Mercer Island Reporter


Outrage | Editorial

Mercer Island Reporter Former editor
October 9, 2013 · Updated 10:43 AM

Our nation is being hijacked by the childish notion that being right is all that matters.

The deadlock between the U.S. House Republicans and the president of the United States is shameful. It is embarrassing. Aren’t we — the mightiest, most successful nation on earth — supposed to be better than this? Didn’t we, or at least most of us learn, that sometimes we must set aside our views or beliefs for the common good? Isn’t that what the United States is all about?

Let’s look at who the pawns are in this chess game. On one side we have the millions of Americans without basic health care, and on the other are paychecks and services that not only operate our nation, but are a significant factor in keeping our economy running.

One must admit that the House Republicans, who are demanding changes or a delay in implementing the new health care law, have chosen an effective way of getting attention. Some news reports say that this particular approach, with Obamacare as the target, was planned months ago.

It is good versus evil. Resisting more debt is “good,” while Obamacare with its costs and regulations is “bad.”

Of course, there are other elements that flavor this mix — stubbornness, a good bit of ignorance, and a great deal of hubris are rolled in together to make this debate even more toxic.

It is easy to forget that there are people behind these numbers. Forget that people will not be paid, that Social Security checks will be delayed, that people will still crowd emergency rooms for medical care, that inspections or licenses for business will be held up, programs for students will be slowed or cut.

The risk to our nation is substantial.

The slowing the delivery of services, eliminating the billions of dollars of spending and millions of jobs supported by government paychecks will damage the economy. But also distressing is the notion of uncertainty about the strength of U.S. both here and abroad. It is a notion that can spread like a virus and can be just as difficult to shake.


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