Having to rely on the GOP to run our government is like having to use that dating site* for tragically desperate, lonely people.
Steve Benen laments the fact that there will be some “relief” felt over the Tea-led Congress managing to avert yet another one of its self-manufactured government shutdown crises:
For one thing, there’s a debt-ceiling crisis on the horizon, which is not only likely to be ugly, but also poses a far more significant risk.
For another, I continue to think it’s a shame that the political world considers it some kind of success story when government shutdowns are avoided.
Our expectations have been lowered to tragic depths. In April 2011, Republicans threatened a government shutdown, which was narrowly averted. In September 2011, they threatened another. In April 2012, they threatened another. In early 2013, they threatened yet another.
In each instance, we’re all relieved when the crisis passes, and I certainly understand why, but let’s remember a nagging detail: there’s no reason for us to be impressed when the legislative branch of the United States government manages, just barely, to keep its own lights on.
In other words, we’ve internalized absurd standards. We simply assume as a matter of course that important policymaking is nearly impossible, and we then celebrate basic legislative competence that, in the not-too-distant recent past, would have been considered routine and unremarkable.
Yes, I’m glad there won’t be a government down. Yes, it’s remarkable Congress got this done with six whole days to spare. But by any meaningful standard, this isn’t an impressive legislative accomplishment; it’s the bare minimum Americans should expect.
Let’s remember that the primary reason the GOP-led House will likely come to an agreement over keeping the lights on through September isn’t because Republicans suddenly care about compromise or the nation’s funding, infrastructure, or employees. More than likely their eagerness to wrap up a continuing resolution has everything to do with the fact that they have another two-week vacation scheduled — starting tomorrow.
*Paul Ryan is Stuart and the entire GOP establishment is Doreen.