The Government Shutdown has Ended

Thank goodness, the government politicians, who we sent to Washington to lead our country, have come to their senses and compromise in the 16 day federal government’s shutdown.

The senseless governmental political standoff that led to the 16 day dead man’s gulch in good government operations cost the taxpayers a minimum of $24 billion dollars, put the lives of 800,000 federal workers at risk, brought this great nation on the brink of international bankruptcy, and placed many private small and large businesses on the edge of going under. In fact, the full cost of this partisan politicking is probably twice or three times the stated amount, in that each dollar turns over at least seven times in each community that it’s spent, so the economists calculate.

The fault in the negotiations between the president and Congress lies strictly with the bickering amongst the political factions in the U.S. House of Representatives. On the U.S. Senate side, there seemed to be more willingness to compromise for the good of the nation, but that didn’t hold true on the House of Representatives side. Too many of our representatives put their own flawed political philosophies ahead of the nation’s welfare.

In West Virginia, both David McKinley (1st Dist.) and Shelley Moore Capito (2nd Dist.), both Republicans, but not of the Tea Party stripe, still appeared to side with their more extreme right wing colleagues in the House before they caved in to prevent the government’s financial default late last week.

What these Tea Party Republicans haven’t learned yet is that this nation — from the time of George Washington up to about 2008 — was built on the concept of compromise within the legislative branch. The Federalist Papers, written in the 1780s, outlined this point when arguing for the creation of a strong, flexible and workable central government, compared with the ailing and weak states, which were part of the then “Articles of Confederation.” Moreover, when compromise couldn’t be reached at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin called for a prayer to get the assembly back on the right track and in the compromising mode. That prayer is a far cry from what the members of the House of Representatives did in this shutdown fiasco; they would have shown some wisdom if they’d asked for God’s help during the legislative wrangling.

While 73 percent of the people polled in the NY Times’ poll said that the Republican majority in the House was at fault, some Americans don’t believe that, and choose to follow the lead of the shortsighted Tea Party faction. For example, in Texas, the producers of such political whizzes as Presidents George H.W. Bush and son, George W. Bush, both of whom got the nation into deadly wars that cost over 4,000 families their loved ones, many of the citizens believe the Tea Party’s approach was right. Indeed, in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram’s recent issue, the Hearst newspaper chain’s reporters praised the government shutdown and the Tea Party representatives’ strident stand against reopening it, unless the Obamacare law could be watered down. Of Texas’ 15 Tea Party Congressman, they’ll all get reelected for their persistence in opposing Obamacare and the reopening of government without gutting the president’s healthcare initiative. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see how the real citizens of those districts will vote in the next Congressional election. After all there are a lot of federal government facilities in  the Lone Star State, such as the Houston Space complex, military bases, presidential libraries, etc. Those staffs got furloughed for the 16 days, too.

To the contrary, let us West Virginians not forget this government Tea Party debacle when the next congressional election comes up next year in 2014. It would be wise for us to stand behind the candidates who stand behind us, the citizens and taxpayers, instead of their politically deranged and out of touch from reality Tea Party friends.

David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Sr. Editor