Alexander's Column

Shutdown Showdown: A Theatrical Review

Excerpts From the Script, Day 10

By Mark Alexander · Oct. 10, 2013

“The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” –Thomas Jefferson (1816)

The political theatrics over the current furlough of 17% of federal bureaucrats deemed “non essential,” and the looming deadline for raising the national debt ceiling, surely will sweep the Emmy Awards this year.

On one side, there is Barack Hussein Obama and his Leftist NeoCom cadres, who treat their political opponents with the same “comity and respect” socialist dictators exhibit with dissenters who question their autocratic decrees.

On the other side are House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and their endangered band of Republicans.

Watching Obama’s petulant and paternalistic approach to Boehner in particular, I’m inclined to borrow and butcher a classic line from Strother Martin, the prison warden in “Cool Hand Luke,” after his repeated attempts to beat Luke into submission: “What we’ve got here is failure to negotiate.”

For his part, Obama claims:

“What I’ve said is that I will talk about anything. … I’ve shown myself willing to engage all the parties involved, every leader, on every issue. … If reasonable Republicans want to talk about these things again, I’m ready to head up to the Hill. … But I’m not gonna do it until the more extreme parts of the Republican Party stop forcing John Boehner to issue threats about our economy. We can’t make extortion routine as part of our democracy. … I’ve shown myself as willing to go more than halfway. … Again, I’m happy to talk. … I’m prepared to talk about anything.”

Memo to Barry: We are a Republic, not a democracy, and there is a difference in dissension and extortion.

Obama continued:

“Pass a budget, end the government shutdown, pay our bills and prevent an economic shutdown. And as soon as that happens, I am eager and ready to sit down and negotiate with Republicans on a whole range of issues.”

Harry Reid got the memo:

“I just finished a telephonic conversation with Speaker Boehner. My message to him was very simple. We have to stop playing these foolish games that keep coming to us from the other side of the Capitol. This is not about him or me, about scoring points for one side or the other, name-calling, like the villain of villains. It’s about doing the right thing for the American people. They expect us to act like adults. … Open the government, pay our bills, let’s negotiate.”

Obama’s always-petty and insolent White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, pulled out all the hyperbolic stops, claiming:

“[Obama] is willing to have negotiations about what steps we should take to fund our government in a way that allows us to invest in the future, protect the middle class, attract businesses to the United States, and reduce our deficit in a responsible and balanced way. … He’s not willing to negotiate over Republican demands to collapse the world economy. … But he will meet after Republicans agree to leave the matches and the gasoline outside of the room.”

Of course, Obama’s faux overture to negotiate is a bald-faced LIE, which one can fairly assume is the case any time there is a microphone nearby. As George Orwell wrote, “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

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For his part, John Boehner held his ground, for the moment:

“What the president said today was, if there is unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk to us. That’s not the way our government works. The long and short of it is, there is going to be a negotiation here. We can’t raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what’s driving us to borrow more money and to live beyond our means. The idea that we should continue to spend money that we don’t have and give the bill to our kids and our grandkids would be wrong. I didn’t come here to shut down the government. I certainly didn’t come here to default on our debt. But when it comes to the debt limit, again, over the last 40 years, 27 times, the debt limit has been used to carry significant policy changes that would in fact reduce spending and put us on a saner fiscal path. It’s time to have that conversation … today.”

Responding to his Republican opponents, Obama proclaimed:

“I’m not going to allow anybody to drag the good name of the USA through the mud just to re-fight a settled election or extract ideological demands. Nobody gets to hurt our economy and millions of hardworking families…”

This from a guy who has, singlehandedly, done more to “drag the good name of the USA through the mud” and “hurt our economy and millions of hardworking families” than any president in our nation’s history.

Obama added:

“I’m not budging when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States.”

In other words, he’s determined to continue down the same path of fiscal self destruction, as long as he has unlimited ability to continue redistributing wealth and creating more government dependents, his most loyal constituent base.

Of course, Republicans in the House have passed bipartisan bills to restore funding to key government services.

