An old friend, who has been active in politics for more than thirty years, told me yesterday that he was giving up. “I can’t stomach what’s going on in Washington any more,” he said. “The hell with all of them. I have better things to do with my life.” My friend is falling exactly into the trap that the extreme right wants all of us to fall into--such disgust and cynicism that we all give up on politics. Then they’re free to take over everything.(Via Facebook)
Make no mistake: Ted Cruz and his Tea Party followers, and the Koch brothers and their other financial patrons, are relishing this [government] shutdown. They’re delighted that 95% of the Environmental Protection Agency is down, so polluters can do whatever they want; that 80% of the Labor Department is down, so unscrupulous employers can trample on their employees; that much of the Securities and Exchange Commission is down, so corporations can have a field day. And they’d like nothing more than a default on the nation’s debt in two weeks, because the resulting financial chaos will cause even more of us to become angry and cynical. That’s the point: They feed off of anger and cynicism.
Our response should be the opposite: We will not give in to bullies or intimidation, and nor will we give in to cynicism about what our government needs to be and who it needs to serve. We will remain engaged and active, and push every member of Congress as well as the President to remain steadfast.
READ MORE: “Battle Stations,” by Ed Kilgore (Washington Monthly); “Clueless Republicans Hatch Incoherent Shutdown Strategy,” by Brian Beutler (Salon); “Boehner: ‘I Don’t Want the United States to Default on Its Debt, But ...’” and “Why ‘Negotiations’ Are No Longer a Credible Option,” by Steve Benen (The Maddow Blog); “The Shutdown Is the Tea Party’s Last Stand,” by E.J. Dionne (The Washington Post); “A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Mike McIntire (The New York Times).