It Should Be Unbelievable, But Isn’t

As reported this afternoon on the NY Times website:

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, called House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio on Wednesday to commit to negotiations on a long-term deficit reduction deal, but only after the House passes the Senate’s bill to reopen the federal government without policy strings attached.

[Reid called Boehner on the phone and also sent this in a letter:]

“Before the House you have the Senate-passed measure to reopen the government, funded at the level that the House chose in its own legislation. I propose that you allow this joint resolution to pass, reopening the government,” Mr. Reid wrote. “And I commit to name conferees to a budget conference, as soon as the government reopens.”

The speaker’s office dismissed it as a surrender demand.

“The entire government is shut down right now because Washington Democrats refuse to even talk about fairness for all Americans under Obamacare,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner. “Offering to negotiate only after Democrats get everything they want is not much of an offer.”

Wait a minute. “After the Democrats get everything they want”? It’s what the Democrats and the rest of us already have! Except for the federal government being on life support, and presumably most Republicans want that little problem to be fixed too.

The Affordable Care Act has gone into effect. It’s not going away. It’s not something that has to be renegotiated. There was an election. The Supreme Court approved it. People are already signing up (although there is so much interest, the new websites are having trouble keeping up with the demand). 

Get over it, Boehner spokesman, and move on to the next crisis!

Earlier today I read a comment from a Republican at the Boston Herald site. She said that delaying the entire ACA for one year was “reasonable”, since some parts of it have already been delayed. She also said it was o.k. to delay it because the thing doesn’t work anyway (the evidence being that thousands of people who visited the websites yesterday had trouble getting through, because thousands of people were trying to get through).

This is the problem we’re having in this country. There are many among us who live in a different reality and use words like “reasonable” in a different way. “Extortion” becomes “negotiation”. As a result, communication becomes terribly difficult. Ideology can certainly cloud your perception of the world.

PS — Someone just left a comment on the previous post asking why it’s bad for the Republicans to want to delay the ACA. That’s their right, of course. The question is how they try to achieve that goal. See the comments on the post below if you’re interested, including a link to another opinion piece.

In the meantime, I’m going to watch some soccer.

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