There’s no question: GOP will be to blame for shutdown

This morning on the radio, I heard reports that some Republicans in Congress are hoping they can shift blame for the likely government shutdown to the president and Senate Democrats.

Wow. Talk about your fantasies.

As you know, I love to blame both parties for everything (which drives Bud crazy).

But in this case, there is simply no question: The Republicans made this happen all by themselves. Some of the older, wiser heads in the party know this — they remember the Gingrich shutdown — and have a bad, bad feeling about now.

But the young innocents of the Tea Party charge blithely on — partly because on a certain level they really don’t care whether the government shuts down (their extreme ideology makes them feel, deep down, that that’s a consummation devoutly to be wished), but also because, in case it does turn out to be something less than a lark, it will be blamed on Democrats.

But no one whose thinking is not distorted by ideology can miss what has happened here.

First, there is the Tea partisans’ insistence on making every single raising of the debt limit some kind of showdown at the OK Corral, which meant we were doing to have a crisis this month anyway.

Then, there is this bizarre fixation on not funding a perfectly legitimate law that has stood up to every legitimate thing they could throw at it. It survived legal challenges. When they tried to run against it in an election, they lost. They have demonstrated 42 times that it is not in their power to repeal it. So now they want to defund it, or delay it — which would be patently illegitimate on its own — and have brought about an imminent shutdown of the whole government in their bid to stop the law from taking effect.

On the issue of Obamacare, they are an utterly defeated army that has turned guerrilla and has nothing left to fall back on but acts of sabotage.

What they have done is so obvious, and so obviously outrageously irresponsible, that there’s little chance that anyone outside of the more fervent parts of their base could dream of blaming anyone but them.

I just figured I might as well go ahead and say that, before the shutdown occurs…

91 thoughts on “There’s no question: GOP will be to blame for shutdown

  1. Silence

    I fail to see why the shutdown is the big deal that the media is making it out to be.
    Failure to properly prepare on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

    1. Norm Ivey

      The shutdowns in 1995-1996 did have material consequences, and it’s reasonable to assume that another shutdown would have similar consequences. Real people went without pay, but there’s much more to it than that: NIH closed their Disease Hotline, recruitment and testing of federal law enforcement officers stopped, closing of parks effected the communities surround them (not just the employees), visas and passports were not processed (tourism and airlines affected). A prolonged shutdown would eventually begin to be felt in the provision of services like VA and SSA, increasing processing times for claims, which is particularly untenable in the VA with their backlog.

      Looking at a shutdown as an unfortunate event for employees who did not plan ahead is taking a very narrow view of a shutdown really means. Government spending is a significant segment of the economy, and it could have an effect similar to the failing of a large bank.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    When it comes to a government shutdown through failure to pass a budget (or even a continuing resolution), there’s no your part and my part. There’s only our part. And basically, the system whereby we govern ourselves is falling apart…

    1. Dave Crockett

      What’s really starting to scare me is much closer to home.

      It seems to me the collapse of the system “whereby we govern ourselves” is clearly contributing to a corrosion of belief in that broad thing we used to call “the American way of life” and the reasonable notions, expectations and public duties that entailed.

      I have two 30-something sons of reasonable intelligence and breeding who now seem believe that it is a necessity to spend most of their waking hours carrying a concealed weapon to “protect” themselves and their loved ones. One is spending an inordinate amount of time cross-posting anti-government and vituperative “the revolution is at hand” garbage he finds on Facebook. The other and his wife seem to believe that all Muslims are maniacal killers because their minister “has read some of the Quran” and preaches that all homosexuals are doomed to hell. And both boys have no use for all the government-assisted “takers” in our society, even though one is a public employee and the other has to rely on Medicaid to cover his kids’ medical expenses, and both took advantage of government programs to help them purchase their homes.

      In their experience, the nonsense going on in Washington today is simply business as usual and have no interest in trying to explore ways to counter it beyond increasing extremism. Consistent inconsistency seems to govern their (and their contemporaries’) views of the world.

      1. Silence

        Wouldn’t their views call into question the “reasonable intelligence and breeding” of the thirtysomethings in question? Not trying to be a troll, just sayin’.

        1. Dave Crockett

          Silence, I can speak to their breeding (he said modestly) and I really don’t think they are unintelligent. But they are definitely being influenced by factors outside my control and I fear those same factors are affecting many of their generation.

          They know how I feel about the firearms (and I make them leave their guns in the glove compartment when they visit my home) and we’ve talked about the other issues. But I guess they see me as an out-of-touch old fogie.

