Is this government shutdown a trap for the Tea Party?

It would be nice if it were


(Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

The conventional wisdom in Washington is the Tea Party “forced” House Republican Speaker John Boehner to insert provisions first repealing and then postponing Obamacare into a measure that would secure funding for the federal government. The key question, though, is: Forced how?

As Washington Post opinion writer Ruth Marcus soberly noted in this morning’s newspaper, taking on the ideologues might cost Boehner his speakership — but so what? Making it into the history books as the speaker who led the country to the first government shutdown in some 17 years doesn’t sound all that appealing. And, let’s be honest, in almost every picture Boehner looks as if he’d just gulped down a mouthful of chewing tobacco. That is not the face of someone who’s enjoying his job.

Read: Ted Cruz and the Tea Party’s Dangerous Game of Chicken

As I wrote last week, one possible explanation for why Boehner and the rest of the Republican establishment have given the Tea Party so much free rein is that they fear primary challengers to the right. If they don’t accommodate the extremists, in other words, they might lose their seat — not just whatever role they’ve taken on in Congress. You can blame re-districting and party primary races for encouraging centrifugal forces rather than creating incentives to converge toward the political centre.

There’s another possible take, though: The current shutdown is a trap for the Tea Party, the product of an unspoken alliance between Democrats and pragmatic Republicans to tame the anarchists. Boehner might be quietly leading his newbies to step on a rake in hopes that the smack in the face will get them to relent — with the Democrats watching with their fingers crossed.

Putting up with a few shuttered federal agencies seems like an OK price to pay if it brings the extremists to the negotiating table in time for a compromise on the debt ceiling. That outcome, though, is far from guaranteed, for two reasons.

First, it isn’t clear that Americans will put the blame for the shutdown squarely on the Tea Party, or even on the GOP. A CNN survey found that 46 per cent of Americans would fault the Republicans, and 36 per cent President Obama. That might not be serious enough backlash to cause a reckoning.

Second, and most importantly, the Treasury has said it might run out of cash by October 17, which doesn’t leave very much time for the GOP’s unruly freshmen to learn the lesson.

This article appeared first on CanadianBusiness.com


Is this government shutdown a trap for the Tea Party?

  1. “I don’t know what all the
    scenes are, but I’ve seen how this movie ends. We will end up not shutting the
    government down, and we will not defund Obamacare.”

    Sen. John McCain

  2. Funny how the legacy media thinks that any conservative who wants lower taxes and smaller government without trillion dollar deficits, is an anarchist.
    Does MacLean’s now toe the line on talking points from the American Democrats?
    It’s the elected DUTY of the house of representatives to approve any and ALL spending bills. The Democrat controlled Senate has unconstitutionally refused to table a successful budget since Obama first entered office. Obama announced some time ago that he would NOT negotiate the continuing resolution to fund the government or raise the debt ceiling. NEWs FLASH, it’s the President who is acting unconstitutionally and in effect shutting down the government when he refuses to negotiate with those actually empowered to spend US tax dollars.
    Even though it appears MacLean’s wishes otherwise, Obama is not a dictator and must negotiate with the house of representatives who were duly elected to prevent him from becoming one.

    • I thought that it was congress that was responsible for the budgets?
      Either way they have had a lot of time (4 years) to vote down Obamacare and they even had an election in which the democrats won thereby endorsing the health care bill. So now they are still trying to kill it. At some point you must draw the line. Wouldn’t you agree?

      • Obama care has always, throughout its existence, been opposed by the majority of the people. It was passed using reconciliation because they no longer had the votes, and most people polled today want to see it repealed.
        So no, there is no reason to “draw the line”. They are pushing a path that is supported by a majority of the people, and that is why they are pushing for repeal.

        • If people were so against it then why did they vote for him in the election? The election was run on his record and the only thing he accomplished in his first term was health care so it is a little disingenuous to say that people are against the health care. Even the NFL support it.

          Therre is a huge misinformation campaign against health care that is being funded by the Koch brothers that is beginning to turn the tide.

          But the reality is they have had 4 years to vote it down and every time it has passed.

          But it does not really matter to me as I do not live in the US and why would I care about it?

          • Elections are not run on a single issue. In fact, Obama did not mention his health care law at all when campaigning, and ran no advertisements for it, because he knew the public opposed it. Most of his advertising was a negative campaign against Romney’s character.

            The fact is, people are against it:

            You can argue all you like, but you can’t make up the facts.

            Your mention of the Koch brothers is nothing more than a paranoid conspiracy theory.

          • Often elections are run on a single issue. Look at Canada and the FTA with the US. The election for the president could have easily been a single issue election if the republicans believed that the health care was that unpopular.
            We all know that the US system is nothing more than legalized corruption and big money control everything. That is not paranoid conspiracy but is fact. Where do you think the parties get their money from?

          • “The election for the president could have easily been a single issue election”

            It wasn’t. It’s a fact that Obama avoided any mention of the health care law. Yes, some elections focus on a single issue. That one didn’t. I’m talking reality, not fantasyland.

          • My point is that if the republicans believed so much in the people not wanting obamacare they would have made it the most important issue in the election. But they did not, and the election was not that long ago so there is no excuse.
            Instead they are doing this backhanded approach because they know they can not win if it was taken to the people.