Asked why he has been signing those measures, Obama replied:

“Of course I’m tempted, because you’d like to think that you could solve at least some of the problem if you couldn’t solve all of it. But here’s the problem. … If we do some sort of shotgun approach like that, then you’ll have some programs that are highly visible get funded and reopened … but things that don’t get a lot of attention … not being funded.”

So, that’s his answer – that’s the best he can do – given his history of unilaterally and unconstitutionally deciding which laws he will enforce and which he won’t? And for the record, regarding that “shotgun approach,” Obama did sign the House legislation to pay military personnel and civilians DoD deems essential – obviously a political calculation.

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And the “highly visible” closures are precisely those Obama decided to shutter as part of his “Make ‘em Suffer” strategy. You know, closing the open-air World War II Memorial for veterans and their families, and all the other Mall monuments. Yet despite these high-profile closures, he ordered the National Park Service to reopen the Washington Monument area in order to host a large protest for immigration reform (read: amnesty) – for his party’s future constituents.

In advance of next week’s theatrics, Obama has provided Republicans with plenty of fodder for the debt ceiling debate, most notably his recent assertion:

“Now, this debt ceiling – I just want to remind people in case you haven’t been keeping up – raising the debt ceiling … does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy. All it does is it says you got to pay the bills that you’ve already racked up, Congress. … The average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we’re running up our debt, so people don’t like to vote on it, and, typically, there’s some gamesmanship…”

“Pay the bills that you’ve already racked up, Congress”? Apparently Obama’s trillion dollar “economic stimulus program” is just something Congress “racked up.” Apparently, the trillion-dollar annual deficits our nation has incurred since he took office are just something Congress “racked up.” By any objective standard, this president is the biggest spender and political gamesman in U.S. history. (For a little arithmetic perspective, one trillion seconds is more than 31,000 years.)

Indeed, “the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we’re running up our debt,” and the average person would be right.

Taking a walk down memory lane, I vividly recall then-candidate Obama waxing long on the Republican-controlled Senate floor in March 2006 about President Bush’s request to raise the debt ceiling:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. … This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy. … Interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans – a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

And then there was that “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” presidential campaign speech in July of 2008:

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – Number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back – $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”

Fact Check: During the eight years George W. Bush was in office, our national debt increased by $4.9 trillion, due primarily to the economic consequences of 9/11 and the funding of two major warfronts in response. Yet in just five years since Obama took office, his faux “economic recovery plan” has piled $6.1 trillion onto the nation’s debt. Yes, No. 44 added $6.1 trillion “by his lonesome,” so that we now have nearly $17 trillion of debt burden – more than $54,000 for every American man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. That’s unpatriotic.

And last, given that the current brouhaha began with a Republican strategy to force Democrat votes on ObamaCare “defund” and “delay” measures, it is worth recalling Obama’s promise, “We’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year. We’ll do it by the end of my first term…” Well the results are in and according to the latest budget research on Obama’s nationalized health care scheme, it will result in a per capita increase of insurance costs.

It remains to be seen whether Speaker Boehner will submit to Obama, the prison warden, or hold out, even unto his demise, as Cool Hand Luke did.

Footnote: According to analysis by the Wall Street Journal, when Sen. Ted Cruz unwittingly derailed the conservative House CR strategy, he may have boosted his political capital, but the shutdown is taking a heavy toll on House Republicans. According to the Journal, the shutdown eclipsed Obama’s IRS, Benghazi and Syrian scandals, and now has Republicans on the run. For example, in July, Republicans had a 12-point lead with independents. Now Demos lead by nine. And GOP’s favorability rating has dropped by 10 points to 28%.

Pro Deo et Constitutione – Libertas aut Mors
Semper Fortis Vigilate Paratus et Fidelis

View all comments


Mtnmama in CO said:

We no longer have a government in DC. We have a criminal organization running our country. No one is held accountable and the theft of taxpayer monies goes on and on and on and on.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Korean War Vet in Papillion, Nebraska replied:

This whole business in Washington, created by the gross mismanagement of the Obama Administration, reminds one of the Detroit, Michigan bankruptcy problem; only thing is: former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick got himself sentenced to 28 years in prison today. for corruption...exactly what's going on in Washington; plain and simple Leftist, Liberal corruption, dreamed-up for self-aggrandizement, and allowed to flourish by a stupid citizenry. There are crooks, beginning with the White House, that should have been slammed behind bars so long ago. Live with it, America: you allowed this to happen..