          We are all products of our experience. Theirs and mine are worlds apart and still diverging. And yes, Scout, it is depressing.

  3. Bryan Caskey

    Maybe it’s just the passive-aggressive streak in me, but I say we implement the ACA, in full with no delays and no waivers. Let’s give the country this law, and let’s give it to them good and hard.

    I guess my core argument here is: stop protecting people from the consequences of their choices.

    If people want the ACA, give it to them. If people want government managing energy production based on climate change, give it to them. Higher taxes, sure, what could go wrong? If people want to regulate all the guns, fine. I lost all mine in a tragic canoeing accident.

    Maybe it’s just Monday, but I’m not really in the mood to keep pushing back. I’m not sure much chance of persuasion exists anymore.

    1. Doug Ross

      Agreed. The best way to kill Obamacare is to let it fail.

      And, Brad, please don’t make this just about Tea Partiers. LIndsey Graham is 100% on board (this week) or killing off Obamacare. And he claims to have been against it since day one.

      “I proudly voted to defund Obamacare, and I am proud that every Senate Republican has united in support of the House-passed defund Obamacare provision,” Graham said over the weekend. “I only wish that more Senate Democrats, many of whom were responsible for Obamacare’s passage into law, would have voted with us. I fought and voted against Obamacare in 2010,” Graham added. “Since then, I have tried to stop the law’s implementation any way I can.”

      If he’s so scared of being voted out because of Tea Party sentiment, then that means the Tea Party represents enough voters to warrant having a say in how OUR government is run.

      Here’s what the head of Oregon’s exchange had to say over the weekend:

      “I have no idea what this thing’s going to look like on Oct. 1,” Mr. King said one afternoon last week as dozens of tense-looking programmers, scattered through the exchange offices outside Portland, rushed to finish testing and fix problems. “We could crash and burn and have to close it down.”

      And it won’t be Republicans’ fault if and when that happens. Obamcare was too much, too soon, and too poorly thought out.

      1. Juan Caruso

        My sentiments are like yours, Doug. Remember, however, AFA is the biggest government program yet and it will have the same, politically-connected, unaccountable management (and scapegoated underlings) as any other government program. Key operating statistics will be chronically unavailable, mortality will be under-reported, revenue shortages made up with unrelated sources and hospital closures. Waste, fraud, abuse and incompetence (claimed by the convicted) will be rife.

        There will be an ongoing degradation of quality in health services (except for socialisms favorites — the political class at the top).

        Who is going to call “ACA Failure” and when? Has the USPS failed? By 2020 many non-veterans are going to be having colonoscopies at the VA Hostpital. Some of the equipment mat actually have been sterilized between uses. True, not everyone will acquire AIDs or Hepatitis C and develop cancers. The colonsocopy requirement will be called preventative. I can tell you today, regardless of the accidental deaths, it will be termed a “great success” in cancer prevention.

        The best way to kill Obamacare is to nip it now, require non-citizens (including British and Arab subjects) who come to the U.S. for medical care to pay a very stiff surtax for our lame, late and lazy. Require the unemployed to pay income taxes on individual government subsidies of all kinds amounting to (before tax) 80% or more of the US poverty level. Phase out Child Care and Earned Income Credits.

  4. FParker

    What happened after the last government shutdown? Nothing.

    This is all posturing and grandstanding by both sides. The military will get paid, social security checks will still go out, welfare recipients will still be able to use their EBT cards at McDonalds, and planes will still fly. The only people who will be affected will be those who work at national parks who are already after the peak season and would likely be laid off anyway.

    1. Norm Ivey

      That’s a narrow view of the impact of a prolonged shutdown. I posted above in a response to Silence some of the impacts of the shutdowns in 1995-96. A government shutdown doesn’t just effect the government employees–it effects the economy in that those employees are restricted from engaging in it, and it has a particularly hard impact on government contractors who may have to lay off non-government workers because the GOP can’t or won’t govern like adults.

      1. FParker

        In this day and age of looking out for #1, those who worked hard, saved, and prepared for hard times will be okay. Those who expected government handouts and lived beyond their means may find out that they did things wrong. I live in a modest home, my newest vehicle is 9 years old, and I don’t live to impress my neighbors or co-workers. What I do is save and invest approximately 50% of my take home income, I can sleep at night not worrying about the shutdown because I know me and my family will be fine.

  5. Doug Ross

    If you want to point to the moment things went (further) to hell in Congress, you need look no further than McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as a a running mate. He gave her a platform she never deserved.

