow gay couples to marry “no matter how much it hurts Chris Christie’s presidential campaign.”

  17. RD

    Btw, Marco Rubio KNOWS he needs to do a BIG filibuster to keep up with Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, only problem is all that water he drinks.

  18. SteveT

    Ryan – Yes there are good reasons to question the motives of Ted Cruz.

    For instance, I am not sure how you can have the position that Ted Cruz had in June (where he sounded like Smackdaddy) and the one he took a little over two months later.


  19. SteveT

    Here he was a bit more recently:

  20. RD

    Barry Casselman,

    About your well-thought-out post..

    I told my wife that I’m not paying our bills until she cancels our health care and meets a list of unrealistic demands. Thanks, Congress!

  21. SteveT

    That being said, you have to respect his intelligence and ability to manipulate things to his benefit.

    I do think the guy is very smart and it would not hurt to run someone of great intellect.

    I do think he is a little short in the charisma department. However, Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Truman were too and they got elected.

  22. SteveT

    I still favor Rubio over Cruz, with some sympathy for Rand Paul.

  23. packeryman

    #1, your hopes will likely result in the Dem’s taking the whole thing, President,Senate and the House. Remember, the Republicans hold the house due to extreme gerrymandering in far right controlled states.The baggers have taken control of the party, we can only watch its demise, unless a moderate leader arises with cogs.

  24. Joe

    23. Yes, but who could that “moderate leader” possibly be? The far right has purged the party so completely that there’s almost no-one left on either the federal or state level.

  25. RD

    I think Christie/Any SoCon is the best the GOP could possibly do against a Hillary/Any Living, Breathing Human Being Whatsoever ticket in ’16.

  26. Joe

    The longer he keeps dragging this out, the worse his chances get in the general election.

  27. Thomas Alan

    23. Yes, but who could that “moderate leader” possibly be? The far right has purged the party so completely that there’s almost no-one left on either the federal or state level.

    LOL. If only. The moderates control a greatly outsized portion control of the party’s power.

  28. Enri’que

    Good article Barry.

  29. CR_Guy

    Go ahead with the shutdown. Look at history. The ’95 – ’96 shutdown had a freshly GOP controlled Senate and House, and they fought big entitlement programs. Look what that earned them:

    10 years control of the House
    10 years control of the Senate


    the last 6 years with a Prez (R).

    It is a smart play, IMO. It is Newt Gingrich-esque political thinking. This time (’14 & ’16), let’s run the best and brightest as our candidates. People will finally understand Conservatism.

  30. Enri’que

    SteveT 21

    “It would not hurt to run someone with great intellect.”

    Romney was a quasi-Stanford and a double-Harvard.

    Cruz is very ambitious, so much so that he has zero self-awareness of his lack of charisma or charm. If he were truly smart, or wise as it were, he would be self-aware enough to know that his personality is not presidential material.

    There are a lot of smart people in the world. The presidency is a popularity contest, not an IQ test.

  31. Enri’que

    To be more specific, Romney was a smart guy with zero charisma or charm.

    Cruz is really just a more conservative version of Romney.

    That recipe will not win the presidency.

  32. packeryman

    #25, I agree with you and Enri’que’s past postings that Christie is the only possible candidate with a chance of winning on the national scene. A small portion of the party may support and want one of the wannabees from the far right and or backed by the tea baggers. None of these individuals are electable in the view of the majority of Americans.If the far right really wants to prove their belief that these radical individuals can win, then nominate a Paul,Cruz,Rubio,etc.and the GOP will experience a loss as great as Goldwater in 1964 or greater. Christie is the only individual on the GOP side that has a chance against the most likely Dem nominee, Hillary. He can carry many Independents and Moderates that would go to the Dem’s if the GOP runs a nominee from the far right.Turn off talk radio, stop listening to the pompous individuals who have become wealthy feeding the far right base red meat and taking the party down the path of self destruction. Baggers and those from the far right are not electable on the national scene.

  33. Joe

    27. “The moderates control a greatly outsized portion control of the party’s power.”

    Ha! Good one!

