It appears that Congressional leaders and the President are nearing an agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. Rational people will applaud this development, even if the agreement merely buys some time until our next crisis.
Then there are people like Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Republican of Kansas. He is reported to have said: “Anybody who would vote for that in the House as a Republican would virtually guarantee a primary challenger.”
Let’s see. Vote to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, thereby putting thousands of people back to work and avoiding a possible financial meltdown and worldwide recession, or have competition in next year’s primary election. That’s a tough choice, all right.
Rep. Heulskamp was first elected to Congress in 2010. Nobody ran against him in 2012, not in the primary and not in the general election. He has a well-paying government job for life and nobody’s going to take it away, whatever happens to the rest of us.
But he isn’t a key player here. He’s one of the Tea Party radicals who is sure to vote against any reasonable agreement. It’s the Speaker of the House and the so-called “moderate” Republicans who have to decide whether to protect the general welfare, even if it means risking their jobs.