It was time to take principled stand against bad law
I have had it. A recent poll said that 60 percent of people in the United States do not want Obamcare. The Democrats are trying to force this down our throats the same underhanded way they got it passed. They are using the news media to feed us propaganda.
In reality, Obamacare in some cases has raised health care costs. If it is so great why are over 1,000 businesses being exempted from the program? Why do congressional staffers, some who make over six figures, receive subsidies that President Barack Obama approved?
Why are businesses cutting back hours for a lot of employees and cutting some coverages? Right now the federal government is paying to expand Medicaid, but in a couple years, more of the cost will be the responsibility of the states.
Where will they get the money to handle it? There comes a time when people need to stand their ground. We need to get behind our congressmen and use the leverage to defund Obamacare.
There have been efforts to make it easier on the people who are affected by this shutdown but check out who is not willing to compromise. I know this is a little tough on federal employees right now, but they will likely get back pay.
For once, have the courage to stand your ground and truly represent the people and their best interests.
Harry Van Epps
Dangerous precedent set
The GOP needs to consider the dangerous precedent that is being perpetuated by its threats to shut down the government and to force a default on debts if Obamacare is not ended.
The issue comes down to whether either party should ever use extortion to kill a bill that has already been signed into law even if divided government closes off all other means for changing the law.
The time may come when Republicans control the White House and the Senate, but not the House.
Assume that the Democratic Party in the House achieves sufficient discipline to force the government to default on its debt or to prevent the adoption of a budget, unless its legislative demands are met.
The party could then resort to the same type of extortion now being used rather than working through established electoral processes to gain the votes needed to reverse legislation.
President Barack Obama and all future presidents should refuse to give in to such potentially damaging tactics. Allowing a minority party in a divided government to impose its will in this manner will make our country not only less governable but also less democratic, not to mention the severe economic damage that will result.
Charles L. Davis
Measure of brain size
So our junior senator believes liberals have "really big hearts but really small brains"?
That's rich coming from a representative of the party that has given us such deep thinkers as Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Todd Aiken, Richard Mourdock, Herman Cain, Ted Cruz, et al.
The party that denies climate change, has members who believe the earth is 9,000 — or fewer — years old, that wanting every child to have a college education is "elitist" and opposes any result from an objective assessment of the facts.
Here's something my small brain can grasp: the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, signed by the president and deemed constitutional by the United States Supreme Court. The constitution is clear on the ways we change or amend laws. The budget process is not one of them.
I wonder if Sen. Rand Paul has ever questioned why his party so vehemently opposes something that was originally a Republican idea and was, in fact, implemented in Massachusetts by their most recent nominee for the presidency?
Rep. Andy Barr says he is hearing from his constituents that they want "protection from Obamacare."
What we really need is protection from the reckless and irresponsible actions of the Republicans in the House, who refuse to accept the fact that the Affordable Care Act has been passed by Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court.
The current government shutdown and looming debt-ceiling fiasco are idiotic and hopeless measures in the face of reality. Barr and his colleagues are like children who run away with the ball because they know they have lost the game.
John K. Young
Brute power play
This government shutdown isn't about Obamacare and never was. It's a raw, partisan power grab. It's about a minority party, featuring the Tea Party out front with banners unfurled, trying to put its hands around the neck of the majority party.
A 40-second video clip of Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, posted on the Herald-Leader's Bluegrass Politics blog, reveals them plotting the GOP's public-relations strategy to spread the blame around for the shutdown.
Their script is carefully designed to deceive the public, and Rep. Andy Barr has been echoing it to the letter.
"We're ready to negotiate, any time, any place. If President Obama and the Democrat Party stubbornly refuse to negotiate, this shutdown is their fault. All we want is a few incredibly minor changes to some existing legislation."
Translation: "To negotiate any issue the GOP chooses to slam down onto the table, any time the GOP chooses to slam it down, is as noncontroversial as apple pie and the American way."
A bully says to his victim, "Why won't you negotiate? I'm always willing to. You can keep half your lunch money, maybe even more — today. If you pay up, we'll see what happens tomorrow. But if you don't give me anything, you'll be to blame for your broken arm. And the day after that, you'll be to blame for your broken neck."
Our democratic republic is in danger.
