Political Theater in Shutdown Avoidance

A last minute compromise stopped a federal government shutdown. President Obama, Harry Reid, John Boehner, and others involved strutted like peacocks, maneuvering in front of the cameras to put their faces on what they labeled an “historic” achievement. Government “leaders” unabashedly patted themselves on the back as if they just heroically saved the country from a natural occurring disaster.

The only thing “historic” about this is that it was allowed to reach this critical point.  The only thing natural is that politics is now fully accepted as theater and the actors have become “naturals” in their roles. They are all proudly displaying their own versions of a “Sheen Shine”.

In case anyone has forgotten, and it seems many have, our Representatives are elected to run the federal government. That is their job, and if they fail to keep the government running, they failed at their job – Period. Those not employed by the federal government understand full well the consequences of failing at their jobs. Why, then, do we allow elected representatives to continue to fail with no consequences?

The biased media tried to convince us that a shutdown would be the fault of conservatives rather than the fault of all involved. Tugging at heart strings with stories of children unable to take class trips to Washington, they somehow forgot that a Democrat-controlled Congress dropped the ball on passing a budget when they had control. The “disaster” of a shutdown was hyped despite the fact that much of government would have continued undeterred.

That brings up the despicable fact that those responsible for the shutdown would have continued to receive their salaries – for failing to do their jobs. Sure, there were 40 lawmakers willing to give back salaries accrued during the shutdown, but those who could not afford to do so certainly weren’t among them – and there was no incentive for them to do so.

Perhaps the first business of the day for our heroic representatives should be to pass a law denying salary continuation during any future government shutdowns. That would at least be a warning shot across the bow of the “Ship of State”, reminding them that they actually have a job to perform and not just a role to play.

David J. Hentosh

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