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA replied:

So you are driving down a road and you realize you took a wrong turn and if you continue you will drive off a cliff. What you are saying is keep going, live with the wrong turn, and drive off the cliff.

Obama has gotten away with high crimes and misdemeanors as did Detroit Mayor Kwame, if we reverse course and make Obama answer for his malfeasance he can join his buddy in prison and we won’t drive off the cliff.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Hamilton in IL replied:

Korean War Vet,

Correction sir, I shouldn't have to live with it because I didn't vote for it. It was the idiot to my left in the polling place who voted for it. That idiot was either a racist who wanted to elect the first black president above all other considerations; or he wanted something for free, given to him by a president who would likely be the king of all spendthrift fools; or he was an illegal who wanted to be supported forever; or he was a union boss who wanted Obama to help clear the way so he could further line his pockets; etc.

I shouldn't have to live a life in America where I am a tax slave, supporting all the above freaks by having my hard-earned dollars confiscated by black-booted brown-shirt Obama IRS goons.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Diane in Tx said:

"...But when it comes to the debt limit, again, over the last 40 years, 27 times, the debt limit has been used to carry significant policy changes that would in fact reduce spending and put us on a saner fiscal path. It’s time to have that conversation … today.”

We've raised the debt limit 27 times - and we're surprised we never reduce our debt. The first step to reducing debt is to stop borrowing money. The second is to cut spending.

Looks like what we have here is a failure to live within our means.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Debbi Moss in Rolla, MO said:

He's willing to talk -- so long as everybody else listens and backs his agenda. He is the most childish, self-centered human being to ever be in a position of power and his actions prove his childish inability to handle the job he was elected to. He has every intention to hurt Americans and blame the pain on every body else. This is a game to him -- and all children like games especially the ones where they get to be the winner.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Korean War Vet in Papillion, Nebraska replied:

"Waaa, waaa, waaa....if you don't let me do what I want, I'll take my marbles and go home", isn't that what it sounds like, Debbi? I have never seen such a childish-acting "adult" in my almost 80 years. of living. Even the old Soviet Union's Nikita Krushev was a petulant old fool, slamming his shoe on the UN's podium to get his way, threatening the United States that..."we will bury you"...his way of intimidating America for not playing his game HIS way; does anyone see any parallels here?

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Nukeman in Ill-Annoy The Land of Corruption replied:

Keep in mind the specific words he used. He used "talk" not "negotiate" at least until he stated that first, the Republicans had to totally cave in. These weasels say exactly what they mean, but we hear what we think he means.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Diane in Tx said:

Overall website comment: Please fix the Grassroots commentary page to either open links in a new tab/window, or allow right clicking to open in a new tab/window. I can do that on the main page by right clicking on the "READ HERE" link, but not the headlines, and I have to click back twice after a comment to get to the list of articles again. Getting very frustrating. (That means I read less, and so do others).

While I'm wishing, it would be nice if all comments on a particular edition were combined in one place (like it used to be) It gets frustrating to click on each link to see if anyone has commented on a particular item, plus not all items have a comment link attached. I might want to comment on Leno's (Short cuts) comments.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:15 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in walnutgrove replied:

Yeah, the separation of topics makes for a tedious tour.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

David E. Tyre in Georgia said:

Speaking of Jay Carney; Obama's mouthpiece. Have you noticed how he resembles David Letterman? I mean, the guy looks like a young Letterman! Both are immature and both are clowns.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

Be fair! You've got to admit that Jay Carney is much, much funnier that David Letterman.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:12 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in walnutgrove replied:

He is a carnival Carney, "step right up, ask the right questions, get the answer of the day, Come back tomorrow get the latest answer.!!!" You there on the front row, want to try your luck? ask one question- chose from three, count 'em three answers!!!"

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:27 PM

GordAuch in Hampton Roads said:

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. --Emerson

You may be entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. --R. Reagan

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in walnutgrove replied:

for the previous 56 years of my life I was blissfully unaware that Barack Hussein Obama even had opinions, and now for the past 6 years I am painfully plagued to know he does have opinions. Just as he has an orifice depicted here, Obama I Moon thee ( l ).

