There is a tendency for the media to report on all political disputes as though opposing sides have equivalency, each presenting equal but offsetting arguments. The current partial shutdown of the federal government provides an example.
The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law; its individual mandate was upheld by the Supreme Court; as a central point of contention in the 2012 presidential election it was settled once and for all by the reelection of President Obama. Nonetheless, a minority faction in the House of Representatives is playing a high stakes game of chicken in an attempt to undo the democratic process. The House majority has cravenly capitulated to this destructive minority within their majority, putting personal ambition ahead of the national interest. The president has rightly stated that Congress has a duty to fund laws it has passed and that he will not be a victim of political extortion. There is no equivalency to the two sides in this dispute.
As a result of Congress's intransigence, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are out of work, and the ripple effect on the stock market and businesses that rely on the associated economic activity is building to a fiscal tsunami. More seriously, a federal credit default looms. If this occurs, the negative effects will be profound, global, and long lasting.
House Republicans have not yet figured out how to govern. Voluntarily co-opted by a militant few, the only thing they seem able to do is to say "No" and to hold their breaths until they turn blue. Let's hope they pass out before the rest of us do.
Will Underwood, Kent