  6. Bryan Caskey

    I also don’t see what the shutdown endgame is. Let’s say there’s a shutdown. What’s the endgame for the GOP – hope that President Obama and Harry Reid decide to offer something substantive? That’s not going to happen.

    It’s almost inevitable that the GOP will fold.

    1. Silence

      Agreed that I don’t see the GOP’s endgame here. The only thing I can think of is that they are trying to force the shutdown and show that it’s a big load of nothing, just like the sequester has turned out to be. I don’t think that much of anyone has been bothered by the sequester, despite the federal government’s best attempts to make it painful.
      The administration thought that by hammering services that people like and use that we’d come crawling back begging for a tax increase or whatever it took to fund the restoration of services. That didn’t happen at all. So what if the shutdown is the same way?
      That’s the only thing I can think of for an endgame.

      1. Doug Ross

        USA Today has a good list of what is impacted by the shutdown. The only one that really seems like a problem for me is closing national parks. If a bunch of defense contractors have to close up shop for awhile, I’m all for it.

        And they also pointed out that there have been 17 shutdowns since 1977.

        1. Silence

          The closing of national parks an example of how the administration (and previous administrations) want to punish us for our failure to comply with their demands. The national parks themselves are still there. The natural beauty of the mountains, or historical significance of the sites does not change. The National Park Service could just close the visitor centers, but no, they are going to restrict access to hundreds of thousands of acres of our God-given natural environment. I say leave the gates open, and if people get lost in the woods, too damn bad for them.

          1. Silence

            I wonder if the animals in the National Zoo would still get fed, or if the keepers just lock the gates and go home. It might be more effective policy to release all of the animals in the event of a shutdown, sort of let them fend for themselves as well. At least it would give some of them a fighting chance.

        2. Norm Ivey

          According to the Washington Post, prior to 1980, the government didn’t actually stop operating during a “shutdown”. Everybody kept going to work and doing their job. Since then, most shutdowns have been just a few days (or even half-days) and included weekends, when many of the furloughed employees would not have been working anyway.

          This one, I think, has the feel of a prolonged shutdown, and the consequences will be greater, and for no real purpose other than the obstinace of some members of Congress.

  7. Brad Warthen Post author

    Nikki Haley spoke to Columbia Rotary Club today, and even SHE is disgusted with the idea that elected leaders would let the government shut down.

    Of course, she tries to blame both parties, but I give her credit, given who she is, for kicking the Republicans along with the Dems (“Republicans and Democrats are both wrong in this.”).

    “What leader lets a government shut down?” she asked. What leader, indeed…

    1. Doug Ross

      Obama and Reid won’t negotiate. I thought good government was about compromise?

      That they all can’t get into one room and hammer this out says it is a problem on both sides.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Normally, I’d agree. This isn’t normally.

        When one side has the precondition of stopping Obamacare — after failing to do it through every legitimate means, and now reduced to holding a gun to the world economy’s head — there’s no way to negotiate with them.

        Anyway, with whom would the president negotiate? Boehner isn’t in charge. The kids are running the nursery…

        1. Silence

          So… it’s OK for Obama to negotiate with despotic tyrants in Syria who slaughter their own countrymen with both conventional and chemical armaments. It’s OK for Obama to negotiate with Islamofacist dictators in Iran who are hell-bent on buidling nuclear weapons which they have stated will be used to obliterate Israel. It’s OK for Obama to “press the reset button” with our “ally” in Russia who rolled tanks into our other ally in Georgia.

          But it is NOT OK to negotiate with the duly elected representatives of the 50-ish percent of the American population who don’t want an individual mandate for healthcare rammed down their throat.

          That totally makes sense to me.

          1. Mark Stewart

            50-ish percent. That’s a good one. Stretch, man, stretch.

            I haven’t heard a single person complain about the ACA as far as they are personally concerned. I bet 99.92% of people have little clue how this will affect them (me included).

            It does seem like a mess at this point; but the fact remains that this is basically what the state of Massachusetts did years ago – and there is near universal approval of that state’s structure. This isn’t some great leap into the darkness of deep space.

          2. Bart

            The results of a CBS poll on July 24, 2013 revealed that 54% of Americans did not approve of ACA or Obamacare if you prefer and only 36% approve of it. Now, that is not a 50-ish stretch. Yes, let’s hear the voice of the people because we are the most transparent administration in the history of the United States and I swear by the teleprompter in front of me because that is what is on it and the teleprompter is transparent, right?