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Jayve in ABQ, NM said:

One question I noticed that never gets asked is why in the hell are there "non-essential" employees in the government to begin with?

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:38 PM

JtC in TX replied:

It means the mission is degraded but sustainable for a limited time without the "non-essential" employees working. But the truth is, NOBODY degrades the mission more than the clowns in DC.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Korean War Vet in Papillion, Nebraska replied:

Jayve: I thought that the entire governmental work force was non-essential.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Jayve in ABQ, NM replied:

Good point....

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

RichardB in Chattanooga said:

"On the other side are House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and their endangered band of Republicans."

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are NOT on the other side with real Republicans. Neither of them like conservatives.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Vladimir Putin in Moscow said:

When your country is finished with the services of President Obama, please allow him to travel to Russia. His socialists policies and cunning ability to lie and have everyone believe him is something I would like to have my underlings exposed to. His dream of extreme poverty for all has been acheived here in Russia. Here in my country, 110 of my wealthiest friends own 35% of our total national wealth.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Nina in Las Vegas NV replied:

We should hire Putin to fix the mess that we are in, I would be glad to give my fair share to pay him to work for WE THE PEOPLE. Insead of the US govermenet DICK TATING. I feel like we are getting battered by a wife beater. We now find ourselfs in an abusive domestic situation. Every day it's another take this and so in your face , every day it's another shock and awe. We have to stand up, locally mobolize in front of our city halls with signs in protest that our country is destroyed. Here are some good ones- NO YOU CAN'T, NO YOU CAN'T, NO YOU CAN'T. DRILL FOR DOMESTIC OIL NOW. BORDER PATROL NOW. WE SHALL OVERCOME. We can't all march to Washington but we can storm our city halls revolution style. Wake up the stupid main stream media. There is power in numbers. WE ARE UNDER SIEGE. PUTIN PLEASE SAVE US.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Hamilton in IL replied:

And remember that Obamacare never had, and still doesn't have, the support of the plurality of Americans, yet it was passed into law just the same. In my opinion, at a minimum, Obama and these damn Democrats are guilty of insubordination against the People for this, never mind wife beating, but we get your frustration. The only reason more of us aren't livid about this is because of conditioning. Government has been expanding incrementally for a very long time. Every successive generation experiences, lives with, and is imposed by, a government that is a little bit more oppressive than before. Consequently, as the generations go by, we lose the knowledge and the gut feel of what it was like with a limited government that did little more than protect us from enemies, both foreign and domestic, but otherwise leave us to our own devices.

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:49 AM

VoR in Ohio said:

If the House is so concerned about spending and the debt, why did it pass a Farm bill that was abominable in its unrestrained spending? Just wondering.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

RK Sprau in L.C. N.M. replied:

Before I'm jumped on, listen to what I'm, about to say. I do not like the cut in spending to the poor, yet some cuts has to be made everywhere to include paychecks to all senators and congressman's.
My wife owns property in the state of AZ, we pay taxes on it there, and in NM for some strange reason though the land isn't here. She is a 3rd generation rancher/farmer.
This bill as with the others before it, they her not to run cattle, not to plant edible crops, all to keep the prices propped upped so the ranchers farmers do not go out of business.
To her, she doesn't care one way or another, yet isn't this a type of welfare to the hard working farmers ranchers? I know it will be hard for the smaller operators yet our price will go down at the supermarket and at the store where you buy your clothes. maybe not immediately yet it will. If we get out of this business, the gv can save money right there.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Nukeman in Ill-Annoy The Land of Corruption replied:

I believe you said the gov. pays your wife to not do certain things (although you left the word "pay" out. My questions is this: If they pay her to NOT do these things, why does she take the money?

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 6:10 PM

RK Sprau in L.C. N.M. replied:

I asked. She pointed to all the congressman and senators who have there hands out for the same program.
When the gv tell her how man cattle to run on her ranch, or what to grow, (yes they do it), she views it as money for putting up with there BS.
She is not BLM's greatest fan so to her its payback for putting up with there crap. She knows how many cattle she can safely run, what antibiotics to use, how much to grow. The gv treats ranchers and farmers as children who don't know squat.
the gv needs to be out of the ranching/farming business for they don't know the score and the ranchers and farmers do.

