[Content Note: classism, denial of health care, anti-agency politics]
So, it's official: the U.S. House GOP has voted down the Senate version of the budget Continuing Resolution. A government shutdown is highly likely, unless the Senate and the House can agree on a CR tomorrow.
The Senate could, in theory, vote to accept this and avert a government shutdown. But that's unlikely, especially since the GOP is not only demanding a one-year delay of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, they also threw in new shit like allowing employers (not just religious institutions) to refuse to fund any women's contraception that they don't like.
Naturally, I'm not surprised, although I am contemptuous.My only surprise is that they didn't throw a lot of other poop in there too, like "get FDR off the dime," "re-name the National Cathedral the St. Ronnie of Reagan Grotto and Fun Park," or "make Shakesville take down all those Mitt Romney-Stands-In Front-of-Something posts."
What does this mean? Well, it means the Democrats in the Senate can agree to the House requirements (briefer Harry Reid: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nope!") or they can vote it down tomorrow. The House, in theory, might have a brief window of time to try to pass something matching the Senate version, but it's unlikely the Tea Partiers are going to relent, so that wouldn't change anything.
In short, shutdown.
Which will, of course, hurt a whole lot of USians, but let's not even pretend that the GOP gives a shit about that. If they cared about hurting people, then they wouldn't object so strenuously to millions finally getting health insurance. Nope, this is all about preventing the tiniest bit of interference with the Sacred Profits of Aynrandia. As Trent Franks (R-Iceforbrains] says:
"I'm a free-market guy, and I truly believe that Obamacare could be the linchpin in shifting America over into an almost irreversible socialist economy."
Yes, it is definitely great for the markets when the freaking government of the damn United States shuts down! You are definitely a financial genius, sir! Who could resist investing in a country where the radical wing of one party can wreak Madisonian clusterfuck on a regular basis? Seems like a great idea to me! Going to be AWESOME for the dollar, the national credit rating, etc.
OTOH, maybe I should thank Franks for his actual honesty. He and the rest of these garbage-souled assholes are, indeed afraid that when USians get a taste of the ACA helping them, it will be that harder for the GOP to continue to flog their particular brand of anti-government codswallop. They're terrified that USians might re-learn the lessons of the Great Depression and Second World War, both of which had to be addressed by centralized planning (rationing, Mr. Franks, was not a free market option!)
I could go on and on with examples (G.I. Bill? the Interstate Highway System?) but the point is that there are some things national governments can do quite efficiently, and the GOP knows it damned well. But rather than admit that, they'd rather vote to keep millions of USians uninsured, and, with the shutdown, many more unfunded, unpaid, and/or unemployed.
I'm angry, Shakers, and not a little bit scared of what this will mean for me, my loved ones, my community, and everyone else living in this country. Congratulations, Republicans! You've certainly shown exactly how much you love the U.S.A.
Feel free to use the thread as a safe space to discuss this. As it's a weekend, I ask you to be extra-careful about maintaining the space, since mods will be in and out.