          3. Norm Ivey

            A number of polls show similar results. There are also polls (Fox and CNBC) which show that the ACA has greater approval than Obamacare™. Go figure. And other polls that show that only 25% really understand the impact of the law on their families. A number of polls conducted during the original debate found that people approved of the individual provisions of the law, but not of the law itself.

            The biggest problem is ignorance. Enormous amounts of energy have been expended in misinformation and delays. Unsurprisingly, in states that rejected setting up their own exchanges (SC, for example), ignorance about the exchanges is greatest.

            There should have been an intensive media saturation campaign explaining about the requirements and benefits of Obamacare™, and especially educating about the exchanges.

            Once citizens begin to fully understand the law, there may be some serious backlash for those that tried to prevent, delay or defund its implementation.

          4. bud

            Maybe we can come up with a descriptive name for the tea-partiers in the GOP. How about Neo-Reactionary Deadenders (NRD). That way the Dems can negotiate in good conscience with them.

            I don’t understand this “not negotiating” claim. The time to negotiate was when the law was originally passed. The law passed and was upheld by the courts and re-affirmed in the election. No one has suggested the Dems use the continuing resolution process to get rid of stuff the NRD favors. Why don’t the Dems propose that unless we eliminate all overseas bases or repeal marijuana laws or eliminate border security THEY won’t vote in favor of the continuing resolution.

          5. Bart

            Now, wouldn’t it have been great if the administration had been willing to do the due diligence required to educate the ignorant masses in the beginning instead of allowing the “misinformation” by the massively viewed Fox News and the millions and millions who sit in front of their radios salivating over every word uttered by Rush? It still amazes me that one network can strike so much fear in the masses when their viewership is around 2-3 million daily.

            Don’t blame the people, blame the ones in charge who didn’t do their job in the beginning. But then, how could they, as Pelosi said, pass it to find out what’s in it but no one told the public it would take over 3 years and still not have the message delivered in an understandable and straightfoward manner. The problem is that the administration believes the American people to be too damn stupid to understand so they expect them to simply act like lemmings and follow them off the cliff of ignorance. Great way to run a country.

          6. Silence

            So this is just like the “Strong Mayor” debate, the “Penny Tax” debate, and the “Library Bond” debate.
            If ONLY the people were educated and knew what was good for them, they’d certainly support it! Anyone who doesn’t support our fabulous plan has fallen victim to the FoxNews misinformation and lies campaign, orchestrated by our terroristic opponents who are hell-bent on destroying all life on earth and in the known universe….

          7. Doug Ross

            Smaller government would yield fewer problems like this. It’s two groups fighting over a large pot of other people’s money.

          8. Norm Ivey


            I think your replies are directed at my comment above. Just to clarify–I mentioned that Fox and CNBC both did polls showing that more people approve of the Affordable Care Act than approve of Obamacare™. That’s a phenomenon that illustrates ignorance because they are the same thing. If after 3 years 75% of folks don’t know how this is going to effect them, that’s ignorance–shame on them. If Fox or any other network had a hand in that confusion, then shame on Fox and the others. I think if you re-read what I wrote, you’ll find I did not blame Fox. I lay most blame for the confusion and ignorance on the Democrats and the administration. They had a responsibility to educate the public about ACA, and they did a miserable job of it. My complaint with the GOP is their continued posturing as if they are somehow going to stop Obamacare™ from becoming the law of the land when it already is. If they believe it to be detrimental, then they have a responsibility to the country to try to improve it, but that’s not what they are doing. More importantly, they have a responsibility to their constituents to educate and to help them navigate the provisions and requirements of the law. The law is imperfect, and I have no illusions that some parts of it will fail, but like Social Security and Medicare, most people are going to like it in the long run.

      2. Pat

        Right now is doesn’t seem that President Obama has anything to do with the standoff (other than stating the obvious) given that the budget has been relegated to being a ping pong ball between the House and the Senate.

  8. Mark Stewart

    It isn’t the GOP that is the problem, it’s the radicals and the wanna be radical tagalongs who cause most of the ruckus.

    The problem is that the party is at war with itself. 2002 was the high water mark for the party; then the new knuckleheads blew it up over this nonsense. And there stands Joe Wilson, swaying in the breeze, a spectator to the end.

  9. Doug Ross

    Is Lindsey Graham a leader or a follower in this movement? He makes it sound like he’s leading the charge to defund Obamacare. Does this just fall into the “I wish he wouldn’t do that but I love him anyway” category?

