For those of us brave enough to live in this region for an extended period of time, this past week was just like any other. Judging from the news, however, you would think that the end was near of the world as we know it if a federal budget deal was not struck.
Even if there had been a full blown shut down, it would have been a shut down in name only. On Thursday, during a CNN Español interview on this issue I compared it to a good example of political theatre: good for the headlines, but not really substantive.
There are way too many “essential” services these days to consider it a true shut down. Mail would have been delivered. Welfare checks mailed. Border security maintained. Unless you make a career working for the federal government, the fact of the matter is most of Americans would not have felt a thing.
During that CNN interview I mentioned, the host tried his best to stay even keeled but, in the end, he made what seems to be a perfunctory barb at conservatives and the Tea Party. We ran out of time (coincidence eh?) so I was unable to chime in with a list of the terrible things that Democrats said were going to happen if the government shut down. Here was the partial parade of imponderables and horribles:
- Senator Schumer compared conservatives to fleas.
- Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said conservatives were starving seniors.
- Senator Barbara Boxer accused Republicans of waging a war on women. Not to be outdone, Representative Louise Slaughter used the “n” work, Nazi, and said Republicans wanted to kill women.
- The new DNC Chairman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Republicans were going to force seniors into poverty and some seniors will end up dying because of it.
- Children and families would not be able to visit the National Zoo or the Smithsonian this weekend.
- Senator Harry Reid used his wife and daughter as female political props, victims of Republican politics.
- More Reid: GOP waging a culture war.
- The Bureau of Indian Affairs tried to scare Native-Americans.
- The Congressional Black Caucus Chairman argued a shut down would hurt African-Americans.
- Not to be left out, several members of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus chimed in as well.
These folks could have passed a budget when they controlled the federal government last year (see the animation below and you will see how J-Lo is responsible for the shut down). The Democrats did not do so because it would have been more of a political disaster for them during the mid-term elections.
We fell asleep with the television on and were awakened early this morning to the sound of “breaking news” — a deal had been struck to avert a cataclysmic federal budget shut down. We turned it off and went back to sleep.