2 Oct

I will just touch upon some aspects of the (partial) federal government shutdown in just this 1 post because in approximately 10 days when I blog again, I hope I am not writing about it again.  Usually I try not to blog about the #1 thing in politics, but this shutdown has been building for weeks and is dominating the headlines in such a way that there’s no way to avoid it.  I’d like to thank POLITICO for their in-depth coverage of all the facts and drama coming out of DC, because I still don’t know how they’re able to stand the hypocrisy, ridiculousness, and histrionics that occur on a constant basis.

Shut Down Computer Icon

Shut Down Computer Icon

On a personal point, I was particularly stunned when Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) referenced the Bataan death march regarding his ‘fauxbiluster’ of the people who had to work because of him.  I don’t know much about the Bataan death march other than what I read in the history books and the bits of information from my family, but I highly doubt that it can in any way be related to what actually happened in the Philippines during WWII.  He may reference all these historical details and seem and actually be smart, but using them whenever you think it might fit the moment means that he does not understand them. (POLITICO)

And there’s a lot to be said about President Obama, good and bad, in regards to the Affordable Care Act and this government shutdown.  However, I think that it’s just sour grapes and being a sore loser than Ann Romney thinks that this all wouldn’t have happened if her husband was President.  Especially coming from me, it is easier to criticize than to try to do something.  Blogging and keeping people informed, although time consuming at times, is definitely not as difficult as a public official who has to cater to all and not get anyone mad.  I always liked the unspoken promise that defeated presidential candidates and/or predecessors would never publicly criticize the current POTUS.  What the Romneys have done is break that promise, and I simply do not like that.

Again, on an even more personal note, the article “Senators answer their own phone” really struck me. [Disclaimer: I started this past summer, and I am still continuing to intern with Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) of Indiana’s 9th congressional district.]  It’s funny, because I’ve never thought of talking with constituents as “more menial work” as Mr. Burgess Everett describes it.  I think of myself on the front lines of communication and get to talk and listen to the people who need assistance, want to describe their disagreement with the congressman, or encourage him to take a position.  Answering the phones is one of the few ways in which someone’s personal thoughts and feelings can get through to the other person.  It’s good that the elected officials are answering their phones and hearing from their constituents directly; however, I’d rather they not have to be in that position and do their job of legislating.

I disagree with the shutdown in many ways, but I am proud to be working in Rep. Todd Young’s office, and I’m not afraid to say that (given the public opinion of Congress as a whole).

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Boris Shor, PhD

Associate Professor, Dep't of Political Science, U. of Houston

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