Geoffrey M. Young
Upset with McConnell
We are disappointed in our leaders for allowing our government to shut down. More so, I am very disappointed and upset with the remarks I heard from Sen. Mitch McConnell about Democrats playing the blame game as he blamed Democrats.
I was also upset with his trying to make a joke that Democrats will blame George W. Bush. Enough is enough. This isn't a joking matter. I am ashamed that my senator would act like this.
Republicans, Democrats and Independents see this as further proof that the people we have entrusted in running our government can't, and won't, do their jobs.
Balancing our nation's budget and debating the Affordable Care Act are separate issues. Continue debating the law if it's necessary, but do it on its own merit. Fund the government and get it running again.
At Fancy Farm, McConnell said if we voted someone else in we would be throwing away the powerful leadership position that a Kentuckian has in the Senate.
Prove it. Show that you can lead the Senate and the party. Because if you can't lead, then what does having a Kentuckian in your position matter? If we can't trust our current representatives, then maybe we will need new ones next year.
Money where mouth is
I just wanted to express my appreciation for Sen. Ted Cruz's theatrical presentation to express his disdain for the Affordable Care Act, to the point that he was willing to have the government shut down to try to stop its implementation.
I would like to suggest that there could be perhaps a larger impact were he to offer to forego his salary during the shutdown.
Congress will continue to be paid, unlike a number of federal employees.
It's easier to talk for 21 hours, 18 minutes than to go without a paycheck.
Virginia M. Hyman
GOP has weak hand
Congress can defund a president's pet projects, but only if the vote numbers add up.
Democrats had the numbers to defund President Ronald Reagan's foreign policy in Central America, and then they nearly impeached him when Oliver North and his merry men went into action securing their own financing.
A fresh-faced Sen. Barack Obama not only attempted to defund the duly authorized Iraq War, but he did so during a budget showdown.
His side didn't have the numbers, but he gave a great speech about the immorality of passing on huge, unpaid bills to future generations.
Here's another political truism: Elections have consequences. It's not America's fault that the GOP offered up Mitt Romney from a clown-car primary against a vulnerable incumbent, or that the GOP offered up Senate candidates who had to cut commercials denying that they were witches, or who told American women to forget that rape thing and just have the baby already.
Nor was it America's fault that a Republican Supreme Court chief justice discovered that Congress can do just about anything it wants as long as they call it a tax.
As for Democrats and pundits fixated on the Tea Party, just ask Nancy Pelosi how much she misses that gavel. It's time for the GOP to push away from the Obamacare card table, because they are out of chips. That baby, after a three-year-long gestation, is finally here.
The American people will now decide if we have been delivered the Gerber baby or Chucky.
Anarchists in control
The Crazy Republicans must now be happy; the government has shut down. The extremist wing of the Republican Party has tried to destroy government, it calls government the enemy. These lawmakers are essentially anarchists.
They want a return to the Wild West gunslinger mentality on guns, and they want to destroy the economy because a Democrat is in the White House. Job numbers have grown for five straight years, and the stock market has more than doubled since President Barack Obama was sworn in.
The Republicans have voted 40 times to get rid of the health care reform law and failed. They took it all the way to the Supreme Court, and failed. They ran a presidential campaign against it, and failed yet again.
Kentucky is partially responsible for the mess in the House and Senate. We sent Sen. Mitch McConnell to filibuster and block more than 400 votes that would have passed with a majority, while he only had a minority in the Senate.
We also recently sent Rep. Andy Barr to vote in lockstep with the lowest-rated Congress in recorded history with a 10 percent approval rating. I guess elections don't really matter when Republicans can hold our economy hostage through cheap gimmicks and tricks.
Vote them all out
They all need to go. Every member of the House and Senate needs to lose their jobs.
They have spent the last few years either trying to repeal every word of the Affordable Care Act, or defending every word of it. None tried to fix the law's problems.
They could have spent this time doing their jobs, but no, it was so much better to grandstand. And at the last minute, they suddenly wanted more time to work on it? No, none of them, on either side of the aisle, did your jobs. They failed to meet any reasonable objective.
Happy 123rd anniversary, Yellowstone National Park. How ironic that nobody can celebrate in the park, because it's closed. All because a bunch of people who add up to nice hair and expensive suits couldn't be bothered to work together, and the word "compromise" has become a sign of weakness within both parties.
Herald-Leader cartoonist Joel Pett returns Tuesday.