Vermont’s Democratic and Independent leadership, rarely described as a shy and retiring group, have recently chimed in on the current impasse in the budgeting/funding fiasco currently unraveling in DC. In the interests of time,
I’ll summarize their position thusly:
All federal spending is good. So let’s keep spending more.
Now, ignoring the fact that Leahy, and his counterparts, themselves held the country “hostage” when they failed to pass a budget for four years (there’s nothing like federal transparency when continuing resolutions are used to fund innumerable programs with no specific targeted guidelines for outcomes, but hey, we’re the government, we know what’s best for you), that the US now has a debt that is equal to US GDP (a previously unheard-of level of debt, now being routinely heard in such thriving economies as Spain and Greece), and that our national unfunded liabilities run into the tens of trillions – if we can just ignore those facts, well, then positions such as Leahy’s, Welch’s, Sanders’, and Shumlin’s become completely and utterly rational.
But let’s get the words straight from the non-hostage-takers’ mouths (from the Freeps):
Shumlin also urged “all parties to sit down,” but he and the congressional delegation have argued that there should be no negotiating over a health care law that has been enacted and was essentially ratified by voters when they re-elected President Barack Obama in 2012.
As opposed to all the House seats lost to Republicans in 2010? Was that a public endorsement of BarryCare? Waving Peter’s magic wand over the results of 130 million votes, saying he knows exactly what that vote means, is laughably idiotic. We don’t ratify by national vote, either, else BarryCare would have been shot down, easily. And since we are a Democratic Republic, and not a Democracy, it might be worth noting that not one single Republican voted for BarryCare.
Shumlin’s sweating it out more than most because he knows that roughly 1/3 of the state’s budget comes from federal outlays, which means Vermont, as a state, is taking money from taxpayers in other states to fund our own state expenditures. Shumlin is going to carry that party line until his back breaks. He has no other choice, especially if he wants one of the three Congressional seats that are so tantalizingly within his reach.
But there’s more!
Rep. Peter Welch and Sen. Patrick Leahy, both Democrats, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, have contended that congressional Republicans have already won budget concessions and it is they who are unwilling to compromise.
Unlike, say, the President, who says he’s not going to negotiate.
Leahy said Wednesday on the Senate floor, “Unyielding in their opposition, Tea Party members of Congress, for whom ‘compromise’ is a dirty word, are on a crusade to hold the federal government hostage until the Affordable Care Act is repealed. It is a form of extortion that has no place in a democracy.”
Again, as opposed to a President who says he’s not going to negotiate. And the Democratic party’s own Tip O’Neill
shut down the government multiple times during his tenure. Was O’Neill holding the government hostage? Was Tip extorting America? How did we survive?
What has no place in democracy (and I remind Senator Leahy that we do not live in one) is a tiny group of aging, compromised, and insulated patricians who live so far removed from the reality that the rest of us live in that they actually think what the government does is critical to every step in our daily lives. Worse, they think that that is how it should be. Since Leahy likes to throw the word “Democracy” around without knowing its meaning, might just mean that Leahy is as uninterested in a government of, by, and for the People, as he is uninterested in negotiations within what has been laughably described as the world’s greatest deliberative body.