Rand Paul placed an op-ed with CNN that starts out with this:
This week, we saw the outrageous spectacle of World War II veterans being told by our government that they couldn't visit their own memorial. These former service members, who stared down the Japanese and the Nazis, were told that they couldn't step through barricades arbitrarily placed in front of their memorial because the government has shut down. Some have speculated that it might have cost more to place the barricades there than to have done nothing at all.
Regardless, these WWII heroes busted through the barricades and gathered at the memorial anyway. Good for them.
The "vets at monuments" stuff has become the go-to horror story among the right wing about the shutdown, which is understandable to a certain extent. Let me be the first to say that barricading open-air monuments is ridiculous.
But there are larger issues at stake here. The government is not functioning and we're talking about barricaded memorials? That just seems petty in the face of almost a million people thrown out of work just because the Republicans are both weak and obstinate.
Adding to his weak case, Paul continues:
While all of this was happening, millions of Americans got their first taste of just how problematic Obamacare is. The healthcare.gov website crashed. When the complaints came, President Barack Obama said that it was just like when Apple unveils a new product -- there are bound to be glitches. I don't recall ever being forced by the government to buy Apple products. I don't recall Apple ever being tone deaf to the complaints of their customers either.Talk about "Apples" and Oranges! Being a network engineer, I can tell you right now that technical glitches does not mean the product is "problematic." The truth is that the healthcare.gov website crashed because of high demand, demand that was increased by all the Republican-led states who refused to set-up their own exchanges, pawning it off on the Feds.
And that "forced by the government" stuff? That went up to the Supreme Court already. Get over it.
Despite popular belief, all members of Congress will be forced to get Obamacare. All Congress and their staff will have to buy their insurance on the Obamacare health exchanges.
This is straight up bullshit, people. No one "will be forced to get Obamacare." You know why? Because Obamacare isn't a thing. It's a set of laws. Yes, there is now a mandate saying that you have to get health insurance. That's true. But the exchanges weren't set up to "force" people into Obamacare. They were set-up to provide health insurance to people who don't have it.In researching the Obamacare exchanges in Kentucky, I learned that I now had a choice between just two insurance companies, whereas previously I had more than 30 choices.
If you can't afford to buy insurance on the open market or don't get it from your employer, then you join the exchange and get it that way. What Paul is crying about here is that his employer --the House of Representatives-- gets their insurance from one of the exchanges. There's a good reason for that. People in Congress have a long and storied history of carving out convenient exemptions for themselves. They would have no qualms at all about giving themselves gold-plated medical plans and the rest of us the rusty version.
This rule actually prevents that. Sorry, Rand, that you have to get the same healthplan that everyone else gets, but hey....if you don't like it, resign your seat. Buy your insurance on the open market and quit bitching.
Did you catch that? Senator Paul starts off his sentence talking about "Obamacare problems" but notice how by the end of it, he's not actually talking about "problems," he's talking about "worries." These are not the same thing.
But my Obamacare problems were small compared to what most Americans faced -- worries about keeping their current plans, the new law itself, what it entails, potential fines, personal privacy and in many cases, even keeping their jobs.
That's not to say there won't be problems with Obamacare. It's just to say that Paul has not identified them.
Like the shutdown itself, Obamacare makes no sense.Well, you're right about the shutdown, Senator.....
No one wanted a government shutdown. Republicans have continued to offer multiple compromises that would keep the government open. I offered an amendment to keep the government open an additional week while negotiations continued. My proposal was rejected. In fact, all of our proposals were rejected.No one wanted a government shutdown? Dude, do you think we're stupid? Of course someone wanted the shutdown, that someone being the Republican party, and it's absolutely amusing to hear all these Republicans politicians and right wing pundits suddenly be conflated with "no one."
As for the "compromises" the Republicans have proposed, they cannot fairly be called "compromises." Ted Cruz, ringleader of this clown circus, is running around Washington saying, "I wanted a full repeal, so this defund stuff is a compromise." That's like Al Qaeda saying "I wanted to destroy New York City completely, but I'll 'compromise' and just blow up the Twin Towers."
It defies logic, good faith, established norms, and he's shocked....shocked, I tell you...that these proposals are rejected. As they should be.
Every attempt to bargain, negotiate or compromise has been rejected by the Democrats. Obama seems to have a "my way or the highway" attitude toward Obamacare. But as the new health care system frustrates nearly everyone, the president insists we must stay the course.There should be no bargain, Senator. Obamacare passed both houses of Congress, was signed into law by the president, was found to be Constitutional by the Supreme Court and more than that: Mitt Romney lost the election last year.
Forget bargaining. Skip right to the acceptance stage. Paul and his Republican cohorts are not asking for a compromise. They are asking to subvert the democratic process itself. Next time, try this:
Win a fucking election.
Pundits like to talk about dysfunctional government in Washington. This week demonstrated how right they are. Our government is too big, inefficient and incompetent to possibly handle American health care effectively.Says the Senator whose Daddy was in the House for three decades...Trust him on this. As a lifelong insider, he knows all about Washington dysfunction.
Why can't this administration get its act together?Or in other words, Squirrel!
No matter what happens with the budget battle, at some point Washington is going to have to respond to the people and address the monstrous failings of Obamacare.Maybe so...but as has been ably demonstrated by your colleagues, Senator, Republicans are incapable of this. I support reforming and fixing any of Obamacare's failings. The Republicans do not.
Let's just be clear about that, okay? The Republicans do not support fixing Obamacare. Rather, they support shutting down the government, ruining the economy, all in service of a symbolic hissy fit.
What Americans were reminded of this week was that Washington is indeed dysfunctional because it tries to take on too many functions. We were reminded that at the highest levels, such as national health care, or smallest, such as overseeing a war memorial, government gets just about everything wrong as a matter of habit.Oh, here we go...the standard Libertarian liturgy. (It just hasn't been the same since they stopped doing it in Latin.)
And what do we have to show for this largely dysfunctional government? Annual trillion dollar deficits and a $17 trillion debt than keeps climbing.So bleak, Senator! We have a pretty cool country, if you ask me...indeed, one I'd say is worth every penny.
There's no excuse for government shutting down.You're the one who has refused to vote for a clean budget bill. What's your excuse?
There's no excuse for this president to reject any and every attempt at compromise.There's that word again....compromise. As Inigo Montoya once said, "I do not think it means what you think it means."
Still, perhaps the only thing worse than a temporary government shutdown is a more lasting meltdown and bankruptcy because of politicians who refuse to live within practical means.Now we're talking about living within our means? Just got whiplash there...I thought we were talking about website glitches and WWII memorials, but nope, it's back to the old Libertarian liturgy.
What Americans were reminded of this week -- more than anything else -- is that big government doesn't work.Oh, get off it. It works just fine. Well, as long as we elect people who are committed to making it work. The people of Kentucky did not do that when they elected Rand Paul to the Senate.