  10. Burl Burlingame

    You don’t negotiate with terrorists.

    But this shutdown isn’t about ObamaCare. That’s just the excuse of the moment. These folks ran on the platform of shutting down the government and they’re succeeding.

    1. Silence

      It’s actually more of a government “slowdown” than a shutdown, as too many of ’em are still working.

    2. FParker

      So now Republicans are “terrorists”? I’m a Republican, am I now one with Al-Qaeda?

      Come on Burl, even Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t side with you on that statement.

  11. Bart

    “You don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Burl

    Right. What you do is send weapons to terrorists fighting in a civil war in Syria. Give weapons to al Quida and Islamists that can and will most likely be turned back against us. And then you have the Burl’s of the world calling Republicans terrorists.

    1. FParker

      I’d comment, but nobody would see it until tomorrow. You see, Brad has to approve everything I write unlike everyone else here. And he wonders why his blog is a nice little cozy bunch of liberals and Doug (who is the only person here who appears to think like I do). Maybe Brad figured this out and doesn’t want to turn this into a two-sided debate on subjects. In the off chance that this gets posted, does anyone else have every one of their comments moderated? Does it take on average a day to get your comments posted?

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Bart, if we’re going to act in the world, in defense of our interests or our ideals, the choice is seldom perfect and clean.

      Seldom do we see Sweet Nell tied to the railroad tracks and Snidely Whiplash standing over her laughing an evil laugh.

      Sometimes, we help out the less bad guys against the worse guys, to the best of our ability to tell them apart. Lots of people like to point to our helping Saddam in his war against Iran, like that proves the U.S. is somehow hypocritical for turning against him later. Which is ridiculous. He was containing Iran. Duh. Not something you hug yourself with delight over, but it made sense.

      In Syria — well, the best option would be to find a time machine and go back to when Obama’s entire national security team was saying we should intervene, only he didn’t. Back then, we had a realistic chance of some more presentable rebels prevailing.

      Now, our options are ugly. It’s hard to see how we can effect a good result. So maybe the best we can hope for would be getting rid of a few chemical weapons, or degrading Assad’s ability to deliver them…

      1. Bart

        Brad, no one ever said it would be easy or pleasant in the Syrian situation and no one suggested it was as simple as deciding to stop Snidley Whiplash from doing away with Sweet Nell either. There will always be an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” scenario to consider when making a decision like the one in Syria. The difference is that we know for certain that the rebels are heavily influenced by radical Islamists and al Quida. The guys in the planes on 9-11 were definitely not Quakers or Mennonites.

        We know a lot more about terroists today than we did when we supported Saddam against Iran – or do we?

        As for the chemical weapon issue in Syria, now that Putin has solved the problem, is there a still a need to arm the rebels knowing what we know about the make-up of their ranks? I think not and if the chemical weapon issue is off the table, why arm al Quida and radical Islamists?

        Well, maybe we should arm American terrorists like the Tea Party and Republicans, and send them to Syria to fight? Maybe they could stop off in Hawaii for a short respite before going on to Syria. Know anyone who could entertain them while they are there?

      2. FParker

        So why are we helping out either of them? If Columbia declares war against gangs (which don’t exist according to the administration), would we give guns to the Crips or the Bloods?

  12. Doug Ross

    Went to to take a look at what the Obamacare choices for South Carolina would be.

    After selecting the state, it hung up for about ten seconds and then I got this:

    The System is down at the moment.
    We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Please try again later.

    Tried a few minutes later and got this:

    We have a lot of visitors on our site right now and we’re working to make your experience here better. Please wait here until we send you to the login page. Thanks for your patience!

    Whooo, whoooo! I hear the train a comin’ and its rolling round the bend…

    1. Doug Ross

      Finally got thru to create an account. Entered my name and email address and selected a username. Then it brought me to a screen to enter three security questiions. Except the dropdown boxes for the questions were empty so I couldn’t select any. I put in answers only and clicked Next. Which got me this message:

      Create a Marketplace account

      Important: Your account couldnt be created at this time. The system is unavailable

      1. Silence

        I got the same error message this morning when I was using my BotNet to DDOS the SC exchange…

    2. Bryan Caskey

      Doug’s reference to a Johnny Cash song was inspiring:

      I hear the healthcare comin’
      It’s rolling round the bend
      And I ain’t seen a doctor since I don’t know when
      I’m stuck in gubbmint healthcare , and time keeps draggin’ on
      But that train keeps a rollin’ on down to Medicare.

