Let’s Put the Shoe on the Other Foot

I’m gobsmacked seeing people online defending the Republican Party’s tactics in this shutdown crisis. People are actually defending the GOP for pushing the country to a government shutdown and risking the first default in the history of our economy. They are saying that Obama’s at fault for not “compromising“.

So, let’s imagine the shoe were on the other foot.

Imagine the parties were reversed in what they controlled, and the most liberal wing of the Democratically-controlled House insisted that the government needs to institute Single-Provider healthcare (like Britain’s NHS). They tried to get what they wanted through legislation and failed. They tried to get the Supreme Court to give them what they wanted and failed. They tried to do well enough in elections to get what they want, but the electorate re-elected the GOP President, Senate, and even gave the GOP more votes in the House (but gerrymandering and other effects kept it in the Democrats’ hands).

The Democrats would have failed to have achieved their goals legislatively, judicially, and electorally. They would have failed to advance their goals in all the means the Constitution made available to them.

So, they publicly planned for a year to shut down government and risk a USA credit default until the GOP Senate and President gave them truly Socialist healthcare system. When the time came, they shut down government and tried to blame the GOP, saying that all the GOP has to do was enact the policies the Democrats were not able to achieve through normal means. They demanded that they get what they want, even though the President, the Senate, and even the majority of the House (if you combined moderate Democrats with the Republicans) didn’t agree.

Would you agree with them? Would you say that the GOP were being petulant children for not giving in? Or would you say that the liberal Democrats were being unreasonable and undemocratic and were taking the country hostage?

Would you be defending the Democrats’ tactics if the roles were reversed? Do you really think that this is a good and constitutional way for policy to be set?

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About Lance Finney

Father of two boys, Java developer, Ethical Humanist, and world traveler (when I can sneak it in). Contributor to Grounded Parents.
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5 Responses to Let’s Put the Shoe on the Other Foot

  1. dr24hours says:

    Sadly, I think this doesn’t work as a thought experiment. Until such a radical group of Dems were to make such a claim, I don’t think one can realistically gauge their own reaction. Historical examples of extreme politicking on all sides (including sides we don’t have in the USA) reveal that there a large numbers (though still minorities) who will support just about any action by a group of dedicated politicians from their own party.

    • Lance Finney says:

      I think that’s my point. I’m asking whether those who defend the Republican tactics now would cheer on the Democrats to use the same tactics. My impression is that they would be decrying the tactics as illegitimate if the shoe were on the other foot. In other words, they support the action of their own party, but only because it’s of their party.

  2. I think it’s time to call the shutdown Republicans what they are – Economic terrorists. It is SOP not to negotiate with terrorists, because if they discover that taking hostages actually gets them at least some of what they want, they will come back and take more hostages.

    This is an attempt to destroy the Federal government. If the entire government can be used as a hostage to get rid of the ACA law, then it can be used as a hostage to get rid of any law. A Federal government that cannot pass or enforce laws is not, in fact, a government.

    Obama is absolutely right not to compromise here. Compromise opens the door to the destruction of our entire system of government.

    And the Republicans who are attempting to open that door by hijacking Congress are committing treason, and should be dealt with accordingly.

  3. Judy A says:

    You raise a valid point. Why is it that the GOP can use these tactics…yet the Dems would get totally skewered by the press? Why is it that the compromise that the DEMs did–is not clearly articulated by the Dems?

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