Guest Column: President must not be first to blink in government shutdown

By David Soll

Demanding changes to an existing law during budget negotiations is foolish.

It seems the GOP Tea Party is willing to play a game of chicken with the whole economy just to get their way. Over the last five years, President Barack Obama has gone above and beyond to placate the GOP, and it’s time for playing Mr. Nice Guy to come to an end. If President Obama is the first to blink in stopping this current government shutdown, that will set a horrible precedent for future budget negotiations, where any law the opposing side hates can be used as a bargaining chip.

The government shutdown 17 years ago was a difference of opinion about how best to create that year’s federal budget. Thus, both sides were to blame for that shutdown. But this particular government shutdown falls squarely upon the shoulders of the GOP. How can that be, you might ask? Well, in more than 230 years of American governing history, never has a LAW of the land been used as a hostage by the opposing party to get its way as it pertains to creating a federal budget.

That the GOP is demanding the Democrats make changes to the Affordable Care Act in any small way as part of federal budget negotiations is NOT how things are supposed to be done at any legislative level of governing. And anyone who says otherwise either does not know what they’re talking about or is nothing more than a political hack.

What the GOP Tea Party is doing is what one would expect of spoiled rotten children — kicking their feet like Eddie Munster screaming, “I won’t, I won’t, I won’t,” or threatening to hold their breath until they turn blue. These people are NOT acting as the adults they claim to be, and this behavior does not exactly give me confidence in these elected officials’ capabilities!

As I see it, the moment the Democrats bend even in the slightest way would be one of the worst precedents allowed to stand. Like that old saying goes … give a mouse a cookie, and he’ll want a glass of milk. No, the Democrats NEED to remain strong on this, despite the economic hurt currently happening as a result. I’m tired of the Democrats bending over backward to make the GOP happy, and giving in now would open the floodgates for even more government shutdowns over a hated law.

If the GOP continues down this path, they can kiss the White House goodbye for the foreseeable future. They can potentially even see their majority in the House disappear as well in 2014, regardless of all the gerrymandering. It’s time for U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, to bring up and allow a clean budget to be voted upon. After which they can start working with the Democrats on fixing what they believe to be wrong with the Affordable Care Act.


David Soll is a Loves Park, Ill., resident.

From the Oct. 16-22, 2013, issue

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