Friday, September 27, 2013


Republicans in Congress have their panties bunched up in a wad over the President’s characterization of their current efforts to eliminate the Affordable Health Care Act.  Quite simply put, he called it blackmail. “No Congress before this one has ever, ever, in history been irresponsible enough to threaten default, to threaten an economic shutdown, to suggest America not pay its bills, just to try to blackmail a president into giving them some concessions on issues that have nothing to do with a budget,” Mr. Obama said before an audience in suburban Washington.  The Republican reaction to this statement has been extreme.  I watched Sean Hannity on Fox TV last night as he interviewed Senator Cruz, the first term know-it-all Senator from Texas as he tried lamely to defend his shutdown threats by saying that one or two million Americans are completely behind his actions.  As I watched I found myself wondering if I had accidentally stumbled onto an old SNL skit.  I thought Cruz was going to keep on going to explain that the one or two million people in the state of North Dakota were behind him or the entire population of prison inmates.  I thought he was going to say that 48% of the people in the country voted for Romney for president so he should be president.  But he didn’t.  He made no mention of the fact that the AFHCA passed both house of Congress, was signed by the President and it’s constitutionality was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court; i.e., exactly what our democratic process requires in order to function properly. It is not always easy to find the right words to express oneself.  Even expert writers can spend days getting it just right. There is a translation process going on. The ideas may be crystal clear. Getting the ideas into words so they can be communicated takes work and is far from 100% accurate. The writer may have to express a concept in several different ways before he is satisfied, to work at it to make a point that is clear and understandable.  But these constraints are not necessary here.  The actions of Cruz and his ilk in trying to set aside the democratic process to get their own way are not only damaging to our system, but, in fact, constitute blackmail.

Just saying . . .