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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

There were no winners in the shutdown debacle, only innocent losers

John+Boehner%2C+Speaker+of+the+House+of+Reps%2C+was+instrumental+in+the+shutdown+debacle
John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Reps, was instrumental in the shutdown debacle

More than two weeks, hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers, jeopardy of US credit, 0.6 percent drop in quarterly economic growth, $24 billion later in cost; the government shutdown is finally over.
The partisan pissing contest for which hard-working Americans paid the price is finally over. The federal government is once again functional; workers can return to their jobs, and numerous federal centers, which were closed down due to the shutdown, can now be re-opened.
In addition to all of the shutdown fracas, the debt ceiling was raised; now our esteemed government can go ahead and make good on its debts, thus avoiding yet another economic meltdown of epic proportions. Cause for celebration? Not by any stretch of the imagination.
Earnestly speaking, although it’s cause for relief, the relief is bound to be short-lived. The terms of the bill passed which enabled the re-opening of the government and the raising of the debt ceiling. It stipulated that the funding of the federal government only lasts through Jan. 15, 2014, while the debt ceiling is lifted only until Feb. 7, before new rounds of budget negotiation.
What this means is that in a little over two months’ time we will find ourselves back in this very situation: a nation teetering on the edge, ripped apart by unreasonably extreme levels of bi-partisanship.
Major media outlets have been quick to pounce on the aftermath of the shutdown and all that led to it, proclaiming Democrats the victors of the battle. Even some sectors of the Republican Party supporters have decided to award John Boehner the honor of being the official scapegoat, many claiming he accepted defeat too soon.
This sort of thinking and mentality is what worries me. For such a vast majority of people — all partisanship put aside — to believe that there were victors and losers in this debacle is frankly just sickening.
Real people’s lives and livelihoods were at stake in this hubbub over the debt limit. Try explaining to a disabled veteran who, if the shutdown were to have carried on any further would have stopped receiving his living benefits, that this was a victory of sorts for any party involved.
Put yourself in the shoes and minds of federal workers with bills to pay, living paycheck-to-paycheck because of the already-decrepit state of the economy, that the tumult brought on by the Obamacare/shutdown had any positives whatsoever.
If any of the people claiming victory for one side or the other got anything right, it’s that there were indeed losers — the United States of America.
Many Americans, and indeed people all over the world, must be asking how they can be expected to trust in the competence of a government that seems unable to remain perpetually functional. It’s a legitimate question.
It’s no secret that neither party seems amenable to compromise, as was evident even before the shutdown and certainly wasn’t helped by it. They seem to disagree on every major issue, ranging from healthcare to student loan rates, from immigration reform to gay marriage. Bipartisanship is a word that’s thrown around a lot but is rarely ever put to use.
Instead of wondering if there will be another shutdown, it’ll be more accurate to wonder when the next shutdown will be. This time, how many innocent lives will be affected?