Why Barack Obama and the Democrats are to blame for the US shutdown crisis…

If you listen to the British media, you would be led to believe that the current US shutdown, whereby thousands of men and women have been sent home without pay, is the fault of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Republican Speaker John Boehner. The Republicans have been accused of political opportunism, and trying to avoid looking weak over the dominating issue of Obamacare. However, it is actually Barack Obama and the Democrats who are really to blame for this latest US crisis.

Under the US constitution, it is the President’s role to negotiate in order to ensure the US avoids events such as this ongoing shutdown. Therefore, Obama has a duty to come to the negotiating table to try to thrash out a deal. Instead, he has refused to show any sign of compromise whatsoever, presumably out of a stubborn belief that implementing his health reforms is more important than thousands of people’s jobs. In the words of Texas Governor Rick Perry, “I have never seen a president stand up and just blatantly say, ‘I’m not going to negotiate with you in any form or fashion.’”

At the heart of this debate is the fact that Obamacare is simply a badly thought-out law, which will stifle competition and cost the USA billions. This is why House Republicans are seeking negotiation over Obamacare. But yet the President seems to think he is playing a political game, as do the Democrats led by Senator Harry Reid, who hypocritically vetoed the Republican bill last week whilst seeking exemptions from Obamacare – exemptions which, as things stand, are not available for ordinary Americans. If Obamacare isn’t good enough for Senator Reid and his Democrat cronies, why is it good enough for the rest of the country? It is time for the President to stop blaming the Republicans, and show a willingness to operate within his country’s political system and compromise in order to end this crisis.

George Reeves

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3 thoughts on “Why Barack Obama and the Democrats are to blame for the US shutdown crisis…

  1. Obamacare has been voted on many times and has been passed into law. Adding wrecking amendments to the spending bill in order to derail Obamacare is out of step with the constitution. And it’s not as if this a case of the President v. Congress. The Senate is behind him on this as well. The spending bill is not directly linked to the Health reforms in any case. Can you honestly tell us how you would react if, for example, Labour controlled councils refused to fund local services because they didn’t like the coalition’s policy on NHS reforms? That’s what very similar to what we have here. The GOP is using the spending bill as a bargaining chip. If they didn’t like Obamacare, they should have got their act together and defeated it in 2008 or 2012 or on the multiple occasions upon which it was voted in Congress.

    This shutdown, does not stop Obamacare, which has little to do with the spending bill itself. I do love the way that some conservatives and the GOP fail to realise that they are aligning themselves with the likes of Derek Hatton. This is the very similar to the stupid behaviour of Liverpool city council in 1985. Imagine for a moment if a Labour controlled council announced the following:

    “We think that the bedroom tax is a really bad idea and it’s our job to do everything in our power to help our constituents. So we’re gonna shut down all local services until the coalition government ‘negotiates’ with us.”

    Would anyone from BUCF really defend the actions of that council?

    Negotiation over Obamacare took place while it was being passed through congress. It is not the role of the President to negotiate with a desperate abuse of congressional power whcih amounts to nothing more than inverted pork-barrelling. And I thought most GOP members disliked bills that were full of pork.

    • You can’t compare the actions of the House of Representatives with the actions of a British local council, they are two totally different entities. The whole US system is built of the principle of checks and balances whereby the President’s power is kept in check by Congress in order to ensure the President does not enjoy absolute power, in a similar way that the British PM is kept in check by Parliament. The role of Congress is primarily to control the budget, and at the last Congressional elections the American people gave the Republican Party a mandate to carry out this role within the House of Representatives; the fact that the Senate is controlled by the Democrats is a complication of the US system which doesn’t help the current situation, and just adds to the whole host of conflicting political differences. But when so much public money is being spent on Obamacare, the House has every right to take President Obama to task on how it will be implemented, and to demand degrees of reform and compromise.

  2. “The role of Congress is primarily to control the budget,”

    This is not an attempt to control the budget. It’s an attempt to use their control of the budget to blackmail the President over a completely separate issue. That is not the proper function of congress.

    The comparison with local councils is perfectly valid. Councillors have a responsibility to run local budgets in the best interests of their constituents and they might argue that using the nullification of those budgets as a bargaining chip is perfectly valid. That’s effectively what’s happening in the USA. Congress has passed Obamacare and now a new House of Reps is using its control of the budget and its control over people’s jobs as a bargaining chip in their pursuit of an agenda that has been defeated many times before.

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