      When I was just a baby, my mama told me son
      Always be a good boy, pay your healthcare premium
      So I bought a bit in Reno, from some government guy
      When I see that website crashing, I hang my head and cry…

  13. Bart

    “The time to negotiate was when the law was originally passed.”….bud

    There were no opportunities to negotiate when the bill was being developed and while in committee. The committee was Democrat run by a Democrat majority, and Democrat controlled. The attitude was, “we won, you lost, sit down and shut up”. Elections have consequences and we are seeing the fruit of election consequences when Obama had 2 years of unfettered opportunities to pass any bill he wanted. He chose health care over the economy. He chose to allow the bill to move forward and not inform the voters in a coherent explanation of the bill. Instead, he paraded doctors, nurses, and politicians around at staged press conferences wearing white coats. Instead of leadership in the face of a determined adversary, he chose ridicule and not taking responsibility for the affairs of the state after he chose to run for the highest office in the nation and at one time, the world by continuing to blame others at every opportunity.

    If one wants to look for a failure and by default, the architect of the ACA confusion, look no further than the White House.

    Thomas Paine must have been a psychic and could foresee Obama’s political career.

    “It has been the political career of this man to begin with hypocrisy, proceed with arrogance, and finish with contempt”

    Thomas Paine

  14. Brad Warthen Post author

    I love the reality-denying press releases these people put out. They’re like a cross between Orwell’s “War is Peace” slogans and something from the Bizarro World. This headline is from Rep. Daniel Webster (no, not that Daniel Webster) from Florida:

    “Webster Votes to End Special Treatment Under Obamacare and Keep Government Open”

    You’ll recall a similar release the other day from Joe Wilson. They keep repeating that THEY are “voting to keep the government open,” when they know that the practical effect of their votes — the only possible practical effect, on the actual planet that we all inhabit, is to shut the government down.

    1. Doug Ross

      Don’t forget Lindsey Graham in your disgust… his website has his statement on defunding Obamacare front and center. And his press release ends with this:

      “”Obamacare is, has been, and will remain a financial disaster for our nation.””

      Is he lying or pandering?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        First, he’s always said that. And I’ve always disagreed with him.

        Second, he’s running hard for re-election, and as with all Republicans, the only challenge comes from the extreme right. So I would hardly expect him to choose this particular moment to change his mind.

        In any case, the problem here is the grossly irresponsible class of 2010 in the House. Some blame Sen. Cruz, but that’s just because he’s an individual, so people can put a face on the foolishness. But he was a sideshow. The entity driving this is that huge faction of the House GOP that neither Boehner nor anyone else can control or reason with.

  15. susanincola

    Tried to create an account on, even in multiple browsers, and couldn’t do it. The Live Chat service isn’t working, either. Some problems look like overload issues, some look more like coding issues (like it threw an error in the browser from IE8 while waiting for the registration page). At first the security questions wouldn’t populate, but now they seem to. But once I got through basic screens, it ended by saying the system was just unavailable, and so couldn’t create my account. See that Twitter is full of people also not able to get on, reporting the same kinds of problems I had. It’s not going to be a good day for the Obama administration, or the IT folks working on the site….

    1. Doug Ross

      As an IT consultant, the worst projects you can be on are those with a hard-and-fast deadline. Nobody wants to say they aren’t going to be ready until the day arrives and its too late. This is a massive IT project with all sorts of dependencies on integrating data from various systems.

      Imagine if instead of all this bureaucracy and technology, the government provided everyone with a voucher to go off and buy insurance from the marketplace…. and let any citizen purchase the same insurance policy that their Congressman has at the same price.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        This is greatly exacerbated by the politics.

        In most cases, saying “we need to delay implementation” may have financial repercussions, but it’s not the end of the world. In this case, saying “we need to delay implementation” is taken as a political statement, whether it’s Obama doing it, as he did with the employer mandate, or the House Republicans trying to do it.

        That makes it that much harder for anyone to suggest waiting for PRACTICAL considerations…

        1. Doug Ross

          “This is greatly exacerbated by the politics.”

          Yes, the politics of the White House and Democrats who conveniently scheduled the implementation of Obamacare until after the 2012 elections. That was not a coincidence.

      2. Bart


        Not sure how many others on the blog have practical experience with IT and implementing a major project with the enormity of the ACA but size is relative when it comes to complexity. This is not an overly complex project and after 3 1/2 years, when it was rolled out today, it should have been at least 99.9% glitch free as Obama commented. But, as usual, he used the Apple iPhone glitch as an example, probably not a wise choice for anyone with an understanding or I.Q. above that of a snail. Problems will always surface but a project with the importance attached to it like ACA, one would expect a better launch. Hell, even Obama’s microphone experienced feedback which he acknowledged, unlike the lack of acknowledgement of feedback from the majority who do not support ACA.

