Unsurprisingly, this week’s king of douchiness comes to us courtesy of the government shutdown. Everyone is abuzz about how long it will last and what the effects will be, but in reality, one man plays the biggest role in both causing and ending the shutdown. That man is our Douchebag of the Week, and his name is John Boehner. He (and the majority of House Republicans) caused this shutdown, and he has the power to end it. But of course, Boehner is choosing not to end it, because he’s too afraid of his Tea Party cohorts. This, combined with the general hypocrisy of his party’s stance in the past week, has propelled him to the top spot in the battle of douchebaggery.
Republicans love to talk about Obama’s supposed “apology tour,” so why don’t we assess the situation with a few apologies? I’m sorry that you lost the fight on Obamacare in 2010. I’m sorry that your 42 attempts to repeal the ACA were a complete and utter waste of time. I’m sorry that you can’t do whatever you want, like you did with the previous administration. I’m sorry that you can’t accept when you’ve lost a fight. And finally, I’m sorry that your party is at such a low place that you feel the need to hold a gun to the government’s head to get what you want.
I won’t even get into the logistics of sending three bills that were dead on arrival to the Senate, because that’s a whole other level of stupidity. But the past week was a defining moment for the post-election Republican Party. This real threat of a shutdown was looming, and everyone looked to John Boehner to see what he would do. He had an opportunity to put his foot down and tell the radical right-wing assholes in the Tea Party that enough is enough. Boehner could have redefined the Republican Party, and pulled it away from the ridiculous whims of the far right by passing a clean spending bill. But did he do that? No.
Instead, good ol’ John decided to bend under pressure from the Tea Party zealots, and let the government shut down to make some overblown political point that Obamacare is apparently the spawn of Satan. He was too afraid of the Tea Party and the impact they’ll have on his reelection, so he put his tail between his legs and led the House to pass three different bills that were sure to cause a government shutdown. John put his own interests ahead of the interests of the American people, and for that reason he gets the douchebag crown this week.
The sad part of this whole situation is that, while Boehner caused the shutdown, he has the power to end it. Right now, at this very minute, there is a Senate-approved bill sitting in the House that would fully fund the government with no strings attached. It has complete Democratic support, and enough House Republicans have said that they would vote for it to pass. John Boehner, being the Speaker of the House, could bring this bill to a vote right now and it would pass. The government could be opened tomorrow morning, but Boehner won’t do it. He is refusing to allow the bill to come up for a vote, because he still wants to have this ridiculous dialogue about something that is now a law. A law, by the way, that has been upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.
And while we’re on that topic, can we talk about the true insanity of this whole thing? For the past few weeks, Republicans have suddenly decided that they want to negotiate on certain aspects of Obamacare. They’re using this to justify the shutdown and make themselves look like the heroes here. No, bro. You had three years to compromise. Three years to negotiate on provisions that you don’t like. You had chance after chance to seriously sit down with Senate Democrats and President Obama and actually try to make the bill work. But instead of compromising and working things out like you’re elected to do, you voted 42 times to just repeal the law. You knew every single time that the repeal wouldn’t pass the Senate or be signed by Obama, but you fucking did it anyway. You spent three years trying to flex your muscles, and now you’re suddenly the party of negotiation? Are you shitting me?
This is why the Democrats are standing firm through the shutdown. They’re not opposed to working with Republicans to improve Obamacare, but Republicans don’t get to waste three years fighting something and then agree to negotiate when they’re holding the government as a hostage. The Democrats have conceded to delay after delay, because House Republicans said they wanted time to negotiate changes to the law. That’s fair, but Republicans just kept using the delays as opportunities to repeal the law. It doesn’t work like that, and the Senate Democrats are sick of the Republican mantra that basically says “our way or the highway.” Republicans have forgotten how to truly govern, and that’s mortgaging the future of this country.
In the end, this government shutdown is a bad situation all around. I understand where Republicans (or at least the sensible ones) are coming from, but it’s too little too late. We’ve sat by and watched the House try to repeal Obamacare time after time, and now it’s coming back to bite them in the ass. John Boehner played the biggest role in each of those repeals, and now he’s pushed the GOP over the cliff of common sense because he can’t admit that his party acted like children for three years. So I salute you, John Boehner, for consistently being a douchebag since 2010. We can always count on you to disappoint us when we’re looking for rational decisions. Keep it up, buddy. Because if you thought pissing off the Tea Party would hurt your reelection chances, just wait until your constituents see how much of a prick you are.