    • It’s the elected DUTY of the house of representatives to approve any and ALL spending bills.

      Sure, and “Obamacare” was passed by Congress THREE YEARS AGO. What’s more, despite holding more than 40 separate votes to attempt to overturn it, the Republicans have failed to do so every time. It’s nothing less than extortion to threaten to shut down the federal government in order to prevent a duly passed law from coming in to effect.

      As for the debt ceiling, what most Tea Party members don’t seem to get is that raising the debt ceiling (a completely artificial budgetary cap) does not authorize the Treasury to borrow more money, it simply authorizes the Treasury to pay back the money it’s ALREADY borrowed. The only thing that not raising the debt ceiling accomplishes is that it would prevent the Treasury from paying for expenditures that have ALREADY BEEN INCURRED. The Tea Party’s position is essentially that the U.S. should default on it’s loans. What President would “negotiate” with a group that is essentially insisting that the United States of America should, for all intents and purposes, declare bankruptcy?

      • Yup. Not increasing the debt, it’s paying the bills. Bills that Congress already voted for!

        Maybe they should be required to take a course before they run for election so they have some idea what they’re doing!

      • It’s the right wing way – spend and not fund. Paying for the spending of Conservatives has never been a priority of those on the right. The right and their corporate partners are the biggest bunch of moochers and welfare queens in any western country. Our deficit and the US Tea party’s insistence that they can spend money that they won’t raise is testimony to that fact.

        • Right! And Obama bailed out and has not taken one of the shisters responsible to jail.

          • That’s because Obama is just a little bit to the left of Bush and Co, so being a corporatist right winger he was just looking after his own

      • The 40 is a fraud. Most of those votes were supported by Democrats and many of them became law.
        No, raising the debt ceiling does not authorize them to pay back money already borrowed. Interest payments are 6% of the existing debt, while any maturing debt to be paid back can immediately be reissued as new debt with no effect on the debt levels.

        So your comment is completely false.
        Raising the ceiling is about issuing new debt, that’s why it’s called a DEBT CEILING, it’s a ceiling on the total amount of debt. The stupidity here is astounding.

        • Yes, it’s a ceiling on the total debt, but it’s only to pay for things that the government has ALREADY BOUGHT. Not raising the debt ceiling can’t stop congress from voting for more spending, it can only constrain the Treasury from paying for expenditures that have already been incurred. Essentially, congress approves new spending all the time, but when it comes to raising the debt ceiling a whole bunch of them suddenly balk at paying for the spending they’ve ALREADY AUTHORIZED.

          As for the 40 votes to repeal Obamacare, if some of those passed and became law, how has Obamacare not been repealed? Now, it’s true that many of those votes were successful in the HOUSE, but as much as they might like to, the Republicans can’t just pretend that the Senate doesn’t exist.

          • ” but it’s only to pay for things that the government has ALREADY BOUGHT”

            No, that is also false. Only half of spending is mandatory (ie already authorized). The rest is discretionary. That is why there is a government shutdown (duh) because the spending is NOT authorized.

            “As for the 40 votes to repeal Obamacare, if some of those passed and became law, how has Obamacare not been repealed?”
            The whole point is that there were NOT 40 votes to repeal Obamacare, duh, the 40 number includes all sorts of votes that had nothing to do with repeal! You’re repeating Democratic talking points like a trained seal.
            The stupidity is astounding!

          • Well, here’s an article from that Democratic mouthpiece The Washington Post on Obamacare votes 38 and 39.

            I suppose it is accurate to say that only 5 or 6 of the votes were to completely repeal the statute in its entirety, the others were just to gut significant portions of it, or deny funding to implement it, thus making it moot.

            To me though the most significant thing is that each of these attempts failed, and were doomed to fail from the beginning, because there’s STILL A SENATE. To my eye it’s pretty transparently theatre, and not a serious attempt to change the law. It’s all about giving legislators the talking point “I voted against Obamacare X times” with the expectation that voters won’t care that each of those votes was, for all practical purposes, a waste of everyone’s time. It’s legislative masturbation.

            Ironically, the reason the Republicans are going all out to kill it now, as no less than Ted Cruz himself has stated, is that they’re afraid that if Obamacare goes through unimpeded it will become so popular with voters that it will be impossible to get rid of. If they don’t kill it before it gets going, their greatest fear is that their “I voted against Obamacare X times” talking point will end up being a suicidal electoral argument.

          • “Ironically, the reason the Republicans are going all out to kill it now, as no less than Ted Cruz himself has stated, is that they’re afraid that if Obamacare goes through unimpeded it will become so popular with voters that it will be impossible to get rid of”

            No. Communism was never popular either. But it was never repealed. Russia lived with it for nearly 100 years. China lived with it for decades.
            Once you hand power over to government, there is no guarantee that you can ever get it back. Heck, 100% of the population wants government to balance the budget, yet that’s happened once in 30 years in the USA and never in Canada during my lifetime.

            You have also contradicted yourself. You claim they are going all out to kill it now, yet you previous claimed they tried to kill it 40 times. So make up your mind, you cannot claim this effort is both unusual and common at the same time.

