Democrats Need to Take a Stand and Shut Down the Government

We’ve become accustomed to living in a hostage situation. The Republicans put forth some radical idea then we react with social media posts urging everyone to contact our representatives. The idea fails, and we breathe a collective sigh of relief, and snicker at the incompetence of the Republicans.
By Frederic Poag ,

“What I use in the battle for the mind
                                                             Hit it hard like it supposed
                                                                          Pulling no blows to the nose”                                                                            

- Chuck D of Public Enemy “Shut ‘Em Down”

Democrats need to Shutdown the Federal Government.

Let me write that again so you know I’m serious: Democrats Need to Shutdown the Government. That seems like a radical notion but it’s not. Not today. Not with what we face as a nation. If you’re a Democrat with a Democratic representative don’t contact him or her to vote simply “No” against whatever measure is before Congress. Because whatever the GOP is proposing: their Tax Bill, the repeal of Net Neutrality, the stripping away of healthcare it’s not a political position. It’s an assault, and we need to treat it as such.
 

Tell ‘em to shut it all down. 

We have an illegitimate, mentally unfit person occupying the White House who is more than likely either compromised by a hostile foreign power who is colluding with them for their interests. Not the country he leads. 

Tell ‘em to shut it all down. 

The People need Democrats to lead because the Republicans have abdicated their responsibility to those who don’t have the best interests of anyone but themselves in mind. The Republicans are willing to back a sexual predator of teenage girls to get it done. All so the richest among us can get a tax break we can’t afford and CEOs can give that money back to investors not grow the economy.

So let me say it again: Shut. It. Down.

The Democrats have always prided themselves on being the party of reason. We are the adults in the room. In the past we’ve reached across the aisle so far we’ve fallen on our face. It’s happened again and again. Now is not that time. The stakes are just too damn high and the fate of our democracy, the course of the Republic is at stake.

Tell ‘em to shut it down.

You might be thinking. “Hold up, we’re not the Republicans. We don’t just shut down the government. Besides the political backlash-” Let me stop you right there, and tell you why we need to put the brakes on before we head over the cliff. This isn’t a time for reasonable debate. We have to stop wringing our hands. The time for “Oh Jeez, I don’t know” is over. If we wait the pain from the clean up with the mess that’s coming will be too much especially on top of everything else we still have to do.

Furthermore one of the problems the Democrats have had, and continue to have is the perception of our lack of principle. Now a lot of that is the result of effective propaganda, and I’m not saying we do this solely for political gain. Not like the Republicans did in 2013 over a piece of rote legislation to raise the debt ceiling. That’s coming up again in seven days on December 8th, and if the Republicans really care about deficits they way they claim to they’ll drop this massive give away to the rich.
 But they won’t. They have to pass this. It's now or never for them.

So there’s no choice: Shut ‘Em Down. 

Like Coach Carter we need to chain the doors until the Republicans bring up their grades. Until then they don’t get to play ball. Doesn’t matter if we have to forfeit games because the long term damage is worse than a few short term “L”s.

Still not convinced?

Here’s the State of Our Disunion:

The Republican Tax: It proposes to add 1.5 Trillion to the National Debt all to simply give the rich a tax cut. Of course the reasoning, once again, is that the money will somehow trickle down to the rest of us. Who are the us in this? Well it's not the following:

- Retirees and people who rely on Social Security

Michael Hiltzik of The LA Times discovered that contained within the GOP plan is a change to how payments are calculated. Under the Republican Plan this will be calculated by “Chained CPI”. 

“What Republicans really like about the chained CPI is that it tends to show a lower inflation rate than the alternative, typically by 0.3 percentage points a year. The difference pencils out to significant dollars: Changing the inflation index immediately would raise about $125 billion over the next decade and nearly $500 billion in the decade after that, according to the Tax Policy Center."

To clarify that’s money taken out of the hands of Social Security recipients who’ve paid into an earned benefit. Why? So rich people can get a tax cut.

