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A greedy, hypocritical GOP

October 02, 2013|By Alexandra Le Tellier
  • Vicki Maturo, of Culver City, protests against the government shutdown outside the federal building in Los Angeles.
Vicki Maturo, of Culver City, protests against the government shutdown… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Do the Republican members of the House care about the Americans they’re hurting by shutting down the government? Or are they just having fun with politics at our expense?

Sure, Congress is still getting paid, even though they’re to blame for this whole mess. As The Times editorial board wrote Tuesday: “The inconvenient truth for the GOP is that ‘defunding Obamacare,’ as the House tried to do, wouldn't stop most of the major provisions of the healthcare law, some of which have already gone into effect. […]  It's just a desperate attempt to score political points against the Affordable Care Act before it goes fully into effect and the benefits become clearer.”

Meantime, a significant number of furloughed government employees are worrying about when they’ll see their next paycheck. Children, parents and spouses have been hit. Businesses are feeling the effect. It may seriously hurt our recovering economy. “This is not just about politics,” writes the Street’s Richard Saintvilus. “There are real-life implications here. The ‘shutdown,’ as it sounds, is actually shutting down real-world progress.”

FULL COVERAGE: The government shutdown

Of course, that’s not exactly how conservative media are broadcasting the story, as Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart pointed out in a searing segment Tuesday night. In it, he shows commentators laughing at poor liberals, but then he juxtaposes their glee with outraged coverage six months ago when the White House canceled its tours amid reduced government services. “Hey, your kid didn’t get breakfast? That’s your problem,” Stewart snarked. “My kid didn’t get to tour the White House, that’s everybody’s problem.”

It would be amusing if it weren’t so depressing.

And it’s not just the media. It’s the actual politicians who are talking out of both sides of their mouths. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow dedicated the opening segment of her Sept. 27 show to highlighting the variety of hypocrisies. In addition to talking about the government shutdown, she highlighted politicians who’ve opposed federal aid for recent disasters, only to turn around and ask for federal money when their state was hit. Maddow also took on the farm bill food stamp fighters. “How do you vote that your family should be able to continue to be given federal money through this specific bill, but you cannot abide other Americans, poor Americans, getting money from the same bill so they can eat?” she asked. "How can you take it for yourself [in the form of farm subsidies] and move to block it for somebody else?”

“It's a particularly obnoxious form of hypocrisy,” says Maddow.

So too is a Congress that gets paid despite failing to do its work, its public service, while so many people suffer in waiting.


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Follow Alexandra Le Tellier on Twitter @alexletellier and Google+

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