          • LKO is referring to this:

            Right before he bragged that he isn’t “housetrained,” Cruz laid out the Green Eggs and Ham scenario, telling Hannity “If we don’t do it (defund Obamacare) now, in all likelihood, Obamacare will never, ever be repealed. Why is that? Because on January 1, the exchanges kick in, the subsidies kick in,” and added that “their plan is to get the American people addicted to the sugar, addicted to the subsidies, and once that happens, in all likelihood, it never gets…”

            “It’s over,” Hannity cut in, “it never gets repealed.”

            Not “it’s never popular like communism is never popular.” Rather, it becomes popular like Green Eggs and Ham – the public actually experiences Obamacare and realize it’s not all death panels, rationing and the end of the American dream.

            Which is what Massachusetts has experienced – even privately-insured citizens have been better off due to price competition vs. the publicly-available policies.

          • The reality is that no Republican believes Obamacare will be a success.

            Everyone believes it will be a failure. That is the source of the opposition. Regardless of how much it may fail, Democrats will never stop defending it, due to ideology.

            This has been argued over and over and over again. Insurance costs will rise (this is already visibly true), unemployment will rise due to the employer mandate, it will not cover anywhere near as many as claimed, many people will lose their existing insurance, choice in the marketplace will be reduced, and the quality of health care will decrease due to increased bureaucracy and control of individual doctors and health professionals.

    • I thought the Supreme Court had already ruled that the bill was constitutional, the bill itself followed the proper process to become an act and it had not been overturned in the intervening years by processes that are in existence to test any bill.
      How is it unconstitutional? You do realise your side not having a case is not the same as unconstitutional.

    • Grow up.

      Twas the Bush Republican years that destroyed the US Treasury.

      Clinton left a surplus.

  3. The problem is that the Tea Party has turned a healthcare bill that about 5 years ago was the type of healthcare reform being proposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and tried to morph it in to some sort of America-destroying socialist plot. What’s more, as Ted Cruz himself has acknowledged, their worry is not that Americans are going to hate “Obamacare”, their fear is that Americans are going to like it. Having made the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into the bogey man in their horror movie they have to kill it BEFORE it comes to life, as even the right-wingers are convinced that once it’s in place it will quickly become too popular to ever get rid of it.

    Having framed “Obamacare” as an existential threat to the very nation itself, they can hardly let it be enacted. Not because it’s ACTUALLY a threat to the nation of course, but because they can’t afford for it not to be, or worse (and more likely) they can’t afford the possibility that people might actually decide that it was a good idea after all.

    To their credit, the crazy actions of Ted Cruz et al lately are entirely consistent with their crazy rhetoric on “Obamacare”. In some ways the problem, imho, is less that their actions are totally insane than that their RHETORIC has been totally insane, and now they’re matching their actions to their rhetoric. Only in a world in which “Obamacare” was truly a serious threat to the United States of America would it make any sense to risk destroying the American economy to stop it. And even in that scenario it makes very little sense!

    • I think you’ll find that the US economy isn’t that great, they are pretty broke already and it won’t take much more to push it over the brink. I think the teabaggers are pissed off the end of times hasn’t occurred and they haven’t been raptured off to join Jebus in heaven, so they’re doing what they can to fulfill their millenarian wet dreams.

  4. Without enumerating the “democratic’ way the Affordable Care Act was passed, other than the 300 page addition added by Pelosi moments before passing the bill. Passing it through reconciliation and having it immediately signed by Obama on Christmas eve. An unread 300 page addition, unread, with zero votes from any Republicans.
    The Affordable Care Act demands employers pay insurance (or a fine) for every employee working more than 29.5 hours per week. As of Aug. 2, the US has gained 953,000 new jobs since January 1st. What isn’t reported is that 731,000 of those jobs were part time. 77% of all new jobs are part time, think about that.
    It’s not that the Republicans don’t want to improve the previously best medical care in the world, it’s that the affordable care act is deeply flawed and unaffordable. If it’s such a good plan, why has Congress and the Senate exempted themselves from it?
    The Republican House of Representatives has been spurned by the Senate in trying to legislate that all federal employees must belong to the same plans offered ordinary Americans, including Congress.

    • ” the previously best medical care in the world”

      If by “best” you mean “most expensive”, then sure.

      • Law….supply….demand.
        The US was where you could find the best medical care in the world.
        People didn’t travel to Canada from the US for healthcare, ever.
        I agree that capitalist societies are inherently unfair. I also know they’re orders of magnitude better than any ‘centralized control’ system ever used.

        • I’m sure that you can find some of the best care in the world in the US if you can afford it. But that’s not evidence of the best system – not even close.

          An infant mortality rate below even every single Western European country, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, for example, isn’t a characteristic of the world’s best health care system.

          • Uh, so you think the best health care systems have HIGH infant mortality rates?

            This is a dark turn for the “planet is overpopulated”crowd…

          • When I said “below” I was obviously referring to the US rank relative to others.

