Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mr. Obama Would Like to Shut Down the US Government

Somewhere in the Californian Desert – In about one month, barring anything unforeseen, the government of the United States will shut down.
Now don’t panic, it’s not as bad as it seems. The police officers will still be there, the peace will still be kept, and the sun will still rise in the morning, (reports indicate that the sun’s light is actually not paid for by the US taxpayers, but I digress.) However, the fact remains that the current allotment of money to the US government, passed by congress, runs out on the 30th of September, and many government entities will close or be forced to work with only “necessary” staff until the congress passes a new bill granting more money, which, since they are currently in recess, and are not even involved in talks, will force them to scramble when they return to work in over a week from now.
It would seem that this would be a bipartisan thing-keeping the government running. And indeed there is support on both sides of the aisle and from the White House, and great interest has been expressed by politicians from all quarters in making sure the millions of government employees and their families do not lose their paychecks, and that the services they give out continue to flow.
However, there is one little sticking point. President Barak Obama seems willing to let the government shut down, unless in the bill that is presented to him, there is the traditional half a billion dollars marked out for Planned Parenthood. If Planned Parenthood is defunded, Obama will veto the bill, thus shutting down a multi-trillion system of operations for a half billion dollars; in effect, grinding the great engine of the ship of state to a halt over an argument about a single screw.
Due to the recent release of videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood employees laughing and joking about selling the body parts of little, unborn children, the controversial and extremist group has come under fire from many conservatives seeking to end government funding of it. However, President Barak Obama, long an opponent of the human right to life of the unborn, will be certain to veto any bill that does not fund Planned Parenthood. And the Republicans, although having a majority in both houses of congress, are far from having the votes needed to overturn the president’s veto.
Mitch McConnell, (left,) head of the Republicans in
the senate, and John Boehner, Speaker of the House
So with a month to go until the fateful day when Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will have to, by law, close the US coffers and cease issuing money, GOP Primary candidates such as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and while Speaker of the House John Boehner and the other Republican congressional leaders continue to say that it should be defunded, but not at the risk of shutting down the government, there are far right congressmen who say that they will risk it.

Boehner and McConnell swear they won’t shut the government down, or let it be shut down, “not on our watch” the leader of Republican senators protests.
My take on the situation is this: the higher echelons Republicans are acting like they have already lost the battle in public opinion about who will be shutting down the government. They already except the line that if the government is defunded due to a presidential veto, the view of the public will be that: congress shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood.
We have to counter this dangerous and misleading rhetoric, and turn the argument on its head to show it as it is: Is Obama really willing to shut down the government to keep Planned Parenthood funded? After all, congress has to pass a bill. If Obama vetoes it, or if the Democrats in the senate filibuster it, let their blood be on their head. Don’t except the blame for their extremism.
We have a month to do it. The stakes are high. Not only is this a chance to, (in a very small way, certainly) reduce the deficit, but it is a major chance to use to public anger against Planned Parenthood to win a major victory for human rights, and to take yet another step towards the inevitable day when abortion on demand will be outlawed in this nation just as slavery once was.
This is a fight we can win, but it is a fight that will demand all of us to stand and do what our president so often refuses to; that is, do the right thing.

Andrew C. Abbott

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