Republicans are to blame

Your recent editorial, “Shutdown madness,” concentrates on the kinds of government agencies or facilities that were closed during the Republican tantrum in the House of Representatives and you complain about the choices made by the executive branch.

But, you should have concentrated on the causes of the shutdown and placed responsibility squarely where it lies – with Republicans of the Tea Party stripe. Even Republican members of both the House and the U.S. Senate stood in silent awe as a small minority led the entire house (and nearly the entire party) to the brink, and then, over the cliff. Party regulars knew that the battle that was encouraged by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was not one that could be won and that his and others’ actions might severely damage their party.

They did damage their own party and raised the ire of the people, as recent polls have shown. Instead of complaining about the government services and sites that were closed by the Republicans, you complained about Obama’s choices. Clearly, the decisions had to be made in a hurry and it appears that, had you had your way, the president would have had to consult with the GOP before any closures or layoffs. In today’s Washington, it doesn’t work that way. The Republicans do not know any other word but “no.”

One of the most hypocritical scenes during the whole fiasco of shutdown was Sen. Cruz, standing just outside the World War II memorial in Washington, railing against its closure, a closure that he was instrumental in accomplishing.

There will always be complaints about such decisions, and maybe it is worth an investigation, as you called for in your editorial. However, any investigation should try to ascertain how a rump of the GOP was able to control the whole party and why the Democrats couldn’t even bring the remnants of the reasonable faction of the GOP to the table.


Sharon Springs

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