        • boy, are you ever wrong about THAT. I personally know several doctors who have done that —as they aged, they couldn’t get insurance and went (or returned) to Canada.. I also recently met a very successful doctor in Ft. Lauderdale who said that he felt he might be able to retire earlier as now he believes he can get affordable insurance. As for the 40 million uninsured. in the US……..

        • The US was where you could find the best medical care in the world.People didn’t travel to Canada from the US for healthcare, ever.

          Oh, this dumb talking-point again.
          It’a about AVAILABILITY. Yes, some Canadians come to America for high-end treatment. These Canadians in question are really really rich. Middle-class Americans, on the other hand, have been screwed by the status quo – the old system that Republicans are desperately trying to bring back.

    • I don’t remember the likes of you whining about the “Patriot Act” being passed in such a democratic manner back in the day. But now somebody has made an attempt to prevent the thousands who die monthly from lack of health insurance dieing, the process you previously hailed as okay is now suspect?
      Hmmm, I believe you need to revisit the beam in your own eye prior to advising others about their eyesight.

    • How do you define “best”? Having the best medical care in the world doesn’t mean sh……t when it’s increasingly unaffordable for larger numbers of people & when private insurers are making decisions on treatments based not on best medical practice but rather the cheapest option.

  5. Whats this? A Maclean’s article blaming the Republicans for everything? Didn’t expect that! What sorcery is this?

    • Even the media values public healthcare ?

      ( we consume more and pay more taxes when we’re healthy – hopefully the Canadian government will take note )

      • We are taking note, as we are having a tea bagger party in a province trying to move in and do the same thing. Sorry tea baggers…we canadians like to go to the doctor whether we have money or not. We might have to line-up, but with a baby boomer population, we’re going to have lineups anyhow…and at least WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME LINEUP

        • You have a party of people who like sucking scrotums in your province? Wow.

        • Which province Jean?

    • Even you have to admit that the Repubs are being particularly disingenuous and silly about this.

      • Yeah, you’re right. And Obama and the Dems are being so principled.

        Perhaps you could describe a single thing Obama has done to try and negotiate an end to the standoff. I mean, other than hitting the f**king golf course.

        • Why should he negotiate?

          • Wow. This may be the single stupidest comment you’ve ever posted. And there’s a LOT to choose from.

          • Obama won the election. The American people support him. This has already been passed…numerous times.

            In a democracy, the majority rules.

            Now they are refusing to pay bills they’ve already racked up….making them deadbeats and bankrupting the US.

            There is nothing to negotiate here John….they need to do their job or get fired.

          • The majority oppose Obamacare (and always has), and Republicans won the congressional election, and why I’m rebutting a complete idiot, I have no idea.

          • The majority love it and always have…..and Obama won in a landslide….so you’ll just have to get over it.

          • They scraped Romney off the pavement….and 2/3 of Americans are for it.

            Stop sulking.

          • Stop lying. Do you have an honest bone in your body?

          • Says the rightwing nutbar……..LOL

          • Says the left-wing lying troll.

          • Never been left wing…you still don’t know the meaning of ‘troll’….and here’s some reading material

            Polls consistently show that Americans aren’t happy with Obamacare. They think the law will make health care
            more expensive, and decrease its quality. But a new survey of 1,976 registered voters finds that only 33 percent believe that the health law should be repealed, delayed, or defunded. 29 percent believe that “Congress should make changes to improve the law,” 26 percent believe that “Congress should let the law take effect” and see what happens, and 12 percent believe that the law should be expanded. The bottom line? Voters are skeptical that Obamacare will live up to Democrats’ hype. But they also believe that it should be given a chance to succeed.


          • Stop lying, left-wing troll. It’s getting old, like you.

          • LOL puir wee babe

          • Still going, troll? Keep it up.

          • Well somebody’s got to talk to you…..so you don’t jump off something

          • Trolling is clearly your calling.

          • Well, intelligence isn’t yours.

          • Trolling, trolling, trolling… lying and trolling.

          • Singing is not a good sign scff….but at least you made me laugh

          • The polls do tend to show a majority opposing Obamacare, but I do think those need to be taken with a little salt.

            A not insignificant number of people in the U.S. who oppose Obamacare oppose it because they think it doesn’t go far enough. Bill Maher would be captured in that majority for instance, as he thinks that the U.S. should have gone for a single payer system, and that the Democrats mistake was in supporting a compromise that looks pretty much identical to the healthcare reform plan put out by the HERITAGE FOUNDATION about 5 years ago.

            Perhaps the more accurate polling data to look at in this context is how many people support repealing Obamacare. Most polls place that number around 33% or so.

          • Thanks for the link.
            I think that number is a bit low. Here is another poll, this one saying 44% say it should be repealed:

            I am skeptical there are many people who don’t want government health care because they want more government health care. Many people believe this is the first step towards single payer (ie wreak havoc on the insurance market in order to justify taking it over). I would be astounded that anyone would be opposed because it’s not enough.

            The poll you link to shows that an additional 29% want changes to the law, making it 52% who want it to be repealed, defunded or changed. One of the bills from the Republicans proposed to kill the medical device tax and delay Obamacare for a year (in part because elements such as the employed mandate were already unilaterally delayed by Obama already).

