By William B. Turner
“Conservatives” in the U.S. have developed the art of lying to such a refined degree that they now, even when they tell a truth, they dragoon it into service of a lie.
At the moment, they are busy trying this trick on the public. They are ever so worried that the Democrats might filibuster the continuing budget resolution in the Senate, where they have a majority, but not large enough to overcome a filibuster. Failure to pass the continuing resolution will result in a shutdown of the federal government over the weekend. It’s not at all clear why the Democrats would want to take any action that would produce such an outcome. But the Republicans, who are about to cause a shutdown, want to try to blame it on the Democrats, whom they refuse to compromise with.
The Republicans are carefully not saying two important things that make their stated concern about a Democratic filibuster ridiculous. First, the crazy caucus of Republicans in the House has threatened not to vote for the continuing resolution, so it’s not at all clear they can get it passed in the House, much less the Senate.
Second, the Republicans gained control of the Senate in January 2015. They have had control of both Houses of Congress for three years now. During the last of those years, since January 2017, the president has also been a Republican. For decades, Congress had well-established procedures for enacting a budget for the entire fiscal year, which starts on October first.
There is no good reason why the Republicans could not have restored regular budget procedures and enacted a normal budget for the fiscal year that started on October 1, 2017. Had they done so, we would not now be arguing over a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.
The problem with our government just now is that Republicans since Nixon care nothing about policy. All they care about is getting and keeping power in order to enjoy the perks of high office – the prestige and the opportunities to enrich themselves and their already rich buddies. Donald Trump is the ultimate Republican. He obviously knows and cares nothing about policy. He ran for president just to gratify his own huge, fragile ego. He doesn’t even understand the Constitution that defines the office. He is an embarrassment to the Republic. And he lies about everything, usually without even bothering to conceal his lies inside a truth.
He leaves that fine art to the Republican leaders in Congress.