Sunday, October 6, 2013

Charles M. Blow: Americans Tired Of GOP Shutdown Game

On Friday, Speaker John Boehner said about the shutdown, "This isn't some damn game." Charles M. Blow writes that the Republicans are indeed playing "a terrible, tragic game"–and that Boehner cares "more about keeping his job than about keeping the American government running." The Speaker is captive to a minority of extremist hostage takers who can't accept that the Affordable Care Act is the law. Regardless of their feelings about that law, a majority of Americans disagree with the shutdown and blame the Republicans:

Americans just want the dysfunction to be fixed. They want the government reopened and the series of manufactured calamities to come to an end.

The thing is, this shutdown is not about the budget. It’s about a vocal and ardent minority demanding a nullification of a law it doesn’t like. This is about the Tea Party’s obsession with repealing Obamacare and the president’s refusing to negotiate with hostage takers.

On this, the American people would appear to be overwhelmingly siding with the president and the Democrats. The CBS News poll found that 72 percent of Americans disapprove of shutting down the government over disagreements about Obamacare. Even among people who disapprove of the law, 59 percent disagree with shutting down the government over it. But there is a partisan split. While more than three-quarters of both Democrats and independents disapprove of the shutdown over Obamacare, Republicans are nearly evenly split on the matter.

And when it comes to blame, Americans spread it around, but they blame Congressional Republicans more than the president and Democrats at a rate of 44 percent to 35 percent.

The Republicans surely must know that they’re on the losing end of the public-relations battle here, so they keep trying to distort the image of what they’ve done, projecting blame and distortion onto the president and Democrats. The Republican House members are trying to create a house of mirrors.

This is a damn game, and the American people are tired of playing it.

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