When Obstruction Turns To Destruction

Join me at a time in late childhood when games were played on a board, not a screen, and your opponents were people sitting with you, not somewhere in cyberspace.  It is a wintry Saturday morning and you are sitting in your pj’s with your brother, a friend that slept over and a friend from next door sipping hot chocolate with little marshmallows and eating Sugar Pops out of the box.   On the table is a hot game of Monopoly in progress, and Rocky and Bullwinkle is playing on TV.  Life is good.  But suddenly, Jimmy, the neighbor from next door  informs all of you that if you don’t let him buy the Reading Railroad property that he accidentally passed over, he is going to refuse to play.  This seemed silly and you inform him that never before has anyone been allowed to buy a property after the fact.  He tells you he doesn’t care, and insists on the right to buy the property.  It’s a standoff, and the three of you refuse to allow him to buy the property.  Suddenly in a rage he says, “if I can’t have my way none of you can play either”, and he pushes the board off of the table and destroys the game.  An example of childish behavior, not pleasant, but not unusual among children.  The good news is that we usually outgrow this self-centered, self-absorbed and destructive behavior.

It appears, however, that the Tea Party  has never matured into adulthood.  Their maturation process was somehow stunted and they all seem to behave like Jimmy, the boy next door.  They played the game of Pass or Don’t Pass The Affordable Care Act, and they lost.  Obamacare passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by the President.  Never has a law been repealed without a new vote to repeal it.  Though they have tried, they have been unsuccessful.  So now they are threatening to push the board off of the table, by not approving a CR or an increase in the debt ceiling unless Obamacare is defunded.  Maybe we should rename the Tea Party the Jimmy Party.

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...
English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But this is not a game.  Real lives and real people will be impacted if they go ahead with this irresponsible and destructive behavior.  It is a fact that the results of such an act will be felt around the world, and economies still on shaky ground from the Recession of 2008, will be in danger of faltering again.  President Obama, well aware of the destructive impact of such behavior, has vowed not to negotiate the debt ceiling increase.  Yet the GOP House leadership along with Tea Party notables in the senate have vowed to move ahead on this irresponsible and dangerous path.  It is mind-boggling that our elected officials can behave with such total disregard for everything short of their ideological mantra.

It is time for “tough love“.  The President needs to stand firm and force this group to grow up and behave responsibly.  2014 will be our opportunity to dish out some “tough love” and remove these destructive obstructionists from office.  We can’t sit on our hands or our couches.  We need to actively work to regain control of the House and maintain control of the Senate.  It’s time the adults took control again.


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