        Any protests after today are moot and all we can do now is hope for the best and that the worst fears of critics does not come to fruition. Time will tell, time to let it run its course for the next year and let the elections in 2014 be the decider if America is satisfied with ACA or not.

    1. Bart

      Well, actually you are correct. Well, actually that was when Russia had invaded Afghanistan and America and Russia were still engaged in the Cold War. al Quida was budding a terrorist group but not as anti-American as it became later on. An example of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. So, what is your point?

  16. Bart

    The Air Force Academy, West Point, and Annapolis are all members of the NCAA. So is the Coast Guard Academy but not at the D1 level. Now, the military or the government is saying that due to the shutdown, athletic events may be cancelled this weekend and gasp!, the Army-Navy game may be in jeopardy. Since all members of the NCAA receive their share of revenues from network broadcasting and other sources including gate receipts, souvenier sales, etc., how can the shutdown impact their sporting events?

    This is just more rhetoric coming from partisans in Washington and has nothing to do with the truth. Driving into the city today, I expected to see streets abandoned, buildings unoccupied, and everything coming to a screeching halt. Anarchy in the streets, riots, protest marches, and starving people laying everywhere. Well, it didn’t happen, did it? Like the sequester, the country didn’t come to a dead standstill did it? About the only riot would be if the people who tried to access the ACA website and couldn’t decided to stage a protest. Obama stood in front of a microphone again today, surrounded by about a dozen people who he claims will be harmed by the shutdown, blaming everything on Republicans again; anyone surprised at that?

    It is after 6:00 pm, the world is still spinning on its axis, the sun is setting, it will come up again tomorrow morning just after 7:00 am and life will go on. Maybe it’s time for a relaxing cup of Tea. Brad? bud? anyone?

  17. Kathryn Fenner

    I see the late Crawford Clarkson right behind me in the Rotary photo at the top of this screen. Ave atque vale!

  18. Bart

    It is easy to criticize from a safe distance and we all engage in it. However, the obvious fact is that neither of the congressional leaders, Reid or Boehner are competent and neither one is willing to sit down and hash out differences to the good of the people, both are strident and about as partisan as one can be. Maybe both sides should take a breather, look at the current leadership and can both of their sorry a$$es. Maybe it is time for new leaders to take control and run Reid and Boehner back to their respective states to retire. Bring in leaders who will take control and stop the madness coming from both sides of the aisle.

    We have the government we voted for and it ain’t working.

  19. FParker

    This just goes to show you how ignorant and clueless those in Washington really are. The WWII Memorial monument was shut down to veterans and visitors today. An open air monument, If the SC state government shuts down would they shut down the statehouse grounds to visitors? From what I know about SC administration, I’m sure they’d try.

    And who was the person who went over to help straighten this out? One of the Democrat’s most hated people on Capitol Hill, Michele Bachmann.

    One thing this shutdown will do is show who is not needed. Had I planned a trip with a vet, I’m sure I would have told the park ranger in the drill sergeant hat to step aside, that his/her job is about as threatening as a mall cop.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Before we go any further, let us note once again how contrived it is to shut down entryways to a wide open space out in the middle of a park.

        This is not a building, like a museum, that has doors and staffers and guides. This is scenery.

        And yet the Executive Branch affirmatively decided to erect artificial barriers to block people from walking through outdoor scenery.

        There are no “schedule hours” for scenery. The monument does not close on weekends, or at night.

        Because it’s scenery.

        It is a feature of the landscape.

        In a shutdown, the Executive Branch decides what stays open and what closes. In this case, the Executive Branch has affirmatively decided to go to more trouble and expense (to make a theatrical display) of closing down an open air feature of the landscape. It’s a petulant and petty move to spite WWII vets so the shutdown will “hurt”.

        More vets are coming today, and they are being told they will be arrested. It costs nothing to allow concrete to exist and WWII vets to walk on it.

        This is Shutdown Theater at it’s finest, but I don’t think it’s going to play the way the White House thought it would.

  20. Herb

    @Bud, I suggest we drop back to the 19th century and call the Tea-Party the ‘Know-Nothings’, since they are very much ideologues as that party was. What would be nice would be if sane Republicans would bolt and form the ‘No-Nothings’ party, which could then work on legitimate coalitions with the Democrats in making some progress. Let the ideologues rant over in the corner, while the government can get on with its job. In a globalized world, it is folly to have this degree of feuding going on. It is even dangerous.

