Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Great Shutdown

Although frequently asked--if not commanded--to bless America, our Great Republic, God doesn't seem inclined to do so in many cases.  Those of us who think as I do that God is unlikely to esteem any country on a planet representing such a tiny part of the universe more than any other tiny part of the universe will not find this surprising, of course.  Others might, however, and those so inclined may wonder just why he, or we, allow our elected representatives to disport themselves in so contemptible a fashion as they have regarding the shutdown which has taken place in the last few weeks.

Fox News insists on calling it a "slimdown" it seems.  Slimming down is good, you know; healthy.  It's all for our benefit in the end, no matter how painful it may be.  Thus its dismisses the fact thousands suffer as a result of the posturing of our politicians.  I suppose it's admirable in a way that this organization expresses its bias in such a cavalier manner.  I'd say such an honest revelation is refreshing even if unintended, but then there's that annoying slogan, "Fair and Balanced."  So we can't absolve Fox News of hypocrisy in this case, at least.  Why not just refer to a "partial shutdown" if "shutdown" is deemed inaccurate?  Then again--why be accurate in today's world?

For me the most disturbing aspect of this melodrama is the fact it seems directed to derailing Obamacare, which may not be good law but is the law nonetheless.  Republicans are pleased to denounce judicial interference with duly adopted legislation (sometimes, at least) but they apparently have no qualms about doing it themselves when they are unable to arrange for its repeal.  This is at best mere petulance, which is worthy of disgust, but I think something more is involved.  I don't mean money, as its overwhelming importance in our political system must be taken for granted.  I refer to the kind of insane fit or seizure which takes hold of certain of us when anything related to our President is encountered or mentioned.  One must wonder what the cause is of such remarkable symptoms, but it is clear that the President sends certain of us into a frenzy.

How else explain the self-destructive conduct of those leading the charge against Obamacare, or perhaps a better analogy would be the defense of an outpost, say by the French Foreign Legion, or of Rorke's Drift (which might better suit those who find the President's mixed genetic heritage offensive, and it is possible that heritage is at the heart of this lunacy).  Something romantic and inspiring is called for--the Alamo?  But in the end the motivation is that some politicians disagree with adopted legislation which is the law, and while such disagreement is of course not in itself bad or despicable and can even be merited, the use of power to injure people because of dissatisfaction with the law of the land is ignoble, especially when those wielding power for such purposes are charged with adopting legislation.

It seems that wiser heads may prevail as far as the debt ceiling is concerned, but what are "wiser heads" where our government is concerned?  Those who can manage to be reasonable in certain limited cases?  Are the best of those who represent us those who are not clearly idiots or unthinking zealots?

Well, it can be said we get the government we deserve, and perhaps this is God's way of telling us he will not bless us with good government because we don't deserve it.  Those who think that divine grace is accorded without regard to conduct won't find this conclusion satisfying, but perhaps they will at least acknowledge that the elected are not necessarily the Elect.  The Chosen People need not be those we chose to do these things.

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