This Federal government shutdown is the latest antic by the Tea Party Republicans to achieve by sheer force what they did not achieve in the most recent national elections and cannot achieve by attempting to extort concessions not only from the President of these United States, but the American families and economy as well.
As a long time resident of Harford County and a Federal retiree, who spent 37 proud years working for the U.S. Government, I recall vividly the previous two most recent government shutdowns orchestrated by the "radical Republicans" of that day - Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. They thought it would be easy to flip President Bill Clinton and usurp the government. Their mantra: the Presidency is not important.
However, they got a big jolt because of two major events that thwarted their plans. First, in those days the Social Security and Veterans checks were mailed and not direct deposited. The Government Printing Office, where I worked as a senior contracting official, had the responsibility for those contracts. The first shutdown attempt was quickly dropped as soon as the news broke that seniors would not be getting their Social Security checks. When the radical Republicans made the second attempt, it was about the time Veterans checks were to be mailed. This second attempt also failed, and President Clinton had the upper hand in dealing with his opponents. Americans would not stand for hostage style tactics from their representatives in those days, and neither do they want those tactics to be used today.
How preposterous is it that the Tea Party Republicans can pass a bill that agrees to pay back all the furloughed Federal employees after they go back to work while many of them are presently at work (without pay), because they are deemed essential to the needs of our nation's welfare? What an injustice! To that end I find it unbelievable that many of my friends and neighbors still think our local Congressman, Andy Harris, and his Tea Party friends represent the interests of our Congressional district — let alone our America.
James E. Willard
KingsvilleCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun