I would like to profess my undying love for the party of the right. Although the 140-year age gap may be difficult to overcome, I truly think we can make it work. In this moment, I am certain I have never loved anyone more (except perhaps Orlando Bloom) than I adore you. Thank you for shutting down the federal government, you crazy, ideological conservatives. We liberals sincerely appreciate it.
Yes, the rest of the nasty left-leaning media and I have decided to hunker down and collectively blame the Republican Party for the government shutdown, or what Fox News has referred to as a “government slim down.”
I must admit I didn’t think John Boehner and his congressional cohorts were actually narrow-minded enough to go through with this plan. However, now that they have, allow me to demonstrate the pure beauty of the federal government closing its doors.
First of all, the Republican Party is taking a massive hit in the polls. In a CNN/ORC poll published Monday, 69 percent of respondents believe that Republicans are acting like — wait for it — “spoiled children.” While U.S. President Barack Obama (47 percent) and the Democrats (58 percent) aren’t doing so hot either, it’s pretty clear who is winning this unpopularity contest, which brings me to my second point.
As a lefty looking toward the 2014 midterms, I am hoping for a lasting effect. If this shutdown continues for too much longer, the Republican Party will have bigger issues than a law that has already been passed by Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. During the last government shutdown that lasted from late 1995 to early 1996, the Republican Party suffered an almost devastating loss.
Because of the media’s portrayal of said shutdown, then-U.S. President Bill Clinton’s poll numbers skyrocketed after it finally ended. Additionally, then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich earned what is probably the best nickname in the history of American politics: “The Gingrich who Stole Christmas.”
This negative portrayal of the Republican Party and its leadership is often credited as a contributing factor to Clinton’s crushing defeat of Senator Robert Dole in the 1996 presidential election. While perhaps this shutdown’s effects won’t be as impactful, it will definitely harm the image of Republicans going into the 2014 midterms. Obama hasn’t had a Democrat-controlled House to work with since the 2010 Tea Party Movement, and I’m sure he would appreciate the parting gift from Boehner and McConnell.
Speaking of our commander-in-chief, he really can’t do much to screw this up, the columnist says to herself, knowing that she is tempting fate. But seriously, Obama really has the easiest job in the federal government right now — you know, minus the millions of federal workers who stayed home because of the shutdown. Unlike the Republicans, he doesn’t have to wrangle Congressmen and Senators to fall into line. He is a single entity in this instance that speaks with one voice from one podium.
No one in the Democratic Party is going to be stupid enough (knock on wood) to get in front of a camera and tell the public that Obama is being unreasonable. Conversely, the Republican Party is full of Boehn-heads who are all trying to grab a piece of the media action. That kind of discord and chaos will make it harder to portray a vision of clarity to the American public.
Now allow me to tie it back to why this is a love letter. There is nothing I love more than watching the Republican Party dig its own grave, except maybe “Friends.” I really like watching “Friends” (#RossAndRachelForever). By forcing this shutdown because of their desire to repeal Obamacare, the Republicans are playing a dangerous game. There will come a point where people will decide that all of the national parks, the Mars rover and even the IRS auditors are more important than an ideological stand for principles.
As the Republicans tear themselves to shreds trying to defund a bill that’s already been approved and funded, America will be rooting against them. This is not how people want this to happen. While there has been criticism of Obamacare, the previously cited CNN/ORC poll found only 34 percent of those surveyed believe repealing the measure should be a higher priority than funding the government. That was before the government actually shutdown. Now that basic government services are no longer available, people might change their minds. If that number goes down, the shutdown support is obviously going to erode pretty quickly.
So to conclude my not-so-sappy ode to the oldest and grandest of parties, I want to remind them that if they keep this up, they won’t have political power for much longer. But by all means, keep it up. I would absolutely adore it.
Sara Ryan is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences studying political science and math. She can be reached at email@example.com.