Shutdown? How about “shut up?”

RANCHO SANTA FE, CA., April 8, 2011 – President Obama tells us that it’s time for “an adult discussion” in order to resolve the differences between the Parties on government spending.  Here’s the challenge:  where is he going to find an “adult” in Washington, D.C.?

Starting with the President:  he wasn’t willing (or able) to marshal a 2010 budget through Congress last year when his Party had overwhelming control of both the House and the Senate.  Why?  Could it have been because there was a risk of damaging the Democratic Party’s chances in the November election?  Oh gosh, that couldn’t have been the reason.  That would have been juvenile … particularly in retrospect.

So, the President should just blame the Republicans (and TEA Party) for his strategic ineptitude and that of his Party.  It was the Republicans’ fault that he and his Party didn’t pass a budget last year. Then, he should just threaten to veto a resolution that would keep the current debate moving forward.  That certainly would reflect “adult” behavior.

Next, let’s look at the “adults” who are running the Conservative side of the equation.  It is embarrassing to see them pretend that they are trying to cut the budget when their “line in the sand” is a veritable “spit in the ocean.”  Whether it’s $100 million, $60 million, or $39 million in cuts, the amount is irrelevant in the face of the President’s $3.55 trillion budget proposal.

The Republican’s 2011 budget recommendation calls for trillions of dollars of cuts over the next 10 years.  That’s a bit more like it.  However, it would make more sense if the Party was at least open to revisiting the issue of possible short-term tax increases.  There are segments of our society that might be able to support a higher level of taxes to accelerate the correction of our out-of-control National Debt (not a tax increase on the ridiculously defined “rich” who earn $250,000 a year, but rather a tax on the “uber-rich” who earn annual incomes in the millions).  Under our Nation’s current economic conditions, it’s not “adult” to preclude the consideration of that alternative.

It is equally ridiculous to pretend that we can remain competitive in a global market as our corporate tax rates head toward attaining the dubious distinction of being the highest in the world.  For those career Democrats who think that we can legislate new industries and job growth, maybe they should drop out of politics for a while and try starting a business.  It might give them an “adult” appreciation for what being “competitive” really means.  It might also help them grasp the impact that senseless government over-regulation has on businesses.

Perhaps most disappointing is the behavior of some of our more senior legislators.  Nancy Pelosi is on record as saying that it is strategically more effective for the Democratic Party to attack Republican recommendations than to fashion counter-recommendations of its own.  Wow, that’s certainly an “adult” approach.

Correspondingly, while the Left seems to be comfortable accusing the Right of being the sole source of incendiary language, Pelosi and her Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Harry Reid, have taken rebel-rousing to a new height … or should we say depth.

Yesterday, Pelosi tweeted that there was a “war against women” being waged by Republicans.  Today, Reid said that the GOP is trying to “throw women under the bus” by denying them healthcare (at least in the form of the government’s funding of Planned Parenthood); thereby forcing a government shutdown.  Majority Leader Reid would have us believe that “the Republicans are asking me to sacrifice my wife’s health, my daughter’s health, and my granddaughters’ health” … and that he’s “appalled” and “offended.”

We should be “appalled” and “offended” as well.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are both millionaires … several times over.  Neither Nancy nor any of Harry’s female relatives are likely to ever see the inside of a Planned Parenthood clinic for their routine healthcare needs.  Still, they would have us believe that Planned Parenthood is somehow a primary care center for women; a sole source for “cancer screenings” and “routine medical checkups.”  Physicians, hospitals, and other clinics apparently no longer exist.  Perhaps Planned Parenthood should just be renamed “Women’s Healthcare Central.”  Grow up!

It appears that there is a Congressional IQ requirement on Capitol Hill … where “IQ” stands for “Idiot Quota.”  No “Affirmative Action” plan will need to be put in place to fill this quota.  We already have an overabundance of candidates.  If this kind of behavior continues, the real “adults” in this country are likely to come to the forefront and honor the memory of Howard Beale.


T.J. O’Hara is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and strategic consultant in the private and public sectors. In 2012, he emerged as the leading independent candidate for the Office of President of the United States and the first nominee of the Whig Party in over 150 years.

This article first appeared in T.J. O’Hara’s recurring column, The Common Sense Czar, in the Communities Section of The Washington Times.