KATIE ZERR: Is winning worth the harm to this country?


Our nation stands on the brink of default, is mired in a partial government shutdown and has become the laughing-stock of the world.

People across the globeworld are shaking their heads and wondering what is going on in the once-great nation. Our currency, our 237-year old reputation of being a strong, global financial leader and our ability to keep functioning as a nation are now in jeopardy.

As one of the voters in this country who called for a change in government, rallied to oust some of the old guard and was delighted by the aspect of a strong third party in Washington, I now regret all three of those stands.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but this smarmy game of chicken orchestrated by a minority in Congress has gone too far.

Instead of acting responsibly and changing a flawed law during the three years it has been on the books, these members of Congress have refused and instead sat in wait for the opportunity to make this stand, no matter the cost. Their agenda has always been to stop the Affordable Care Act. Failing to do that, they needed to wait for the perfect moment to take down this administration.

They found it and damn the consequences, they are sticking to their guns.

These series of crisis situations and games of “my way or no way” have caused even conservative groups to tire of it and abandone their support for these legislators. It is getting hard to refer to them as Republicans because they are more obstructionists than legislators.

According to a study by private forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, these tactics have caused a hit to the U.S. economy of about 900,000 jobs and raised the unemployment rate by about 0.6 percent.

“No matter what the cost” is really harming this country.

The next crisis could cause the most damage of all, according to economics experts, and anyone else who is not drinking the obstructionist Kool-Aid. On Tuesday the Fitch credit rating agency warned that it is reviewing the U.S. government’s AAA credit rating for a possible downgrade. The U.S. credit rating is on negative watch, a step that would precede an actual downgrade. An economic crisis that would dim that of the last depression would soon follow.

Even Warren Buffett is hitting this Congress with both barrels. He said in an interview on Wednesday that the threat to not raise the nation’s debt limit “after you’ve already spent the money” is a “political weapon of mass destruction” comparable to poison gas. He said if the Congress allows our government to go into default it would be a “pure act of idiocy” and “asinine.”

With approval rating at an all-time low for both Congress and the president, one would think it might wake them up and get them back to work. The stubbornness on both sides is wearing on this country. One only has to read the comments on news stories to understand the mood of the country. Words like stupid, hate, idiots, trolls and morons flow freely from all corners of the country, even the bastions of conservatism.

Yet they show no shame. That was no more evident than on Oct. 1, when the government shutdown threatened to ruin the plans of a group of World War II veterans who had traveled to their memorial on the National Mall. Members of Congress rushed to the Mall and joined the veterans as they disregarded the barriers. For the next two days, these so called leaders of our nation flocked down to the World War II memorial to partake in photo ops and the resulting media frenzy. The lawmakers promised to fight for the elderly veterans and make sure that they could have access to their memorial, even though they were at fault for closing it in the first place.

During a later rally at the memorial that included veterans, key shutdown architect Sen. Ted Cruz and activist Sarah Palin, protesters waved “Impeach Obama” signs and confederate flags, a Tea Party speaker called for the president to “put down the Quran” and resign the presidency.

It makes me ashamed that I once supported this party.

It also makes me wonder whether Cruz knows about Nero fiddling while Rome burned.



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