          • That’s the thing with the wording of some of those polls. I do think that there are a lot of Democrats who don’t like Obamacare because they wanted a single payer system more like we have. So, depending upon the wording of the poll, I think a fair number of those people might answer that they oppose “Obamacare”, but would nonetheless take it over the status quo.

            The confusion comes, I think, from the fact that Obamacare is essentially what the Republicans wanted to do when Obama was first elected, and now so many Republicans oppose it with the burning hot passion of a thousand suns.

            The politics will be fascinating to watch. Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer are hardly raving socialists, but both have described what the Republicans are doing as unfathomably idiotic. You can never tell how the winds will shift, but I thought that Krauthammer describing the Tea Party Representatives pushing for the government shutdown offensive as the “suicide caucus” was pretty telling.

          • I’d also say that the even the 44% number should be somewhat discouraging to the Republicans. Going so far as to shut down the federal government in order to effectively repeal a statute that even 44% of the population wants repealed could blow up in their faces.

          • You keep repeating repeal. The Republicans have passed a bill with a 1 year delay. A 1 year delay is not a repeal.

          • You’re talking about the current shutdown votes I think.

            I’m talking about the 41 votes that happened BEFORE the current crisis, starting right away in 2010 when the law was signed. You’re right that only about 5 or 6 of those votes called for a full repeal, but most of the others called for the legislation to be gutted, or go unfunded, to the point that it would have had the same practical impact as a full repeal.

            Also, a vote for a 1 year delay sounds much more reasonable devoid of the context of the law having been signed by the President in 2010.

            I think that this is what Republicans are really worried about. As the Washington Post puts it “So on the one hand, Washington was shut down because Republicans don’t want Obamacare. On the other hand, Obamacare was nearly shut down because so many Americans wanted Obamacare”.

          • Considering that several other parts of the legislation were already delayed, such as the employer mandate and such as some of the security measures that were intended, it’s not unreasonable to ask to delay the individual mandate, especially when technically the president has no legal authority to choose which parts to delay.
            Secondly, considering that 35 states out of 50 reported problems yesterday, and that some are saying it may be months to fix all the glitches, from that perspective a delay is also not unreasonable.
            From the perspective that legislation is passed by congress, yet the executive branch has chosen to hand out waivers (not in the law) and delay some parts of the law and not others (such as the employer mandate), it’s not unreasonable to thing that congress should also have a say whether some parts or all of it are delayed. Also, considering a majority think the law should be changed, repealed or defunded, as shown by your poll, it’s not unreasonable to acquiesce to the will of the people. Considering as well that all government shutdowns before this one were resolved by a negotiated settlement, and in this case, for the first time, one side has refused to negotiate, it’s not unreasonable to expect that a negotiation should take place.
            Finally, the Washington Post is the last place you should go for the Republican position. It is considered to be a paper that leans left. If you want to know the Democrat position, ask Democrats, if you want to know the Republican position, ask Republicans. If you want to get a farcical reporting of the Republican position, go to the Washington Post.

          • If you want to know the Republican position, ask Republicans.

            Which ones? ‘Cause to my eyes the Speaker of the House is clearly no longer in charge of things.

          • It seems to me that most of the glitches were a result of the huge numbers of Americans trying to sign up for a program that supposedly no Americans want. We’ll see how it goes, but all of the stories about glitches that I’ve read point to the types of glitches that the Democrats would actually take comfort in. The Obamacare servers seem to be having the same sort of problems that Apple sometimes has when they announce a new iPhone.

          • According to Congressman Jim Himes (D-Conn.), out of the 28,000 visitors to his state’s exchange Tuesday, only 167 actually signed up.

            Make of that what you wish. To me, 167 is not a big number for a state with 3.6 million people.

          • According to Congressman Jim Himes (D-Conn.), out of the 28,000 visitors to his state’s exchange Tuesday, only 167 actually signed up.

            I make of it simply that when servers crash because of overwhelming traffic very few people are able to access the product or service that they were trying to access. I could be wrong though.

          • It could also mean nobody likes the prices.

          • Just as a side tangent, peripherally related, does Canada’s healthcare system drive you absolutely crazy?

          • Doesn’t drive me crazy. I think it’s crap, and I don’t like it, but I’ve lived with it for a long time. The few occasions I need to use it I wait an average of 8 hours, just like everyone else (and this includes both trips to clinics and to ERs. Even when making appointments you still end up waiting several hours. I’ve had the same experience as many Canadians with difficulty finding a local GP). I’ve lived in two other countries, and in those other countries I’ve waited on average 10 minutes, and I can never recall waiting more than 15 minutes for any reason. Additionally, in those countries, I’ve actually been able to talk to the doctor as long as I want, and the doctors have asked me questions about lifestyle and background, just because they’re not in a rush and they have the time to get to know you. In Canada the average visit lasts 5 minutes and then they’re pushing you out the door with your prescription. I find Canada’s hospitals extremely over-crowded. I find the clinics are extremely over-crowded. I find the service in any Canadian hospital or health place terrible because everyone is rushed and stressed to the core of their being. I think what doctors and nurses must endure in Canada is beyond reasonable, and I think anyone with a low resistance to stress would wither.

