Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016


Boehner is the Speaker of the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Once again, Henny Penny is running around to warn us that the sky is falling. A government shutdown is only [fill in the blank] days, [fill in the blank] hours and [fill in the blank] minutes away. The countdown clock shows the seconds ticking by. The end is near.

Well, maybe that’s true. Maybe the government is going to shut down. The national parks will close. You won’t be able to renew your passport, making it impossible for you to flee to some enlightened land where the government is still open and operating normally. You’ll have to re-schedule your visit to the Washington Monument. (Actually, it is closed for repairs anyway, so don’t blame the shutdown, if there is one.)

Or maybe all of the coverage is just a wee bit exaggerated and premature. Maybe the government won’t shut down at all.

Pardon my blasé attitude about it all, but I’ve seen this movie before, and unless they changed the ending — and it certainly is possible they did — I’m not getting too excited yet.

Here is what I wrote in this space on Dec. 3, 2012, during the media’s panic coverage of the approaching fiscal cliff:

“What we are witnessing now is very similar to what we saw during the summer of 2011, when Democrats and Republicans waited until the last minute — indeed only hours before an August ‘deadline’ — to raise the debt ceiling.

As I noted in a column two and a half months before that debt ceiling deadline, both parties had a strong incentive to wait until the very last minute before agreeing on a compromise. The situation is no different now, even after the 2012 elections.

Arriving at a compromise ‘too early’ gives ideologues within each party an opportunity to complain that their side ‘caved’ prematurely and could have gotten more if their political leaders had simply acted tougher, demanded more and waited.”

Let me be very clear: a government shutdown is possible. And that would be bad for a lot of people. But I, for one, am tired of the over-hype, the constant chatter of how crazy everyone is and people pulling out their hair (I don’t have enough to pull out anyway).

I’m tired of all the drama – from everyone from Ted Cruz and the folks at MSNBC to real journalists, who might want to put things into perspective rather than buy into the hype.

I am interested. I’ll watch, but with the volume turned down. And tomorrow will be another day.

  • Montesquieu

    Those of the liberty school actively support the ideas of limited government upon which morality, liberty, and democratic processes depend.

  • Defend The Constitution

    Political economy and economics attempt to explain how free people spontaneously gather, process, and apply vastly more knowledge than any particular person or group could ever hope to possess or control.

  • susiejones

    I am tired of the theatrics, gamesmanship, whatever you want to call it; I do not agree with the extremists on either side of the aisle. if I failed to do my job as badly as Congress is failing to do its job, I would be fired. if Congress was doing its job, there would be no need to threaten a government shutdown, no need to increase the debt limit, because the appropriations would be passed, a farm bill would be in place, we wouldn’t have sky high deficits, and their approval ratings would be out of the toilet. this constant bickering is sickening.

  • Cleo115

    I fail to see why people who want to raise the debt limit and to fund a law that was passed and upheld by the Supreme Court should be characterized as “ideologues” in the derogatory sense of the word. Yes, the conflict is over-dramatized by many but it doesn’t help to suggest that both sides are equally unreasonable. The House Republicans use an ideology of hyper-extremism as an excuse to make political hay. The Democratic ideology is a belief in the rule of law and respect for the institutions of government. The 20th century taught us that far right extremism will only be contained if people see it for what it is. Given that history, pretending it’s not all that bad because the other side does it too is simply irresponsible.

    • Doc3

      Liberals have no memory for facts is your problem. The Obamascam was passed through bribery and changing the rules to cram this monstrosity up the colon of the Nation. The law is widely unpopular and will continue the path to ruin the New Democratic Progressive Union Socialist Communist Fascist Party has forced on the Nation. In 2014 and 2016 hopefully we will have enough Tea Party representatives in Congress to kill this illegal law.

    • LawsonL

      By Far right extremism. I assume you mean the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany, the Stalinists in the Soviet Union, or the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Yes, all known for the their extrememely right wing economic views, right.

      • Cleo115

        The Nazis were far right, the Stalinists and Khmer Rouge were far left. Right wing revisionist historians have tried to paint the Nazis red, but the historical record does not bear this out.

        • LawsonL

          Not economically. They believed in a socialism amongst the preferred people.

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    In this video, a delusional liberal named Barbara Boxer lies about Hussein Obama’s defict record: the record – here’s Obama’s deficit history, over the last four years:2009: $1.41 Trillion 2010: $1.29 Trillion 2011: $1.30 Trillion 2012: $1.10 Trillion

  • Carl Hoffman

    I agree. The dramatics are just too much. I am tired of the political theater. My larger concern is the public view of the federal government. The government loses more and more credibility each time it replays this scenario. Further, I believe that loss of credibility extends beyond our own borders. The currency is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, both of which seem to be in short supply.

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