    32. Agreed. He’s no moderate but debating Ted Cruz would certainly make him look like one.

  34. Massachusetts Conservative


    Those former presidents were short in the charisma department because they were kind of dull and lackluster. Cruz’s personality is nothing close to dull or lackluster. Instead, he comes off extremely preachy with a tad of condescension. His personality is somewhat grating. I can’t remember the last president we had had a personality anything like Cruz’s.

    With that said, I generally like his political stances and respect him for his accomplishments. But I’d be lying if I thought he could be elected president with his personality/demeanor as it stands.

  35. Thomas Alan

    Ha! Good one!

    The entrenched moderate powers saying not to rock the boat are killing us. Left up to the McCains of the world, we would continue to give Obama almost everything he wants on every single issue and call it progress because we get one meaningless concession in return.

    That’s been the way things have been working.

  36. Massachusetts Conservative


    I agree 100% with this comment.

  37. Joe

    35. Yes because the only two choices here are “give Obama almost everything he wants on every single issue” or “refuse to give him anything at all”.

  38. Massachusetts Conservative

    The only potential 2016 GOP candidates who have a personality adequate for being a serious general election threat are Christie, Ryan, Rubio, and Jeb. And of course they all have their own problems, not to mention that two of them are more likely to stay home than run.

  39. Thomas Alan


    Yes. That is our universe of options. You paying any attention to Obama’s negotiating tactics over the past 5 years?

  40. Joe

    39. Yes. And unlike Congressional Republicans, the man knows what the word “compromise” means. But, the loony right thinks that compromise is a dirty word so it’s all or nothing for them, the country be damned.

  41. Martha

    I agree with MassCon in 38.

  42. Massachusetts Conservative


    Obama knows what compromise means but he refuses to do anything but talk about it.

  43. Thomas Alan


    Obama doesn’t compromise. You must be drinking some heavy Obama Kool-Aid to think that he does. Almost everything he’s done since he got into office was done through blunt power plays.

  44. Massachusetts Conservative


    What we have in 2016 is the opposite of, say, 2000. In 2000, we had a bunch of nobodies and then one guy who was clearly electable. In 2016, we have a bunch of moderately electable, equally-relevant people.

    My true beliefs are along the lines of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul (somewhere in the middle of the two). As unelectable as they are, the more electable ones are just not electable enough to compel me. Ryan and Rubio are kind of boyish and not compelling leaders. You want to vote for them, but not because they compel you to do it; you just like them. Christie and Jeb compel you to vote for them, but Christie has a petty and childish side, tunnel vision, and a lack of foresight. Jeb is a Bush, and that’s that.

  45. Joe

    You’re confusing “refusing to give the Tea Party everything they want for nothing in return” with “not compromising”. Imagine if President Romney and Majority Leader McConnell were faced with Speaker Pelosi demanding they implement the economic plan Obama lost the election on. That’s what they’re trying to do right now, get him to pass Romney’s budget. Oh, and get him to scrap his health care bill as well. But yeah, Obama’s the one who “doesn’t compromise”.

  46. Massachusetts Conservative


    What has Obama ever attempted to compromise on?

  47. RD

    Well for one, he did want single-payer but instead compromised towards the Heritage’s Romneycare formula empowering private insurance companies. That’s how he garnered the moderates albeit in his party.

    Another, he didn’t invade Syria after Congress and the British voted “hell no”.

    Thirdly, the 2011 budget deal with Speaker Boehner.

  48. RD

    If Boehner were a statesman, he’d amend the continuing resolution in one way. He’d add a one-year debt-limit extension and free our economy.

  49. Enri’que

    I actually think the Bush family has had it too easy for too long, and therefore is becoming more liberal.

    GW’s daughters are an embarassment, especially Barbara.

    It fits neatly with my theory that people that get rich without working hard are liberal because they feel eternally guilty for lucking out. Actors/actresses are another example. Barbara Bush lucked out. She doesn’t know what real hard work and achievement are.

    I honestly think GW’s daughters might be democrats. Jackasses.

    Jeb is economically conservative, but I fear the negative impact his family would have on him.

