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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Who Is To Blame?

So, we've endured a "government shutdown" thanks to the GOP in general and the Tea Party in particular. That's what they're telling us. That's what the media has said. That's what the President has said. It's those dirty, rotten, despicable Republicans in the House that are the problem. Why can't they just get on the bandwagon and get done what we need done? Who is to blame? We've got this. It's those rotten Republicans, the evil conservatives in particular.

And if that was your conclusion, it wouldn't be a reasonable one.

Nor is it "partisan politics". Partisan politics would be, "We will disagree with whatever a person of the opposing political party suggests." This is not the case here.

What we have here is an argument, a disagreement, a difference of opinion. Consider for a moment the basics of what that means. It means that Entity A believes "X" and Entity B believes "Not-X" and now we have two views that cannot be reconciled. The argument of the president and his media is that Entity B is the problem, but they (the president and his media) have failed to understand the nature of a disagreement and jumped right across to assigning blame.

Here's reality. If Entity A (for the sake of discussion, let's call them "Democrats") believes that the "THIS" is the right way the budget should go and Entity B (we'll call them "Republicans") believes that "THAT" is the right way the budget should go, then the answer is not "It's Republican's fault!" It is "They disagree!" Thus Democrats and Republicans (in this simplified example) disagree and that is the cause of the problem.

The remedy to this problem is either compromise or acquiesence. The two sides can give in a little on their positions (that's called compromise) and come to a less-than-perfect-but-workable agreement. Or one side, by force of argument or force of arms or some other force, can bring the other side to agree to its position. That's acquiesence. Note, by the way, that the president's idea (and the media and, therefore, far too many Americans) is "Agree with me or you are the problem." And they call that "compromise". "The Republicans refused to compromise" is the accusation. "Agree with me or not" is not compromise.

We can debate ad infinitum who is to blame in ideological terms. Maybe it's the left with their demand for "Affordable Health Care" or maybe it's the right with the suggestion that this "affordable" health care isn't really affordable. Maybe it's the left with their budget plans or maybe it's the right with their budget plans. And if you believe that "X" is right you will blame the "Not-X" side or vice versa. But, please, let's not be unfair and deceitful in laying blame at the foot of one side without considering the facts.

The fact is that Congress is to blame. Not the liberals or the conservatives. Not the Democrats or the Republicans. Two viewpoints have collided and they -- both sides -- were unable to arrive at an acceptable compromise or to argue the other side to their position. That is not a failure of one side. That is a failure of Congress. And let's not forget the fact that lurked behind Congress's failure. If Congress had gone ahead with a plan to defund some of the president's health care plan, the president promised to veto it. So that compromise was off the table. And the president himself in that case is also to blame.

This is not a failure of the right. It is a failure of the two branches of government -- the legislative branch and the executive branch. Since all sides determined an "all or nothing" approach, all sides caused this problem. Agree or disagree with the position of either side, but don't falsely lay the blame at the feet of one side. It just doesn't work.


Marshal Art said...

I think it does work. That is, we cannot fix a problem if we aren't honest in identifying what that problem is. It is not "Congress", in that neither side will compromise, because the right has offered at least one or two alternates that would have prevented a shutdown. The left has offered only what it wants with no alterations whatsoever.

If we are to say that "Congress" is to blame, then we must consider that the voting public put this Congress together, and the blame then falls on our own selves (which is not untrue). But it's the Congress we have and we must see where within it there is dis-function. Clearly, it is with Barry O and his supporters in Congress. It seems to me that those who oppose funding O-care, have tried to address the concerns of so many millions of Americans with regards to O-care, including Dems, and have been met with total resistance without clear argument as to what is wrong with the right-wing positions.

Blaming "Congress" is too easy and just a bit lazy. We are still left with the obstinance of Obama & Co, and a "law" that is widely opposed about to smack us in the chops.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I think the problem is the Demokrats. And Thomas Sowell explains why:

Why can't the Demokrats haggle over Obamacare as a separate issue rather than requiring it be included in other funding to pass the other funding?

Stan said...

Merely curious, Glenn, but what is the purpose of the "k" in "Demokrats"?

Stan said...

Please notice, Marshall, that the Senate as a whole refused to side with the Republicans in the House, causing a problem with the whole "It's those dirty rotten Dems and their dirty rotten Pres that caused this."

Notice, also (Glenn and Marshall), that if the Republicans in the House had not decided to stand on defunding some small portion of the Obamacare debacle there would have been no shutdown. Thus, while you would clearly argue that they were right in their stand, it cannot be argued that this stand didn't bring about (or rather contribute to) this shutdown. This is why I have to say that it is Congress. (And the President.)

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I use the "k" in Demokrats because they are such socialists!

Craig said...

It has to come back to the refusal of the Congress to pass a budget as they are required to.

When the Dems controlled the house they simply failed to produce or pass a budget bill to move through the rest of the budget process. Instead they decided to begin the process of funding the government through a series of continuing resolutions. These simply continue funding at previous levels without actually setting larger priorities or establishing a fiscal direction.

A quick google search reveals the the GOP controlled house did pass a 2013 budget resolution, which apparently has never been acted upon by the senate.

So long as the Dems refuse to actually pass a budget, the blame must originate with them.

Having said that, if the GOP regains control of the senate and maintains control of the house, they MUST pass an actual budget and submit it to the president if they are to have any credibility on this issue.