On a tip from NooneOfAnyImport, I signed up at democrats.org to receive one of a limited supply of their fancy new bumper stickers featuring their groundbreaking new logo. I also put myself on their mailing list because I find the idea of mail addressed to annoytheleft from firstname.lastname@example.org amusing.
This morning my inbox was graced with a fund-raising email from DNC Chairman Tim Kane [emphasis original]:
All around the country this fall, Republicans are trying to convince voters to hire them for a job. But they keep saying that one of the first items on their agenda would be to go on strike.
A government shutdown would cut off the programs, benefits, and services relied upon by millions of seniors, veterans, and families around the country. Veterans’ hospitals would be closed; Social Security checks would not go out.
This is the political equivalent of a temper tantrum — and it hurts those who need help the most.
I’m sure that Kane’s intended audience would just eat that up. For the rest of us who comprise the wave of discontent that brought about the primary wins of Joe Miller in Alaska, Sharon Angle in Nevada and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, the notion of shutting down the Federal Government is not as distasteful as it might have seemed in prior years. And, despite to the scare-tactic employed in the letter, essential services continue during a shut down.
Kane’s letter mentions Newt Gingrich as the “mastermind” behind the government shut down in 1996. The fact is, however, that legislation funding the Federal Government was passed by Republicans in 1995 but Clinton vetoed it.
The most recent shutdowns occurred in FY1996. There were two during the early part of the fiscal year. The first, November 14-19, 1995, resulted in the furlough of an estimated 800,000 federal employees. It was caused by the expiration of a continuing funding resolution (P.L. 104-31) agreed to on September 30, 1995, and by President Clinton’s veto of a second continuing resolution and a debt limit extension bill.
The truthful message from Kane should be if we lose majority and the Republicans don’t bend to our will anyway, our Democrat president is going to veto Grandma’s Social Security check. That is a temper tantrum.