In the ongoing discussion about the U.S. government shutdown, Americans from every layer of our social fabric have assessed the causes and exhibited the frustration of throwing our way of life into an unnecessary tailspin. The political party that takes the lion’s share of the blame for this latest economic and political debacle is clear: the Republican Party. What’s less clear are the reasons why the Republican Party has chosen to sabotage the greatest economy in world history.
Frankly, however, I’m not concerned about the reasons why the fiscal kamikazes in the Republican Party have chosen to disrupt what appeared to be a modestly growing economy. The only concern I have is allowing millions of American workers to get on with life as usual, without the prospect for a repeat of this economic fiasco every time the debt ceiling needs to be increased.
I’m not concerned with the reasons because they are so numerous and varied that putting Humpty Dumpty back together would prove a far easier task. Furthermore, it’s not as if knowing their reasons would make their motives any more reasonable to the average American who could care less about ideological purity, reelection strategies, the pitfalls of the Affordable Care Act, and so on.
What we should be focused on is not the “why,” but how to make sure that these individuals and this strategy never see the halls of congress again in our lifetimes. Regardless of whether or not this reckless “strategy” by the House GOP works, it’s very likely that it won’t be the last time a group of congressional Republicans pull it out of their proverbial hats and threaten America’s economic viability.
Once this latest round of economic chicken has passed, the Democratic Party in particular must do a better job at aggressively undermining and showcasing the absurdity of the Republican Party’s ‘solutions’ to some of our country’s most pressing challenges. The Republican Party so often wins the war of words because they scream their message so loudly that it becomes the message(s) to defend against and not quickly shrug off.
I’m not suggesting that the Democratic Party sink down into the rhetorical cesspool of GOP political strategy. Rather, I’m suggesting the Democratic Party find issues that a large majority of the party can rally around (e.g., universal health care), and unapologetically advocate for their positions.