The Tea Party may have succeeded in shutting down the government, but last week PFAW members showed them that they can’t shut down the people’s voice. Nearly 100,000 people signed our petition calling on Speaker Boehner to stand up to Ted Cruz and the Tea Party, and end their hostage-taking tactics.
Last week, we went to the Hill to deliver the message. It may have been cold, windy and rainy, but that didn’t stop us and hundreds more from gathering at the Capitol to demand that Speaker Boehner end the tea party shutdown. We heard from Rev. Jesse Jackson, from union leaders and furloughed workers, and from congressional leaders including Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer.
The message was clear. This shutdown is dangerous to our standing in the world, destructive to our ability to govern, and damaging to the lives of real Americans. It isn’t just a game: These destructive actions are affecting thousands who depend on paychecks that are being held up by these fringe members of the Republican party who don’t even know what it is they want. And now, thanks to almost 100,000 of you, Republicans in Congress can’t ignore the fact that the people aren’t on their side, because they’re not on ours.
One of NewsMax host Steve Malzberg’s favorite guests is his very own congressman, Republican Rep. Scott Garrett, who reliably offers an official parrot to Malzberg’s right-wing musings.
On yesterday’s show, Malzberg had Garrett on to discuss the government shutdown and impending debt ceiling crisis, which Malzberg of course blamed on President Obama. The president, Malzberg insisted, “wouldn’t mind the devastation” that would come if the House GOP refused to raise the debt ceiling and throws the country into default. “I just think that this president doesn’t mind inflicting the pain he’s inflicted and wouldn’t mind inflicting the devastation that would come with not meeting the debt ceiling increase,” he said.
Garrett agreed, adding, “Throughout man’s history, there are those who will call good evil and evil good and those who will not speak the truth and claim it’s the truth, and that’s what you’re obviously hearing from Secretary Lew and the president on this as well.”
The congressman went on to insist that the secretary of the treasury “calm the markets” merely by announcing that a default wouldn’t be that bad.
“You really have to wonder what is, unfortunately, their ulterior motive here,” he added.
Count former congressmen Allen West among the Republicans aggrieved by the fact that mean bully President Obama won’t give them everything they want now that they’ve shut down the government.
In an interview with NewsMax’s Steve Malzberg yesterday, West said that the president is a “pathological liar” and acting like a “spoiled brat child” because American voters gave the president “everything he wanted” by electing him. Americans voting for Obama in democratic elections, according to West, is just like a parent who gives in to “a screaming, ranting child in the cereal aisle”:
The United States participated in a Pavlovian experiment. WE have been giving Barack Obama everything that he has wanted. We gave him a state senator position in Chicago, we gave him a U.S. Senate position out of the state of Illinois. Unproven, untested, no resume, we gave him the presidency twice. So, if you continue to reward bad behavior you’re going to get more of that bad behavior. And, Steve, you can go to any grocery store, you can see any parent that acquiesced to a screaming, ranting child in the cereal aisle, you’re going to get that every time you go to that cereal aisle.
Malzberg then went on a rant about how the president was raised “not by his parents but by political believers that surrounded him” so he doesn’t “view America the way you and I do” and therefore doesn’t mind “the hurt that he’s putting on people unnecessarily” during the GOP’s shutdown. West agreed, saying that the president has an “animus” toward the United States.
Later in the interview, the two discussed the deal that the Defense Department struck with the private charity Fisher House to pay death benefits to military families during the shutdown, which the Pentagon would reimburse after the shutdown ended. Yesterday, the issue became moot when President Obama signed a bill restoring the benefits during the shutdown.
West and Malzberg, however, claimed that Obama would refuse to sign the bill and West declared that the plan to contract out the death benefits to a private charity “is beyond a disgrace, it’s an outrage, it’s reprehensible, it’s disgusting, it’s despicable.”
But then West turned the issue around to claim that the “reprehensible” temporary private contracting of military death benefits was actually a "triumph" because it proved that “we don’t need to have this big, onerous government if Americans can step up to the plate and fix that which government refuses to do.”
“I guarantee you that there are many other ways that the American people can take care of each other instead of having this society of dependency, which is what Barack Obama wants,” he added.
What does that teach you about government? What does that teach you about the American citizen? We don’t need to have this big, onerous government if Americans can step up to the plate and fix that which government refuses to do. So, really, for me, this is a triumph of the indomitable American spirit and our benevolence toward our fellow American man and women and especially the families of our fallen, that we don’t need the government to do it. We’ll figure it out either way. I guarantee you that there are many other ways that the American people can take care of each other instead of having this society of dependency, which is what Barack Obama wants.
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who last week claimed that President Obama wants to arrest veterans attempting to visit memorials during the government shutdown and “haul them off to jail,” is now warning that the Obama administration will use the Affordable Care Act to curtail health care services during future shutdowns.
On his radio show yesterday, Fischer read enthusiastically from a Rightwing News blog post that claims that the administration will withhold health care from all but “those who are young enough, correct enough or wealthy and powerful enough”:
And so it goes from nudge, to shove and very soon, to shoot. Surely Americans now see they are living under the iron fist of a dictator. They are using lands and monuments that belong to America against us – held hostage as wards of the State, not property of the free. What makes Americans think that with the government in control of healthcare that they won’t use the same tactics? Comply or no antibiotics for you… submit or no chemotherapy… kneel or no transplant. And even then, only those who we deem young enough, correct enough or wealthy and powerful enough will receive the benefits of the all-controlling Marxist State. America has become Russia’s protege thanks to the enemies within.
“If you’ve got a government that with a phone call can shut down a war memorial, can send orders to police to lock people up that go there, that can issue $100 fines for jogging in a national park, what makes us think they can be trusted with our health care?” Fischer said. “If they can do that to Americans when it comes to access to national parks, what are they going to do when we’re talking about access to health care?”
Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt is one of Texas senator Ted Cruz’s biggest boosters. Back in May, Pratt called the freshman senator “a real hero there that’s ridden into town from Texas” and ventured that he was “certain” that Cruz wouldn’t disappoint him. And the relationship works both ways: Cruz has nothing but praise for the gun group, and the New York Times has called him Pratt’s “key ally in the Senate.”
Cruz’s role in instigating the government shutdown has only intensified Pratt’s admiration for the senator. In a speech to a Pennsylvania Tea Party group last week, Pratt called House Speaker John Boehner a “sad sack” who has been “totally humiliated” because “everybody understands that Ted Cruz runs the United States House.”
Pratt also sang the praises of Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, principally because, according to Pratt, Lee was the one who first suggested that Cruz run for Senate.
Pratt is a big fan of the shutdown for a number of reasons. On the Talk to Solomon Show last week, Pratt applauded the shutdown of a huge portion of government services, saying, “Let’s just celebrate the fact that we’re only getting oppressed 57 percent of normal.”