Like Nero, the Republicans have chosen to play the fiddle while Rome burns.
Actually, according to Suetonius, a Roman historian, Nero was a lyre player (and a bad one at that). In The Lives of Twelve Caesars (Life of Nero 39); Suetonius wrote that Nero played the lyre while Rome burned.
House Republicans are doing just about the same thing right now. Instead of leading, they are playing games with the American taxpayer.
After the outcry from the American public, House Republicans are scrambling to damage control after they shutdown the government on October 1st.
On Tuesday, House Republicans tried to pass a bill that would fund some of the country’s popular programs during the shutdown, including a provision to fund the national parks and some crucial veterans’ programs.
It was a cynical attempt to dodge public wrath about the full shutdown.
House Republicans refused to reach an agreement on funding the government because they do not like the Affordable Health Care Act. However, since the Affordable Health Care Act is fully funded, implementation of the new health care law moved ahead on schedule and is not affected in any way, shape or form by the Republican’s shutdown of the government.
Meanwhile, at The World War II Memorial yesterday a group of WWII veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington gained access to the memorial despite the shutdown. They just pushed their way in.
Almost immediately, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Preibus, offered to pay the cost of keeping the World War II Memorial open.
It was an obvious publicity stunt made even more obnoxious by the fact that the World War II Memorial is an example of how the two parties can work together. The memorial was championed by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas).
But there are signs that some Republicans are starting to realize that the American people think the shutdown is a huge mistake and blame the Republicans for the whole mess.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that five Pennsylvania and New Jersey Republican congressmen broke with House conservatives Wednesday, and called for a "clean" spending bill to reopen the federal government.
The mutiny of congressmen from competitive districts exposed the fault lines in the House GOP caucus - between tea-party hard-liners seeking to block an omnibus spending bill to undo or stall President Obama's signature health-care overhaul, and those who, in the words of U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent of the Lehigh Valley, believe it is "time to govern."
The five Republicans are from “swing” districts that are so competitive it makes sense for the Congressmen to break ranks with the Republican leadership in the House.
There is hope that sanity will rule the day.
Right now Speaker of the House John Boehner.is being manipulated by the Tea Party conservatives in the House. The more pressure American taxpayers put on Boehner, the sooner the shutdown will end. If he realizes that it will cost the Republicans during the next election, he’ll compromise.