  50. RD

    But Boehner is *exactly* the kind of leader who would blunder into a calamity like a debt default crashing our markets, credit rating, and country.

  51. Enri’que

    Most of all with Jeb, he attacks conservatives with even more force than he attacks democrats, and that despicable behavior grates on me even more than say Palin or Santorum who are just bad communicators.

    Jeb tries to win support of the media by accepting liberal narratives. That seriously pisses me off.

    I cannot support Jeb.

  52. Joe

    46. Remember how he campaigned on a public option? The GOP said no, so he compromised and went with Bob Dole’s old plan, seeing as how it worked so well for Romney.

    Then there was that time in 2010 when he said he wanted to end the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. Congressional Democrats were willing to let everyone’s taxes go up. He compromised and they were all kept.

    And don’t forget the fiscal cliff negotiations, when he compromised on the Bush tax cuts again.

    Then there was the birth control compromise…

    But yeah you’re right, he “never compromises”.

  53. Enri’que

    I’m all in for Christie right now.

    But Christie could lose me fast if he “pulls a Jeb” and accepts liberal narratives in his interviews and campaign.

    Christie has the perfect personality to beat back liberal narratives. He just needs to execute and do it.

    Christie could lose me in a second if he pulls a Jeb. It all depends on how he campaigns.

  54. Joe

    Looks like RD got there a few minutes ahead of me!

  55. Enri’que


    You’re a democrat jackass!

    Obama never compromises. He caves to political realities which are all separate and apart from the negotiations.

    Quit coming here to politic. Get the hell out of here.

  56. Enri’que

    Democrats like Joe and RD are ruining the brand of this website. Preserve the long-term brand and ban these jackasses.

  57. RD


    C H R I S T I E / H U C K A B E E

    POUND FOR POUND, can’t be beat!

  58. RD



    Yeah, but you said it better :)

  59. RD



  60. Joe

    58. Thanks. I forgot about Syria though :)

    59. He’s the resident parody of a right-wing troll. Accuses anyone who doesn’t agree with him of being a “Democrat jackass”.

  61. Tyler M


    Your analysis was very insightful. But it does need one major correction.

    Ted Cruz DID NOT vote to pass the Continuing Resolution. The Senate voted 100-0 to allow the beginning of debate on the CR. Then Ted Cruz tried mounting a filibuster along with other conservatives. They were ultimately unsuccessfully and didn’t get close to the 41 votes needed, but Ted Cruz was not alone in his efforts. And it wasn’t Ted Cruz and Mike Lee alone either or it wasn’t just the 4 new conservative troublemakers in the Senate: Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul & Marco Rubio. The vote was 79-19. So, Cruz had the support of 18 other Senators in his quest to filibuster the CR, including some of the most respected longtime Republican members of the Senate including: James Inhofe, Richard Shelby, Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley, and Pat Roberts. Others who voted for the filibuster included Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, David Vitter, Tim Scott, Dean Heller, and Deb Fischer.

    After the 19 conservatives failed in their filibuster attempt, Harry Reid amended the House bill to add back in funding for Obamacare. That amendment passed on a 54-44 party-line vote. Once the amendment supporting Obamacare passed, the Senate then voted, once again, on a 54-44 party-line basis to pass the CR and send the bill back to the US House with unpopular Obamacare funding still intact.

    The two biggest cowards throughout this process were Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Orin Hatch of Utah, who voted to start debate, but each pulled an old Senator Obama by skipping all other votes after the original 100-0 vote, so that they could try not to be held accountable in the end. Hence, that’s why the other votes were 79-19, 54-44, and 54-44 respectively. In essence, Flake and Hatch each ended up voting “present” on whether or not to fund Obamacare.

  62. Tyler M

    52. Joe, Obama DID NOT go for Romney’s plan. Romneycare and Obamacare have very little in common. As you well know, Romney was extremely opposed and vetoed an employer mandate because he knew it would hurt or possibly kill private sector job creation. Obama didn’t care, because the only job creation that he wants is in the public sector anyway.

  63. Tyler M

    57. That actually is pretty funny. And mostly because I despise both Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee.