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 2:59 AM

Hamilton in IL replied:

I think PabloCruz is correct about this. Supply and demand will always be there in a free market. Government regulations in the free market are ALWAYS unnatural market forces. Sometimes without certain regulations, hardship exists for businesses and individuals. But left to their own devices, people in the private sector economy will flourish. Besides, isn't that the proper role of government anyway, to protect and promote commerce, i.e. leave us to our own devices to make what we will of ourselves, good or bad?

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Just Saying in Idaho replied:

RK, there is hope for you yet...if you can seee that the government has no business telling farmers what to do, maybe one day you will see that the government has no business in taking care of us from cradle to grave, either.
Glad to hear a reasonable opinion from you.

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

James Pogue in OK said:

It is very difficult to win or even engage in a war when the U.S. Commander does not have the guts for it, nor understand the consequences of his lackadaisical ineptitude. When the quest for power overwhelms, the natural and good instincts of men, to do the right and just things, he has sold himself to the dark side. No man in his right mind makes war the first choice, but the last choice. Nevertheless, when that last choice is made, it must be pursued aggressively, dominantly, and decisively. I see no one in Washington today who has neither mental tenacity nor intestinal fortitude to pursue such matters. Lord, I wish it were not so. Lies, deceit, and confusion do not win the hearts and minds of Patriots. I think the following quote exemplifies the socialist/ liberal’s mindset. They want it all but are unwilling to pay the price for It. May they depart from us and be forgotten quickly.--James Pogue

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature indeed, who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” -John Stuart Mill's

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Jim D of Alabama in Daphne said:

Hi Mark,
This is such a good idea I think you should give me a percentage of the sales it generates.
"Have your people call my people"...anyway... :)
Or at least give me the first one for free, because now I need it.
I just got notified. My new ObamaCare policy, of which I was just Informed (not Offered, mind you), will cost me another $5000 a year My wife's deductible for Lyrica and other meds will go up $2,000. Alabama didn't play nice with the Feds so they just asked Blue Cross to basically be the Exchange.
For the Patriot Post Store...
Bumper Stickers #1-10:
"Thanks Dems! ObamaCare Costs me $1,000 More"
"Thanks Dems! ObamaCare Costs me $2,000 More"
"Thanks Dems! ObamaCare Costs me $3,000 More"
"Thanks Dems! ObamaCare Costs me $10,000 More"
I suggest a special Page showing how many of each have been ordered..
OR just
"Thanks Barry! ObamaCare Costs me $____ More"
Maybe you could sell those by the dozen at cost...
Please ask any and all conservative TV, Radio, Blogs, etc to support your campaign.
America needs to know the costs.

I've had some other ideas about Spray Painting these amounts on cars with OBAMA stickers but maybe some of the twenty somethings whose rates will hitting the stratosphere will figure that one out by themselves.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in walnutgrove replied:

Stick with that spray paint idea, probably they won't be able to figure it out, & if they do they will demand a subsidy increase you & I will pay for. Spray paint it is then.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Brandy Elkins in Harvest Alabama said:

Raising the debt ceiling does in deed raise our country's debt, and I am baffled by those who cannot see or will not see how Obamacare is killing the economy in our country. I understand people's concerns over healthcare costs because we have them in my family but the left has scared people into believing healthcare and health insurance are the same, when they are not. Whether you have insurance or not there are laws in place that protect the uninsured, and there are clinics and such that will help for nothing. Taking money from my family to pay for someone else's health care is not constitutional and I as a u.s. citizen did not agree to this. I also believe those who did not go out and vote in the last election because Mitt Romney was not conservative enough have no room to complain, had all of you voted we would not be here now.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Mike in Ohio said:

What Obama said is literally known as "The Otter Defense", from the movie "Animal House". Except Otter has a better grasp of the law and America.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Mike McGinn in People's Republic of Maryland said:

"They expect us to act like adults. … Open the government, pay our bills, let’s negotiate.”

This...from the very same guy who would not let a budget pass the Senate for how many years? Talk about hypocrisy!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:19 PM