- The Middle Class

As Catherine Campbell wrote in The Washington Post

“Republican leaders keep claiming the bill focuses on helping the middle class. But voters are already catching on to the fact that the biggest tax cuts go to the wealthiest. Lately the public has learned that the Senate bill will actually raise taxes for households making less than $75,000 by 2027, relative to current law. Yes you read that right. And it’s true even if you don’t count the bill’s changes to Obamacare.”

- Those Who Can’t Afford It 

As John Wasik at Forbes points out: 

"Since the in GOP plan is not cutting corporate loopholes, bringing back trillions in offshore cash by corporations and cutting defense spending, again, the only way to reduce the federal deficit is to slash big programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.

This cruel math hurts everyone from retired people in nursing homes to the working poor. There's no help for families paying for long-term care, payroll taxes or college.

Graduate students and families paying off college debt see whatever modest tax breaks vanish. That will further mushroom the outrageous cost of college.”

Net Neutrality and Silencing of the Resistance:

One of the most powerful weapons of the resistance is the freedom to express ideas. During the colonial era patriots wrote on pamphlets and spoke in the town square. Freedom of expression, dissent, and even entrepreneurship, especially at the start up level, is what America is supposed to be about. 

With the internet we’re connected like we’ve never been before, and while you’ll still be able to use the internet you’ll either have to pay a premium, or have the gate to the marketplace slammed in your face. Try getting your article seen on Facebook without paying for the sponsorship and you know what I’m talking about.

As Farhad Manjoo points out in The New York Times we’re pretty much already there.

“Because net neutrality shelters start-ups — which can’t easily pay for fast-line access — from internet giants that can pay, the rules are just about the last bulwark against the complete corporate takeover of much of online life. When the rules go, the internet will still work, but it will look like and feel like something else altogether — a network in which business development deals, rather than innovation, determine what you experience, a network that feels much more like cable TV than the technological Wild West that gave you Napster and Netflix.”

And that’s just two major issues coming up, which of course the Tax Bill contains a gutting of healthcare since the Republicans can’t let that go either.

But lets see what else is on the list:

Puerto Rico: It’s been 71 days there’s still work to be done. Here’s where the island stands today.

  • 66 percent of power on the island has been restored
  • 93 percent of the island has access to water, but it remains on a boil advisory
  • 73 percent of cell sites are up and running
  • 982 survivors remain in 41 shelters across the island

This isn't a third world country. This is America. These are American citizens who've been denied statehood, and the clean up, while it's finally progressing, was bungled from the start.

Michael Flynn to Plead Guilty to Lying to the F.B.I.: Flynn will be the first, but not the last, Trump administration official and fourth campaign official to be indicted. Mueller has been treating this like a mafia style round up. The President of the United States is being treated like this a RICO indictment.

Angering Our Closest Ally: Speaking of the criminally incompetent Commander in Chief, Trump caused an international incident with our closest ally by retweeting anti-muslim videos from a radical ultra-nationalist (Read: White Supremacist) group, Britain First, at whom he thought was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Theresa May. But turned out it was just a woman with a protected Twitter account and six followers. So not only did he publicly try to embarrass the Prime Minister of the US’s traditionally closest ally he also screwed it up and tagged the wrong person. 

We’ve become accustomed to living in a hostage situation. The Republicans put forth some radical idea then we react with social media posts urging everyone to contact our representatives. The idea fails, and we breathe a collective sigh of relief, and snicker at the incompetence of the Republicans. 

Sometimes we even laude “brave” Republicans like Sen. John McCain of Arizona, or Sen. Bob Corker of Tenn for bucking the party a little bit, but then we’re surprised when they fall right back in line. We curse their names until the process repeats itself.

But if the idea fails why take this action? Because one day it won’t fail. It will pass. And even if it doesn’t that means the Republicans spend time probing, and prodding just to see what they can get away with. And it also means they’re not doing anything to actually help the nation progress in anyway, shape or form.

Enough’s enough. This is not normal. This is not how it’s supposed to work. Until Democrats take a stand, draw a line in sand, throw down the gauntlet, say “enough is a fucking enough”, essentially have leaders with some fucking backbone we’re gonna be the “lesser of two evils”.

So when you call your representative make it plain: Shut It Down.

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