Shutdown on GOP, not Obama

In the Oct. 4 edition of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, the paper expressed its opinion that President Obama is to blame for delays and other problems with services as a result of the government shutdown. This is easily the most willfully ignorant statement I’ve read on the subject.

The shutdown of the federal government and all issues related to it have two very simple explanations:

(1) Tea party Republicans have shown complete and utter disregard for our constitutional system by ignoring the fact that the Affordable Care Act passed with legislative majorities in both houses of Congress in 2010, was upheld as constitutional by a conservative majority Supreme Court in 2012, and the president whose name is so affectionately attached to the law was re-elected last November with a popular vote margin of 51.4 president and in an Electoral College landslide of 126 votes.

(2) John Boehner is the weakest and most ineffectual Speaker of the House in the history of the institution and has been blindsided by the far right of his party.

This government shutdown and any subsequent problems related to the raising of the debt ceiling later this month (which, if it occurs, will be astronomically worse than the shutdown) is completely the fault of the Republican Party, particularly the far right radical wing.

President Obama cannot make concessions to hostage takers. He must not acknowledge the fit throwing of the childish and spiteful tea party. And he will not deny tens of millions of Americans access to affordable health care because Republicans are afraid it will be a successful program, making them even more politically obsolete than they’ve managed to make themselves.

Eric Engle