Chris Critiques Collusive Congress

Critique Criticism by: Chris Talbot-Heindl; Illustration by: Chris Talbot-Heindl and Griffin Rostan

Well, the GOP has done what it long promised and shut down the gov…

WTF! What is this crap on my newsfeed?! Is it…Are they…Wha?

Yup, as soon as it was done, as soon as the government shut down, there was a misinformation campaign launched as if it had been planned for almost as long as this calamity was…(which was announced ad infinitum as a tactic that would be used by GOP candidates since 2009, in case you were wondering). Almost immediately, I found myself bombarded by memes about what Obama had just done, and didn’t Democrats have any shame, etc.

My personal favorite feed of complete gibberish was from a relative, who prior to the actual shut down was posting memes with Ted Cruz on them with the words “Thank you Sen. Ted Cruz for standing up for America!” and expressly supporting the shut down; a meme about how President Obama was a loser the day of the shut down; then, immediately after the shut down, memes upon memes of how the national parks and veteran’s memorials would be shut down. My personal favorite of all the crap, “The President and Harry Reid have drawn their line in the sand. Now it’s time for the House Leadership to draw theirs…Tell them to keep fighting until we #ExemptAmerica from this trainwreck (sic).” Really?

Stupid me. I was almost looking forward to the shut down (but with reservations as I know full well who will be hit the hardest – those who can’t afford it – the elderly, infants, children, mothers, veterans, the poor, etc.). The shut down to me symbolized the exposure of radical extremism needed to light a fire under the collective asses of my friends who always say things like, “I don’t like the way it is, but there isn’t another way…”

But here it was: the misinformation campaign, erasing the facts. The fact that the House Republicans used extreme obstructionism of government as a tactic to push their own agenda; the fact that they had announced they would use a shut down when they were campaigning for a majority; the fact that they had challenged the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for its constitutionality in all the lawful ways and lost; and the fact that they had decided, as a hail-Mary (but not really, as this was planned as an action for anything they didn’t like, simply because they could) to refuse to come to a budget agreement in order to force concessions of the ACA that was already law.

Oy vey. And how the crowds roared, “Boo Democrats!” “Obama won’t compromise!”

The crowds need to go back to elementary school social studies. I believe I learned that the United States runs with majority rule. I learned that in order for a bill to become a law, it needs to be discussed and amendments heard and voted on (which ACA did), it needs to pass the House and Senate (which ACA did), then it needs to be signed by the President (which ACA did), then, if it gets challenged, it has to be upheld by the court system as high as the Supreme Court (which ACA did), at which point is becomes a law. Period. End of statement (and process).

We’re now entering our second week of the shut down, with literally, no end in sight. Speaker Boehner has stated that he won’t be discussing any sort of contingency until the President makes concessions on a law that has already passed. And some of the masses agree; and those that don’t still think this is a bipartisan problem! While all this horse pucky is going on, we have an estimated 800,000 people on mandatory furlough, including 52% of the Department of Health and Human Services and 68% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the flu coming and a current measles outbreak.

And for what? Because Republicans are horrified of the Affordable Care Act, which in effect makes health insurance better for people who already have it and helps 60 million Americans who don’t have it be able to get it. Horrifying, right?

But the Republicans are holding their ground through hell and high water, taking butthurt photo ops at Veterans Memorials and getting teary-eyed saying, “What about the children with cancer?” And the news outlets are skewing the truth beyond recognition in order to seem neutral and unbiased. And the American populace is eating it up, as it is presented to them.

What we have is a collusive Republican House, conspiring to shut down the government and succeeding, with an unwitting ally in mainstream media who are attempting to avoid the accusations of “liberally biased” by foregoing common sense and ethical journalism in order to make each side seem equally at fault, with an even more unwitting populace buying all this crap hook, line, and sinker. The result is that the original schemers of this mess are able to change the history books as history is happening rather than waiting until 100 years afterward when all those who could say, “that isn’t how it happened” are long dead – you know, like any respectable politician. And they are getting away with it!

And so, the revolution I was hoping for is, alas, not likely forthcoming. However, I don’t fancy wasting the next unbelievably obvious obstruction of sanity in lawmaking, so you had best bone up on your ABC’s of ACA and government SOP. Here, let’s start with School House Rock and how a bill becomes a law: