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Friday, October 04, 2013

Shakespeare in the Senate? A Reality Drama

Shakespeare- "Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals."

 It's a familiar scene in Shakespeare's plays, the side scene where principal characters conspire about whatever's going on in the plot. "Gregory, o'my word, we'll not carry coals" (Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scene 1) in Shakespeare speak means "listen here, we aren't taking this anymore, no more guff~!"

In the US Congress, it was a reality scene today when Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Republican Senator Rand Paul (both R-Kentucky) were caught off microphone speaking about the political version of "carrying coals". McConnell and Paul were caught in a Shakespearean moment, conversing like conspirators, about their entrenched right wing position to keep the federal government in a preventable shut down. They aren't going to budge in their selfish and harmful positions.

These two Republican Senators collaborated, while being heard in a "hot mic" discussion, meaning they didn't know they could be heard. They whispered loudly enough for the microphone to hear them discuss "poll testing" certain key phrases to "win" the argument about how to keep government closed, regardless of the harm this recalcitrant position causes to our government and citizens.
If only the scene were Shakespearean, because we the audience would not be fearful of the story's ending.


Huffington Post reports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) were caught on a hot mic Wednesday discussing talking-points for the shutdown. This is what they said: "I just did CNN (an interview) and I just go over and over again 'We're willing to compromise. We're willing to negotiate.' I think... I don't think they poll tested we won't negotiate. I think it's awful for [Democrats] to say that over and over again," Paul said.

McConnell responded: "Yeah, I do too and I, and I just came back from that two hour meeting with them and that, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly," McConnell agreed.

Paul added, "I think if we keep saying, 'We wanted to defund it. We fought for that and that we're willing to compromise on this', I think they can't, we're gonna, I think... well, I know we don't want to be here, but we're gonna win this, I think."


Isn't it disgusting for our Senate leaders to play with America like they're evil characters in a Shakespearean drama? They simply don't understand how Democracy works. Their GOP 2012 candidate Mitt Romney lost the Presidential election. Now the spiteful Tea Party is holding Americans hostage by forcing a government shut down, as a result. Republicans were unable to force their right wing agenda on voters, who didn't support them in 2012, so they want to take over government, rather than wait their turn to present a winning candidate of their own in the next Presidential election. In fact, Republicans have a 2016 winning candidate in Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, but he's not right wing enough for the Tea Party so they don't give him the political time of day, so to speak.

Standing on the stage of public opinion while getting caught on the hot mic is a despicable way to affirm what Americans already know.  We know how Republicans don't care about democracy and they don't care about the American people. In their Shakespearean moment, their right wing leadership was caught on hot mic scheming about "poll testing" catchy phrases, rather than creating a strategy to get Americans back to work. This conspiracy to undermine the government because Tea Party extremists don't happen to like the Obamacare health care reform law is equivalent to sedition. In some non-democratic countries they'd be ousted in a no-confidence vote. Some countries would even expel them.

In a Democracy, the people voted for the health care reform law, it was upheld as Constitutional by the US Supreme Court and President Obama won re-election by supporting his signature legislation.

There is no compromising about the Obamacare law.

Senator Paul Rand has not "poll tested" the phrase "Obamacare is the law" or, if he has, it's a concept he doesn't want to defend. That's because Obamacare is law, just like the Second Amendment is law. Yet, Paul knows there's no way Democrats will hold government hostage to force a repeal of the gun rights of Americans.

Democrats must use this apologist argument more effectively. They need to remind Americans how we got in this shut down situation. Republicans are demanding a repeal of the Obamacare law. It's a law. Republicans are using the phrase "Obamacare" like it's profanity while Democrats appear to be defensive. Meanwhile, uninsured people by the millions are seeking coverage under the newly formed insurance exchanges, because they're finding insurance they can finally afford to buy.

Shakespeare's dramatic plays often ended tragically.  Americans can only take so much of this preventable budget drama before we finally remove all lawmakers in a "United States Spring". But if the government fails us with these obsessive right wing tactics, we may be unable to wait until an election to replace these third rate political actors. The entire Congress should be recalled for incompetence unless they obey the law, pass a budget, fund Obamacare and pay America's bills by lifting the debt ceiling. To do otherwise is an unpredictable reality we don't want to consider.

Americans certainly won't carry coals much longer.


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