  64. Tyler M

    56. Enri’que,

    I’d agree with you. They have their own liberal Democrat boards that they could troll quite easily. They just must realize that it’s boring reading the moronic stuff that the left writes. Coming here is the only way to stimulate their tiny brains, since there is zero logic behind the liberal socialist position.

  65. Tyler M

    53. Enri’que,

    Christie has pulled a Jeb or worse. Christie rarely spends time defending the conservative position. But he has no problem attacking conservatives. Both Jeb Bush and Chris Christie are non-starters for me. Neither one of them would excite the conservative base, because they both support too many liberal positions on the issues.

  66. Tyler M

    45., 47. & 52. – Joe & RD,

    Your examples of Obama compromises are extremely weak and almost laughable. Good job keeping the comedy side of this website going though.

  67. Tyler M


    I was wrong. Obama does compromise….. with the ayatollahs in Iran.

    But not with Republicans.

  68. Tyler M

    24. Joe,

    “Yes, but who could that “moderate leader” possibly be? The far LEFT has purged the party so completely that there’s almost no-one left on either the federal or state level.”

    I changed your moronic statement by just one word to be more appropriate. How many moderates are left in the national Democrat Party? And those who are left are not welcome. Just remember what the Democrats did to Arlen Specter after he switched sides and changed his political party affiliation to what he always really was, a Democrat. Yep, before that the liberal Specter was always referred to as “moderate Republican” Arlen Specter. Well, moderate doesn’t fit with the extreme wacko left that runs the Democrat Party today.

  69. Thomas Alan

    Remember how he campaigned on a public option? The GOP said no

    The GOP said “no” to Obamacare too. It passed without any Republican votes. Obama got everything he could from Democrats.

    No compromise. It was the biggest exercise in naked raw partisan ram through of major legislation this country has EVER seen.

    If you think that’s compromise, you obviously are in need of a dictionary.

    Then there was that time in 2010 when he said he wanted to end the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. Congressional Democrats were willing to let everyone’s taxes go up. He compromised and they were all kept.

    You want to perhaps pick a compromise he didn’t go ahead and ram through at a later date?

    Then there was the birth control compromise…

    That was no compromise. He pushed it through with a slightly different odor and called it a compromise. But it was the same thing.

  70. Enri’que

    Joe 60

    There are TONS of people on this website that don’t agree with me, who I do not call a jackass.

    I call you a jackass because you are a democrat who comes here to politic and ruin and destroy the brand of this website.

    You are the enemy. You deserve to be banned.

  71. Coconut Owl

    64. Ironic that a comment about having zero logic behind an argument is coming from you.

    65. Christie defends conservative positions very often, he just doesn’t defend idiots that are so incompetent that they cannot defend themselves and if they decide to pick a fight with him, he knows how to dish out the punishment. He has placed very strict regulation on marijuana, vetoed gay marriage, is pro life, and has stopped gun control legislation that goes beyond “common sense” gun control. He isn’t the babysitter of conservatists, though, and he isn’t willing to take crap from anyone.

    66. It’s very hard to compromise with a body of people that have stated that they will not compromise with you. I would say those compromises at least say that he is the more agreeable one in the dealings, though.

    67. That means that the ayatollahs in Iran are easier to compromise with than the GOP, not that Obama is unwilling to compromise.

    68. when quoting someone, a change or addition of a word should go between []. and your comment is entirely nonsensical. the comment that you are quoting states that the GOP needs moderates to be able to win, not that the democrats are somehow the moderate party. if your premise were true (it isn’t, by the way) then the GOP could easily destroy the Democrats through the use of a moderate.

  72. Smug Owl

    70. Ironic that you have been banned and he hasn’t been.

  73. Smug Owl


    Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

    I’m not a Christian, but I believe there is some wisdom in these words.

  74. Coconut Owl

    Wow, that owl sure was smug.

  75. Spud

    @61: In all fairness, both senators were attending their childrens weddings and missed the remsining votes for that reason.

  76. Spud

    @73: get out with that nonsense about Christie stopping gun control. He did no such thing. Jersey has perhaps the strictest gun control in the nation and he signed more of it into law.