            I would agree with OECD who ranked Canada’s system 30th or so. I think it’s a good system when you have a heart attack or other serious ailment, in which service is prompt and the care is highly professional. Any other time, it’s crap, the wait times are abysmal and the service is poor. I think everyone is stressed because of the wait times and the over-crowding. I think the system will continue to deteriorate because it’s a monopoly. I think no amount of money could fix it. I’ve read that the systems in France and in Japan are exemplary, and I believe Canada should have modeled itself after one of those countries, a long, long time ago. I also believe it will likely never change, even as it continues to deteriorate, because of the ideology that has been instilled in many Canadians’ minds that no matter what anyone else says, no matter what your experience may be, no matter how stressed you get or how long you wait, no matter what happens, it is the best in the world, simply because of the ideology.

          • I think a lot of that is true, with the caveat that it’s just as bad in the U.S., if not worse, except that the U.S. government spends more tax dollars per-capita on healthcare (pre Obamacare) than we do, and people there are sometimes (WAAY too often) driven in to bankruptcy when they get sick.

          • I think the Democrats shuld wonder if the public realizes that only one side is offering to negotiate over a health law that the majority of the population wants to change, defund or repeal. The non-negotiating side refuses to accept anything other than the exact bill they want. The Republicans know that a majority of the population does not like the bill as is, that is why they feel they have every right to negotiate.

          • I guess I wonder if the majority of the population realizes that we’re not talking about a bill anymore, we’re talking about a federal statute that was made law three years ago.

            I’m sure that if Republicans would like to negotiate over which federal laws get followed and which don’t, the Democrats might be willing to negotiate that.

          • The Democrats don’t care if the Republicans WANT to negotiate, the law has been signed and has beaten more than 40 attempts to repeal it as well as a Supreme Court appeal. No poll shows “the majority” of anyone wants to change, defund, or repeal ACA. There is NOTHING TO NEGOTIATE CLOWN. The bill passed and was signed into law. Republicans in Congress have a REQUIREMENT and DUTY to fund the government, not to hold 300+ million Americans hostage in yet another failed attempt to get what they want even though they are the MINORITY.

          • Take a valium and learn the truth. Almost everything you wrote is false.

          • No it’s not, and your entire lack of a retort proves it. The reality, that you fail to see, is that the House has a Senate approved bill sitting there waiting to be voted on to ENTIRELY fund the US government. The Republicans are refusing to even put it up for a vote.

          • xxx

          • I am skeptical there are many people who don’t want government health care because they want more government health care.

            I would state that differently. From the perspective of these people, I’d say that it’s more accurate to say that they want government healthcare, and they recognize that Obamacare isn’t actually government healthcare. They’d view the distinction between “government healthcare” and “government mandated private healthcare” to be significant.

          • Doesn’t Obama have a strong stable majority just like Harper and you seem okay with Harper rushing things through with no consultation with the opposition.
            The dissonance it must take to be you must be staggering

          • If Obama had a majority the House of Representatives would be a Democratic majority, not a Republican majority, you complete idiot.

          • Still sulking I see
            What a bitter little person you are.
            Obama doesn’t have a majority in the Senate or House, but he is the president and has said he will veto any attempt to quash his bill. That sounds like power to me and after being elected twice it looks like he has a strong, stable mandate; just like the grey liar who is our PM.
            Feel free to continue being a petulant brat though.

          • Firstly, the Democrats do have a majority in the Senate. The Republicans have a majority in the House.
            Secondly, Obama doesn’t have a bill.
            You really are a complete idiot, you have no idea what you are talking about.
            Why on earth do you assert things as facts when in reality you have absolutely no idea?

          • Ah so it’s not Obamacare then? That means the teabaggers are even more of a “complete idiot” than me.

          • Secondly, Obama doesn’t have a bill.

            I’m not sure that I know what you mean by this. Are you simply referring to the fact that Obamacare is no longer a bill, but a statute, having been signed into law in 2010?

            Hareball’s point about Obama promising to veto any attempt to quash Obamacare is correct, it just should have been written “Obama has said he will veto any attempt to quash this statute”. Then again, that’s not accurate either. I don’t believe that the President has ever threatened to veto a repeal of Obamacare (and why would he, since the Republicans don’t have the votes to repeal Obamacare in any case) but it seems to me to be perfectly within the prerogative of the President to threaten to veto attempts to undermine the enforcement and implementation of federal statutes that are already on the books.

          • Obama has not proposed a bill of any kind. He has said he will support the Senate bill and oppose all of the House bills. He has not proposed a bill of his own (either for the budget or the debt ceiling), which the executive sometimes will do (especially for budgets), nor has he negotiated on any of the proposed bills.
            The only bills out there are senate bills or house bills.

          • No, really…why should he negotiate? The law has beaten all 40+ attempts at repeal, and the Supreme Court. There is nothing to “negotiate” there. The House has a clean CR sitting there ready to be voted on, and have had it since BEFORE the shutdown.

        • This is a crass political view of the situation, but from that standpoint there’s an argument to be made that Obama is not doing everything he can to end this situation on the principle of “When your opponent is in the process of shooting himself in the foot, don’t get in the way”.

