At this writing, the government is “shut down.” Shut down is in quotes because the government is not really shut down.
Congress and their staffs are still at work and getting paid. The same for the staff at the White House. Underpaid though he is, given the Blarney his is forced to go say with a straight face, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is still getting his paycheck.
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The military is still functioning and service members are still on the payroll. If you are on an extension for filing your taxes, that extension runs out on Tuesday the fifteenth and you are still expected to file – suggesting that someone is at home at the IRS Service Center in Austin to accept the incoming mail.
By an overwhelming margin, most people are going about their daily lives utterly unaffected by the government “shut down.” And while I have sympathy for those government workers who have been labeled “non-essential” and who are now on unpaid, unscheduled holiday, it does bring to mind the idea that maybe we don’t really need every last one of the nearly 2.87 million civilian employees on the federal payroll.
Be that as it may, the mainstream media is in a complete tizzy over the “shutdown.” It’s front page, top-of-the-fold, lead-item stuff everywhere you look. And the recurring theme in most of that reporting is who is to blame, (read: House Republicans and/or the Tea Party).
Much is being written and said about Republican tactics as they pertain to the impasse over passing a continuing resolution to keep the government running. Many, even on the right, suggest that so-called Tea Party Republicans like Senator Ted Cruz overplayed the hand and engaged in political grandstanding that ultimately will damage the GOP.
It’s a virtual Hyperbole-Fest among Democrats. Take for example Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who characterized Republicans as extortionists and anarchists and accused them of negotiating with a suicide vest strapped to their chests.
There is much opinion and analysis concerning how much damage the Republicans have supposedly done to themselves. The lefties at MSNBC are positively giddy.
What you will not hear, however, is anyone in the mainstream media saying that making a policy demand as government funding is about to run out is a perfectly legitimate prerogative of elected legislators.
Nowhere will you hear the talking heads of the MSM suggesting that opposition to Obamacare, a law that is reneging on every one of its key promises, that was passed without a single Republican vote and that has never enjoyed majority public support – is principled opposition.
You will not hear it said that Republicans who are using the occasion of deliberating a continuing budget resolution as leverage to modify Obamacare are doing exactly what they promised their voters they would do.
None of the analysis that you read or hear will examine the idea that if House Republicans forfeit the leverage they have as it pertains to the continuing resolution and the looming debt ceiling, they run the risk of inviting primary challengers that could either unseat an incumbent Republican to be replaced by another Republican or, worse, could open the door for a Democratic pickup.
You will not hear it said that Republicans in the end conceded on nearly every point save for the exemption from Obamacare currently enjoyed by members of Congress and their staffs. As we said earlier this week, at that point the issue quit being political and instead became one of morality.
Except for talk radio, conservative opinion websites, the prime time shows on Fox News and right here, you likely will not hear any of these things said.
But they are all indisputably true.