The Republican party on September 30th (the day before major provisions of the Affordable Care Act went into effect) changed House rules to prevent representatives of either party from calling a vote over an approved Senate bill such as a funding bill. Instead, only the House leader (Eric Cantor, Republican representative from Virginia) or his designee may call such votes.
Republicans are unable to compromise or convince, so they obstruct. They shutdown federal government, and they shutdown democratic voting principles in congress. Apparently, they expect us to do only what they tell us, when they tell us. They aren't trying to open the government, they're working deliberately to hold it hostage until they get their way.
It becomes increasingly clear that Republicans are not at all comfortable with being one voice among many in a democracy. They have all of a minority's paranoia with none of its realism, grace, or accessibility. They have much to learn about how to function within a multicultural democracy. They spent the last half-century marginalizing minorities instead of learning how they cooperate with a majority to get their opinions heard. Now that Republicans realize that WASPs (their traditional political base) are a minority in this nation, they are panicking, unable to imagine sharing authority with anybody.
We shouldn't have to suffer for their very intentional ignorance. The Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites manage to cloister themselves amidst a culture that they shun. Maybe it's time for the Republican party to do the same, to go into their own sheltered environment, for their peace of mind and ours.
We need a government that actually functions.
Please, vote these obstructionists out of office at your next opportunity.
P.S. 2013 October 14
- The rule was introduced on September 30th and passed on October 1st.
- You can see for yourself how your representative voted on this change of rules.
- It's painful to watch the Republican (Pete Sessions of Texas) who authored this resolution now try to justify it in spite of the obvious reason behind it.
- I couldn't find this article when I was writing my original blog post, but Democrats tried 19 times throughout 2013 to negotiate a compromise between the Senate and House, but... you guessed it... Republicans refused to meet with them until they could stage their lonely photo opportunity at a desk with only Republicans sitting at it.