          • No I meant it…he’s actually hitting the f**king golf course in the middle of this rather than trying to negotiate a solution.

            There have been many government shutdowns in the past. Here is a summary of them. One thing you’ll note is that all of them were solved through negotiations between the WH and Congress. Every. Single. One.

            This asshole refuses to. Because no matter what he does, the lapdogs who work for him in media will ensure he gets no blame. Ever. He literally goes out of his way to barricade an open-space War Memorial that is open 24×7 and requires no funding, in the middle of a Veterans ceremony, just to be an ass…then goes golfing. And yet everything is still the GOPs fault.

          • For the record, I know that you meant what you wrote. I wasn’t saying that YOUR point was the “crass political point” (though I do think that there’s some of that in your point too), I was saying that MY point was the crass political way of viewing it.

            Politically (just POLITICALLY) if the President and the Dems are convinced that the Republicans are going to end up wearing all of this (and polls suggest that they will) there’s a crass political motive to letting the Republicans have at it. Charles Krauthammer has called the Tea Party Republicans behind the shutdown strategy the “suicide caucus” and (again, from a crass political point of view) if you think that your political opponents are in the act of committing political suicide, you don’t interfere to try to save them from themselves.

          • No, I got your point & I understand where you’re coming from. It’s just disgusting (the situation I mean, not your point). They know they will get no blame because the US media has packed it in and are just the Democratic messaging campaign now.

            The actions Obama & the Dems are taking are those of people who know they are immune from any kind of political consequence for anything. No one dares make Obama or any significant Democrat attempt to pay a political price for anything. Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, the NSA, the snooping on the AP & Fox News, Eric Holder’s perjury…anything. He is literally untouchable.

            It’s a very scary world we live in now.

          • Well, obviously we view things differently. I don’t think that the Democrats will take much of the blame because they’re not to blame on this one. Or, to put it less categorically, they’re not seen to be to blame for this among the electorate. To me, that’s not a result of a media conspiracy, that’s a result of objective reality.

            No President is going to agree to derail their central legislative accomplishment, the main one they campaigned on, because their political opponents are threatening to rip their own party apart over it. To me, the Republicans are basically saying “If you don’t stop Obamacare before it gets a chance to become really popular with the voters, we’ll rip apart the Republican party”.

            If I were a Democratic politician faced with that threat, I’d go golfing.

          • If I were a Democratic politician faced with that threat, I’d go golfing.

            Well, at least going golfing is reasonably harmless.

            Would you barricade an open air War Memorial that costs nothing to operate, just to spite veterans?

            Would you cancel a no-cost Army/Navy sporting event just for optics?

            Would you go on CNBC & deliberately try to spook the stock market?

            This is not the GOP doing this stuff. This is Obama. And again…no-one will dare touch him on any of it. Certainly not any of the hacks writing here.

            You’re a lefty LKO, but you still don’t seem like the kind of asshole that would do these things; things that are designed to spite ordinary people and cause them undue hardship because you’re certain that no matter what, you won’t be blamed for it.

          • On optics, I’d link to this story for future reference, which contains the same quote on the Navy-Air Force game but without the burning skull gif and the reference to the President of the United States as a “cult leader”. ;-)

            I’d also note that it doesn’t seem as though the game is definitely off yet, and point out that the dude from DoD who apparently made the “optics” statement to the Navy’s AD probably wasn’t the Commander in Chief. I’m quite certain that the President didn’t personally order the Navy-Air Force game to be cancelled. I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere that he was too busy golfing to have made such a call. ;-)

          • You might also link to this story, which clarifies the “spiteful barricade” of a war memorial: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/national-park-service-to-keep-ww-ii-memorial-open-to-veterans/2013/10/02/bddb5678-2b8c-11e3-b139-029811dbb57f_story.html

            To be fair, you would have to wade through 4 pages of Google links to right wing fever swamps all breathlessly reporting Obama’s deliberate (dare I say “cruel?” “Nazi-esque?”) barricade of the monument.

          • BTW, the Navy-Air Force game is a go.

            Maybe the President made a call from the golf course ;-)

    • Not only that, this one labels the Republicans as “extremists” and “anarchists”.

      I guess Alini is just another Maclean’s hack.

      • Con default argument – Macleans writers are all hacks for – (fill in the blank.

        • Why would you say they’re all hacks? Several are, but certainly not all. Just go somewhere else if you think they’re all hacks.

          • Wow – you’re thick too.

          • Another stellar comment from a neanderthal. By the way, how was that date with Emily, your partner? How’s that loving relationship coming along?

          • And if they did have a relationship why is that a concern of yours?

  6. Cutting taxes for Paris Hilton has nothing to do with lowering the deficit.

    Just the opposite, actually.

    Stay classy and intelligent, Republicans.

  7. “Is this government shutdown a trap for the Tea Party?
    It would be nice if it were”

    Nope. No bias here.

    I thought this would improve at least a bit without Parisella. Still just as bad.

    • You do realise that wanting to prevent the idiocy of extremist fruitcakes from destroying rights and liberties that took others centuries and many lives to obtain isn’t bias; it’s survival. Or is it only okay to attack extremist loons when they are of a dusky hue and a religion other than christian.

