Re “Crisis averted — for now,” Oct. 17
Although it's tempting to feel relief that our government is restarting, we must recognize the irreparable damage that's occurred in the last 16 days.
A small, extremist faction of Republicans put people out of work, bruised our international reputation, desensitized us toward the ploy of brinkmanship and made us a more cynical nation.
California voters are fortunate to have congressional representatives who are, in general, balanced and represent us well. But we can't be complacent any longer. We can't accept another such crisis in a mere matter of months; we must all be more involved in the political process.
We need to join grass-roots organizations, communicate with our elected officials and make our voices heard. Activism is not just an option to a nation at risk.
I tend to dislike labels that mean little and are used to divide people.
The labels “liberal” and “conservative” certainly fit the bill.
In the U.S., “conservative” is used as a label for people who are quick to support foreign wars, but in some other places, “liberal” is used to describe that characteristic.
What I find more astonishing is the use of the term “conservative” for people who support shutting down the federal government, refusing to pay outstanding debt obligations and risking paying higher interest on existing debt over various personal, political and policy issues.
That does not fit any reasonable definition of either “conservative” or “liberal.” Words exist for that sort of behavior — for example, “radical” or “selfish.”
I've watched several GOP members of Congress on TV recently. Their language is, in many cases, a distortion of the facts, a mythical view of the economy and often plain nonsense.
They have a totally different set of figures for the GDP, the national debt and the economic loss incurred in the most recent shutdown. They refer to President Obama as “stubborn” and “refusing to negotiate” and other perspectives not in sync with reality.
They make it sound as if the national debt was created in the last four years and was not the result of decades of taxation and spending approved by Congress.
Their constant referral to “the American people” sounds as if the GOP won the last national election. They claim “victory” by saying they “stood up to the president.”
But they didn't fool or convince the voters in 2012 and probably won't in 2016.
This just infuriates me. The tea party believes it was OK for government employees and their families to go without paychecks — for what, exactly? What did they achieve by holding the country hostage? Oh right, the opportunity to do it all again in a few months. We really do get the government we elect, don't we?
Regarding the lack of backbone in the establishment Republican Party, as shown by their vote to end the partial shutdown (that no one I know even noticed was taking place):
As a proud member of the conservative/tea party, I am disgusted with the establishment GOP. My husband and I will not be giving any money to the GOP but instead will be donating to specific politicians who are committed to conservative fiscal principles. If that means we lose elections to the Democrats, so be it.
There is no sense electing Republicans who campaign as conservatives but, once elected, govern as a pale version of the Democrats.
I don't think anything portrayed the president's perception gap more than his speech following the end of the shutdown. He criticized the bickering between the parties and then launched into an extensive attack on the Republicans. This conflicted performance was followed by the ridiculous claim that the shutdown had caused massive damage to the economy. But the repetitive unemployment figures show that it is the policies of the president, and not the Republicans, that are responsible for our poor economy.
Having voted as a Republican in every election since 1952, I have decided to express my opinion of the GOP's recent surrender to the tea party by changing my registration away from the Republican Party. Perhaps if a sufficient number of other pragmatic folks do the same, we can get some sanity back in Washington.
Can the people of the United States sue Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and the Republicans for the billions of dollars lost due to their shutdown?