Temper Tantrum

For me, the issue is not the pros and cons of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.  We can debate the pros and cons of that legislation until the cows come home.  As I have studied it and made a sincere attempt to understand it, I like many of its features and question some others.     But, that is an issue that should be reserved for the normal legislative process through negotiations, compromises, and conferences between the Senate, House, and White House, and settled by elections.   What’s happening right now is not “normal.”

As one who is not registered with either major political party, but is independent, the problem I  am having with all of this is that it is political extortion.  The precedent being set here is dangerous if not devastating.  Is this what we really desire?  Is this how we want congress to make legislation?   If one party does not get its way through normal legislative channels, then resort to the low tactics of shutting down the government, putting people out of work, jeopardizing economic stability, and then point the finger of blame elsewhere?  Is this how we want our legislative process to work?  The stakes are high in this.   This is ultimately about how we are to be governed.

A dangerous precedent is being set here.  Behind it is an attitude that says, “We will do anything it takes to get our way.  We don’t care that people are being put out of work.  We don’t care that important programs that help the most vulnerable may be suspended or risking economic trouble.  We don’t care.   We didn’t get out way through the normal legislative process, so we will go to extreme measures to get our way.“

It is analogous to a child’s temper tantrum.  As a parent, I don’t remember giving in to our son’s temper tantrums when he was a child.   Actually, I only remember one major tantrum.  On that occasion, we made it absolutely clear, in no uncertain terms, it was an unacceptable strategy that would never get him anywhere.  It would only cause us, as his parents, to dig in our heels and say “No.”     He never had another temper tantrum again.  He came close, but we would remind him that it wasn’t going to work, and he mellowed out.    We were fortunate in that our son was a pretty mature little boy, and he learned quickly that such tactics are immature, dishonest, manipulative, and he cannot always get his way.    I can only hope the grown-ups who are supposed to mentor us in  mature behavior in congress can, in the end, act accordingly.


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