      • Speaking of destroying rights and freedoms, I guess you haven’t been paying attention of all the spying and intrusions by this administration that look like Bush and Cheney on steroids! Thats OK, return head into ass when ready!

        • 8 years of pushing back rights based on fear has created a US that is so frightened of it’s own shadow that it is willing give everything that ever made it good away. Obama, like any politician, has just refused to give back those powers that their scared population allowed the extreme right to take.
          That to me indicates that Obama is not a leftie socialist but a slightly less extreme right winger than Bush/Cheney.

    • Parisella didn’t call Republicans anarchists and extremists. He was bad, but not this bad.

  8. NO – the trap has been sprung and as a wise ol man once said
    – the BUCK stops here – and indeed it has stopped and now Obama is going to wear it – no matter how he and the liberla infested media try to change and spin it away the buck does indeed stop at his desk –

    • The republicans got the last word in…which was shut it down..which put people out of work this morning.

  9. I can’t believe I am typing this all the way from Canada…but the right wing is moving in something fierce. In Alberta, a party called the Wildrose party got in as leader of the opposition (they are supposed to keep the ruling gov on their toes), by claiming they are helping southern Alberta farmer and ranchers. However, since they got in, they have been holding town halls about suing the charter of rights about guns! This is pretty unfamiliar territory for we Canadians, and the truth is coming out (after a bit of googling)…the party wants to take down our province (somewhat like a state) government and then take the charter of rights which is under the whole country, move the rights to the province, and run it themselves. They are using bully tactics and manipulating the media. If the wildrose gets into Alberta, Alberta will be waking up this morning just like the US is…in big trouble. I am hopeful that the tea party fails in the States, as that will help others here see that the right extreme way is not the way to go. The wildrose doesn’t negotiate or work with any stakeholders either, and they are being compared to the tea party in the States…a strange experience for us Canadians. So we are watching your country intently…hoping for the best outcome for you all. One thing I do see..both our western wildrose (aka tea party North) and the Tea Party in the US run purely on ideology. You can’t run a country on ideas alone. You need a plan….I don’t see a firm, concrete, plan from any of these people…and that’s why I think they will fail. With sincere best wishes to our American friends…all the best to you…what goes up, must come down…works for the tea party too LOL

  10. Your use of the words “anarchist” and “extremist” for 30% of the US
    population is pathetic. The tea party is a group that has as many supporters as opponents, and has just as much legitimacy as any other large block in the government. There are more people in the tea party than there are Canadians.

    This kind of uncivil discourse, coming from a supposed professional journalist, is disgusting.

    • scf: “The stupidity here is astounding.”

      “You have a party of people who like sucking scrotums in your province? Wow.”

      “… you complete idiot.”

      “You really are a complete idiot, you have no idea what you are talking about.”

      And then…

      “This kind of uncivil discourse, coming from a supposed professional journalist, is disgusting.”

      Yes, tell us about your high principles and delicate sensibilities.

      • “Another stellar comment from a neanderthal. By the way, how was that date with Emily, your partner?”

        Yup. Forever classy.

        • So you guys are a threesome? Who knew? You do think alike. Maybe you’re the same person.

          • Such uncivil discourse. Disgusting, I think you called it. I agree – disgusting.

      • Interesting that you like me so much you follow me around. You probably need help. One thing’s for sure, I don’t need to answer to a low-life left-wing dishonest and shameless partisan like you.

        Follow me all you like. But seriously, stalking is not a sign of mental health.

        • So, seriously. It’s ok for you to go on a belligerent, name-calling rant, but you bitch about “uncivil discourse?”

          I mean, you do see the contradiction, right?

          • Like I said, I don’t take lessons from the likes of you. Get help. Stalk me and bitch all you like, but really, it’s not a sign of mental health. Go on an outing with your two lovable friends.

          • Got it. Civility for others, potty mouth and bizarre insults for you.

            Makes me wonder why you waste your time with us cretins when you are so vastly more intelligent.

          • That’s a good question cretin, I probably shouldn’t waste any time with the likes of you, and in reality I usually don’t, most of the time I ignore you. But when you started stalking me I decided to respond.
            I prefer to talk to the people who are not cretins like you and your two lovable friends Jan and Emily. Once in a while I might make an exception, but not often.

          • And yet, here you are, wasting your vast intellect on a cretin like me. Almost as though you can’t help yourself.

      • All of it true I’m afraid, and you are a star performer when you come out to play!

  11. Big deal. When New Gingrich and Bill Clinton were locking horns in the mid-1990s, the government shut down two years in a row for a few days each time. Nothing bad came of that, and nothing bad will come from this either, unless Obama decides to play it tougher than Clinton and not give in to Congress’s demands for cuts.

  12. Since 1976 the US government has been shut down 18 times under 5 separate Presidents. The Democrats did it 5 times under Reagan alone. ALL 5 previous Presidents negotiated a solution. Obama is the first President ever, to refuse to negotiate. Obama didn’t have the votes to pass Obamacare after Scott Brown won his Massachusetts senate seat so he used reconciliation at midnight.
    Now he’s refusing to negotiate with the House of Representatives?
    Can anyone spell TYRANNY?

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