    And I know Brad doesn’t like political parties, but I’m afraid a ‘No-Nothing’ party is going to be the closest we can get to an ‘Un-Party’.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        They hate the Irish if the Irish work for the government.

        There’s a significant strain of nativism running through the Tea Party, at least based on my limited exposure to it here in SC. I’m not saying they’re Bill the Butcher, mind, but as the Tea Party formed here, its roots entwined with the anti-immigrant movement that was already in place.

        I recall walking toward the State House one day in 2010, and hearing the stentorian, amplified voices of speakers sounding nativist sentiments of the politer sort. Here’s what I wrote about that on an earlier occasion:

        When I was at the Tea Party rally where I shot the video of Sheri Few tearing into that “socialist” Anton Gunn, she went on a long tale about how far back to the foundation of the country her kinfolk go, and it was so much like a my-family-came-over-on-the-Mayflower speech, only with an anti-government political flavor, that it both bored me and made me feel a tad uncomfortable. You know, like “I’m a REAL American, and have the pedigree to prove it.” I’ll see if I caught any of that on video… And at that same rally there was also some vituperation toward illegal immigrants — which many of you will hasten to explain was because they’re illegal, not because they are brown people who speak Spanish.

        So no — I haven’t heard anything from Tea Party speakers that sounded like anything like what Ben Tillman might have said in advocating lynching. So pat yourselves on the backs there, if you’re so inclined. But I’ve heard plenty of stuff along the lines of what nativists say when they have their party manners on.

        Oh, and here’s the video referred to in that passage. It doesn’t contain any of the nativist stuff, but it’s a fair example of the nonsense one heard at such rallies.

    1. FParker

      They’re already called RINO’s, Republican In Name Only.

      Why has there been no talk about naming the Democrats a different name?

    1. Doug Ross

      They are paying people to erect fences around open air monuments because they don’t have the funding to pay for non-existent security.

      As much as some people like to blame Republicans for everything going on these days, the Democrats are just as culpable for playing games. It’s pure theatre on both sides…

      Let’s put Obama, Boehner, McConnell, Reid, and Pelosi in a room with no staff, no notes… put a camera on them and tell them America will watch them decide how to resolve this.

      1. gayguy

        Well.My ‘life-partner'(hate that term)died,at Lex Medical.1st thing the doc said;’he’s not going to make it’,and then,’you cant see him’,so I paid an attorney for the ‘special right’ to watch him die…

        Hope all is well with you,and the gang.Have a fine weekend.

  21. Bart

    One of the functions required in my consulting business is negotiating for my clients when disputes arise over payment, what is or is not included in a contract, and other issues that can lead to legal entanglements if both parties are not amenable to negotiating. It is my duty to work for the best interest of my clients but at the same time, give them honest and accurate information they need in order to reach an acceptable settlement or compromise. The same information is shared with the other side and it is my responsibility to engage in active conversation and open communication with all parties. So far this year, several settlements have been reached to the satisfaction of both sides without the need for litigation, anger, and loss of face for either side.

    As I see it, Republicans and Democrats have a duty to the American public to do the same thing on the budget and ACA. Figuratively speaking, Reid and Boehner need to sit down and work this out and both need to leave the “my way or the highway” attitude behind and reach a compromise that will allow the government to move on and give the public a sense that something is actually being accomplished. There is no shame in delaying full implementation of ACA for 6 to 12 months but on the Democrat side, no give. On the Republican side, ACA is here, it is not going away and the only thing they can do now is either cave in or let the shutdown continue indefinitely until someone cries “Uncle”.

    Based on the problems with the launch yesterday, the problems are massive and if they are not solved quickly, the public will turn against ACA in even larger numbers. Unfortunately, we live in a society that expects immediate gratification and delays cause unrest and anger. They will act contrary to their best interest if the perception is negative and with the glitches from yesterday, the negative perception will only grow. It still amazes me that the administration was so ill prepared and Obama is already making excuses and telling the public that the problems or glitches may last for months. That is not leadership, it is a petulant child making excuses.

    Unfortunately, the political side is the driving force behind the stalemate, nothing else. As long as it remains political, the victims will be the citizens of this country. As others have noted, the administration is taking the opportunity to “stage” closings and press conferences for the media and to gain political advantage. And how is this in the best interest of America?

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