Saturday, October 05, 2013

the work we have chosen to do together

An Open Letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren

If you watch the anarchist tirades coming from extremist Republicans in the House, you'd think they believe that the government that governs best is a government that doesn't exist at all.

But behind all the slogans of the Tea Party – and all the thinly veiled calls for anarchy in Washington – is a reality: The American people don't want a future without government.

When was the last time the anarchy gang called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children's toys? Or for inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with deadly bacteria? Or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness drugs will cause horrible deformities in our babies?

When? Never. In fact, whenever the anarchists make any headway in their quest and cause damage to our government, the opposite happens.

After the sequester kicked in, Republicans immediately turned around and called on us to protect funding for our national defense and to keep our air traffic controllers on the job.

And now that the House Republicans have shut down the government – holding the country hostage because of some imaginary government "health care boogeyman" – Republicans almost immediately turned around and called on us to start reopening parts of our government.

Why do they do this? Because the boogeyman government in the alternate universe of their fiery political speeches isn't real. It doesn't exist.

Government is real, and it has three basic functions:
  1. Provide for the national defense.
  2. Put rules in place rules, like traffic lights and bank regulations, that are fair and transparent.
  3. Build the things together that none of us can build alone – roads, schools, power grids – the things that give everyone a chance to succeed.
These things did not appear by magic. In each instance, we made a choice as a people to come together. We made that choice because we wanted to be a country with a foundation that would allow anyone to have a chance to succeed.

The Food and Drug Administration makes sure that the white pills we take are antibiotics and not baking soda. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversees crash tests to make sure our new cars have functioning brakes. The Consumer Product Safety Commission makes sure that babies' car seats don't collapse in a crash and that toasters don't explode.

We are alive, we are healthier, we are stronger because of government. Alive, healthier, stronger because of what we did together.

We are not a country of anarchists. We are not a country of pessimists and ideologues whose motto is, "I've got mine, the rest of you are on your own." We are not a country that tolerates dangerous drugs, unsafe meat, dirty air, or toxic mortgages.

We are not that nation. We have never been that nation. And we never will be that nation.

The political minority in the House that condemns government and begged for this shutdown has its day. But like all the reckless and extremist factions that have come before it, its day will pass – and the government will get back to the work we have chosen to do together.

1 comment:

Jim Henderson said...

An Open Reply from Jim Henderson

Really? Anarchist tirades? There are tirades going on, but they aren’t from your boogey men “Extremist Republicans.” They are from your Democratic Party. Examples:

Pres. Obama: “Speaker John Boehner won’t even let the bill get a yes-or-no vote because he doesn’t want to anger the extremists in his party.”

Pres. Obama: “One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government, all because they didn't like one law.”

Pres. Obama: “One party to this conversation says that the only way that they come to the table is if they get 100 percent of what they want, and if they don't, they threaten to burn down the house.”

Pres. Obama: Republicans are“reckless and irresponsible”

Sen. Reid: Republicans are “anarchists”

Rep. Pelosi: Republicans are “legislative arsonists.”

Sen. Mikulski vulgarly suggests that Ted Cruz appeases people who bounce their testicles in others' mouths while they are drunk or sleeping: “The reason Ted Cruz ... asked for a delay was so that he could have a vote during today where ... the teabaggers in his tea party were going to watch.”

Dan Pfeiffer has Republicans as suicide bombers, “What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest. We’re not going to do that.”

Your name calling is a strategy of minimization, rather than civil and candid conversation. Why would anyone think you are a serious counterpart in the Congress?

Please be honest. Obama ordered the Executive Branch to make sequestration as painful as possible. At DHS and TSA, equated with furloughing TSA screeners. Furloughing wasn't required by the sequestration; it was just preferred BY OBAMA and YOUR PARTY.

You provide no basis on which to conclude that the problems are imaginary. I suppose if you ignore the THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of employees pushed off of employer plans and pushed into part time status ALL THE CONSEQUENCE OF OBAMACARE then things known factually to be so really are just imaginary boogeymen.

“Fair and transparent?” Really? Did you want to go here during a shutdown that is a sequal to the Affordable Care Act?

Among the disproportionalities of this Administration’s effectuation of the Act is the illegal one year suspension of the employer mandate, and the missing of 17 statutory deadlines for administrative actions under the Act, the granting of waivers and dispensations to corporations, to unions, to the President and his officers, to the Courts, to the Congress.

Your leap in logic, and your ahistorical assertion astound. Power grids were not, for the most part, built by the FEDERAL government. Instead power grids arose as a patchwork embodying a variety of private, public, partnered, and joint ventures. The national railway system, a marvel in its time was certainly not a product of government production. Schools were never the product of FEDERAL government.

These facetious points do not JUSTIFY government. They do explain it. Simple civil liability would as easily train industry (and, in fact, has trained industry) in the importance of safety, efficacy, design adequacy and the like. Government’s role as a pre-screener of invention and design is certainly DOABLE, but not INDISPENSABLE.

Elizabeth, you know the Democratic Party’s mantra, when it comes to abortion is, “I got mine, now you get yours.” There is no single more selfish act of an individual than to kill another human being so to be able to live a lifestyle otherwise frustrated by the threatened life.

I think Bill Clinton would prefer that you had left “toxic mortgages” out of this discussion, his administration and House and Senate Democrats that pushed for the risky LIBOR mortgage structures designed to tease the very edges of the economic community into home ownership.

Your understanding of our History is poor, or poorly expressed. That government governs best which governs least is not a Tea Party mantra, but a Founders’ mantra.