The puzzling thing, to me, is that Republicans don't seem to mind being perceived as the party that prefers the American people stay unhealthy and uninsured. "Anything to keep people from having health care!" is how most of the GOP congressional representatives sounded, proudly venting on various news shows late last night. It's worth it to STOP OBAMACARE! Do they know how they sound? Or is their own re-election the primary factor in their decision? Robert at Blue Heron Blast sums up a lot of my thinking:
The problem is that the House Republicans have all gerrymandered themselves into safe seats in safe districts. Any flak they will receive will be from their right in the primaries. Although I am sure that many are concerned with the health of the nation, at least I hope so, the overriding motive has to be getting re-elected. So there is really no hope for common ground.Yes. The party that loves war, does not want to pay their soldiers. Irony!
The optics of this debacle are pretty clear. A CNN/ORC poll found that Republicans in Congress would shoulder more of the blame for a shutdown. Forty-six percent of Americans said that Republicans on Capitol Hill would be mostly responsible for a shutdown, versus 36 percent who would blame Obama and 13 percent who would blame both.
So 25% of Americans polled will blame you more than the other guy and you don't care, because it will play so well for the folks in your district and frankly, what else matters? Bravo!
I went to the outfitting store to get some straps to hitch my borrowed monopod to my camera pack this morning. The vacation to the National Parks between Wyoming and Montana that are scheduled to be closed at midnight tonight barring an unforeseen stroke of sanity barreling down on the beltway, which you should certainly not hold your breath for.
I will make do, lots of nice state parks I am looking at in the area, there are worse prison sentences than spending a week on a bar stool in Jackson Hole. But it sucks. And it even sucks worse for the man helping me in the store, who is in the naval reserve and ferries Navy Seals around on missions. He is now on no pay as are many of the private contractors who aid our defense effort. Awful thing we are doing to them, not to mention furloughing 800,000 civil servants and leaving millions without pay. Oh, I forgot, we hate the government and the people who work for them.
And such a depressing, demoralizing spectacle.
Campaign for Southern Equality demonstration in January.
Op-ed: How Resistance Will Change the South:
Growing numbers of people across the South are finding the courage to stand up to such laws by taking public action. Since the We Do Campaign launched two years ago, I have stood with more than 80 LGBT couples as they have requested — and been denied — marriage licenses in their hometowns across the South, from small rural towns in Mississippi to cities like Charlotte, N.C. To watch LGBT people stand at the marriage license counter, many with their children at their side, is to witness courage firsthand. In the face of a legal system that denies our humanity and tells us we have no right to even approach this counter, these families are expressing powerful truths: We are human, we are equal, this is our home, and we have a fundamental right to marry.It's an interesting strategy, and I will be watching carefully to see how it goes.
As we continue to grow the We Do Campaign, we are now actively seeking a public official in the South who will stand up with us and issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple as an act of conscience. Marriage license offices in New Mexico and Pennsylvania have recently started doing this, and in years past it has happened in California and New York as well. In Pennsylvania, Montgomery County Register of Wills Bruce Hanes has said of his choice, “I firmly believe that I’m on the right side of history.”
Can this happen in the South? We have contacted marriage license offices in more than 600 counties to pose this question. There may be a Bruce Hanes somewhere in our region. Or it may well be that the power of these discriminatory laws is so great that even those public officials who support marriage equality — and they exist — feel that the risk of acting on this belief is too great.
*I acknowledge there are SOME Republicans who are in favor of legalizing gay marriage, foremost among them Cindy and Meghan McCain.