Call it extortion
We can spin the shutdown anyway we want (and, man, are the Republicans trying), but at the end of the day, it’s extortion: Meet our demands or we’ll hurt innocent people. How could anyone think this is a good tactic? If it works for Republicans, does anyone doubt Democrats will do the same thing? If Republicans can close the government or force a default to defund Obamacare, why wouldn’t Democrats use the same tactic to restore the funds?
Let’s say Republicans win back the White House in 2016. Keep in mind, Democrats have safe seats, too – 136 in the House, according to political analyst Charles Cook. And, unless the GOP were to win a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to go along with the White House, only one senator who supports Obamacare would be needed to thwart their plans.
This shutdown is a step toward complete gridlock. Democrats absolutely should not negotiate until Republicans agree to reopen the government. We should not make a deal with extortionists, no matter their political party. Everything we really need to know to handle the shutdown we learned in kindergarten: The best way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them.
Dan Holly, Raleigh