  77. Joe

    “I simply cannot believe the owners of this website allow the enemy, yes, the enemy, to come here and willfully ruin and destroy the brand of this website. It is inexplicable. I cannot believe this is allowed.”

    Yep, I’m a moderate Republican, therefore I’m the “enemy” and must be banned.

  78. Enri’que

    Joe 82

    Anyone who reads your body of work, always defending Obama, always defending democrats, always defending liberal narratives, knows beyond any reasonable doubt that you are not a republican.

    Not only defending them, but aggressively asserting democratism, liberalism, Obamaism.

    You are now fearful of being banned, that much is clear.

    Don’t insult our intelligence.

    In fact, you saying you are a republican is a direct insult to Kavon’s intelligence.

  79. Joe

    80. “Jersey has perhaps the strictest gun control in the nation and he signed more of it into law.”

    Has he? He can do nothing to repeal the existing laws but I don’t think he’s signed any new restrictions into law…

  80. Joe

    82. “Anyone who reads your body of work, always defending Obama, always defending democrats, always defending liberal narratives, knows beyond any reasonable doubt that you are not a republican.”

    Yeah, I point out that he’s not actually a Communist, therefore I’m a Democrat. Sure. Whatever.

  81. Enri’que

    82 Joe

    Your post is a tacit admission that you agree with the logic of democrats being banned here, despite the fact that you are clearly a democrat.

  82. Joe

    85. What on earth are you on about?

  83. Coconut Owl

    84. I’m confused about the numbering here.

  84. Coconut Owl

    Is he commenting on his own post?

  85. Tyler M

    75. Spud,

    Friday is a working day in the US Senate. The children of Senators know that. If they choose to plan their weddings for important vote days, then they choose to have their Senator parents miss their weddings. It might sound callous, but Flake has been notorious for missing important votes because of things his kids were supposedly doing. He even missed one important vote as a member of the US House because his daughter supposedly had a piano recital back at home. If Senators miss votes or refuse to vote on an issue, they should have some portion of their huge salaries taken away, unless they have a valid medical emergency or something that would be covered under FMLA. I have no problem with the fact that Illinois Senator Mark Kirk missed a number of votes after his unfortunate stroke, for instance.

    Members of Congress know way ahead of time when their Congressional recesses are typically scheduled, so their children should just ask them. So, basically I’m calling Jeff Flake’s bluff here. If his kid had a wedding, too bad, he should have missed it. Otherwise, if it’s more important to go and do all of that family stuff when important votes are being taken, then he should resign from his seat and let someone else who will actually do the job replace him. Also, I’m quite surprised that Orrin Hatch has any kids young enough to be getting married. And if he does, Hatch has been in Congress for so long that his kids really, really should know better when it comes to scheduling important events like weddings if they want Daddy Hatch to be there with them.

  86. Joe.

    85. In the case of Kirk’s stroke, there should be some sort of temporary solution. Allowing him to appoint a proxy to vote in his stead, for example.

  87. Tyler M

    86. Joe,

    I would agree with you about temporary replacements for people who have suffered through issues like what Mark Kirk suffered. But the problem really is the 17th Amendment. The State Legislature could recall a senator who was having health issues if they needed to. They could also recall any senator who was not representing the interests of the state. The 17th Amendment was an enormous change to the original intentions of the Founders.

  88. Joe.

    No, I don’t agree with that. The recall of Senators is unconstitutional but even if it wasn’t, it would be abused by State Legislatures.

  89. Spud

    @79: Chris Christie signed, if I recall correctly, 10 gun control bills into law in early august.

    Expect most pro-gun people to not show up for him. F that guy. Strictest gun control and he wants MORE???

  90. Liz

    SHUT IT DOWN! What do we save, a a billion a day it’s “shut down?” I know they’ll find another way to spend it, but let’s shut it down until the country is solvent again. let’s self-govern for a while in the interest of fiscal solvency.

  91. Liz

    Obama’s brain has been shut down since choom days, and it’s gone well for him.

  92. Liz

    Shut. It. Down. Unplug the TelePrompTer, shutter Air Force 1. Cut Biden’s security detail, let’s save a few bucks.

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