Congressional minority power and the government shut down
(KPLR) – In Wednesday’s Jacology, Charles Jaco looks at how a congressional minority can damage the economy.
Remember what started all of this in the first place. The government was partly shut down, and we flirted with possible debt default, all because a group of around 80 congressmen, and a couple of dozen senators demanded that Obamacare either be delayed, de-funded or eliminated. That’s a grand total of anywhere from a hundred to a hundred-and-twenty members of the United States congress. Since there are 535 members of the house and senate, this amounts to roughly 22 and a half per-cent of congress engineering this debacle.
Now before you get all “let’s throw all the bums out because Washington is broken” –take a minute and consider. Number one: all this damage was done by a minority of tea party-allied conservatives in congress. Number two: Washington didn’t do this. We’re the ones who elected them and sent them to Washington. The voters in some congressional districts and states did this. Number three: All of the congressmen, every single one of them, come from bulletproof congressional districts whose boundaries were redrawn by GOP state legislatures in 2010. Those districts bridle with rock-solid conservative voters who think that President Obama is destroying the country.
And that, you see, is how a minority got away with furloughing 870,000 federal workers without pay and threatening the credit rating of the United States, along with threatening the entire economy. That minority represents districts where a democrat will never be elected. And the congressmen who represent those districts only have to answer to the home folks, who despise Obama and his policies. And because the home folk voters tend to despise Obama and his policies it’s a no-brainer for the 80 or so congressmen to shut down the government and threaten debt default.
None of these lawmakers think there’s any political price to be paid for what they’ve done to the country. Opposition to Obama and Obamacare is all that counts. And that’s why house speaker John Boehner has no influence over them. And that’s why a minority can do this much economic damage. They firmly believe this is a battle of good versus evil and that Obamacare is evil. But a funny thing happened in all of this. The tactic may win them re-election. It may have threatened the U.S. financial system. It may have laid off lots of government workers. But it didn’t stop Obamacare.
I’m Charles Jaco, and that’s Jacology.