Here is my letter to my Representative and Senators. I live in the land that gave birth to the atrocity that is Jim DeMint and continues to elect Mark Sanford to whatever office he runs for. I wish I could explain but I cannot. With that background, understand that most of what I say (or believe for that matter) is of little or no consequence to my elected leaders. But I will not give up and go quietly. This is my letter to them that I am also submitting to local papers. I am not calling out the stupidity of the GOP or the f'ing Tea Party. While it would be really easy to do, I am also not making this an attack aimed at the House or Republican leadership. I made it personal because they are making it personal...
To Mark Sanford, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott:
This shutdown is hurting real people in real ways in your district and state. Government employees and contractors in your district and state who pay very real federal, state and local taxes are out of work and unable to pay their bills. Constituents in your district and state are being denied the government services their hard-earned tax dollars fund. Local businesses are very soon going to suffer as the economic uncertainty and impacts begin to trickle out. And it is your fault. Got that? This isn't just a favor or some policy position that some of your constituents are asking you to take on our behalf. Those of us that you have put out of work are holding you directly and personally responsible for the suffering we are facing right now and into the future. Not only that, we are expecting you to do what needs to be done to fix it. And all of your excuses are bullshit.
You chose to make this a political "game" that has resulted in many of your constituents being out of work. Now it's time for you to undo the damage before it's too late. It is time to put the interests of your constituents ahead of your own political agenda or the interests of your Party. You represent thousands of government and contract employees like myself who are suffering financially as a direct and immediate result of your actions. We blame you for our situation right now. You also represent tens or hundreds of thousands of other people whose businesses and jobs are directly in jeopardy as the broader economic consequences of your actions unfold. They will be blaming you soon. You helped cause this and you need to fix it.
We expect you to do the job you are being paid to do. Watching you and your colleagues issue press releases, participate in interviews and pose for photo ops all while representing your Party's political interests while we (your constituents) are facing personal financial crisis is beyond infuriating. We are watching, waiting and hoping for you and your colleagues to do your jobs so we can return to ours. You are failing miserably. Your partisan political agenda does not pay our mortgages or put food on our tables so patience for your gamesmanship is over. You put us here and now we expect you to represent our concerns and interests - not yours and certainly not your political Party's. We don't really care who you, the media, the public or the President "blames" for situation we are in. Like it or not, we blame you. That is where it starts and ends.
You are my representatives in Congress and you have already failed me and many, many others like me in your district and state by not preventing this shutdown in the first place. You continue to fail us by not doing anything productive to fix it before it gets any worse for us. You do not even seem willing to acknowledge the seriousness or severity of what we are facing as you go about your merry way. But guess what? We are taking your actions very seriously. We are watching your actions and holding you accountable for them. We expect you to represent us and do whatever it takes to undo the damages from this shutdown that you helped unleash. Got that? We aren't looking for some nebulous "body" of government to resolve some highly complicated policy issue that we may or may not understand. This is personal and very, very simple. You are responsible for funding government and your votes indicate you chose not to, preferring instead to pursue partisan politics during a time of crisis. Now, because of your choice we are out of work with few options for paying bills and are facing our own personal crisis. It is that simple and no amount of deflecting, finger pointing, or political theatrics can change it. Nothing can be said or done to take this responsibly away from you.
If you don't like the laws being implemented you are empowered to change them according to the processes our Constitution has enabled. The federal workforce not only stands behind you in doing so, but all federal employees including those of us you have put out of work, took an oath to defend it. We don't represent political ideology and despite being routinely demonized and attacked for political purposes, we do our jobs as true public servants. We don't just implement the laws we like for the people we like. We implement the laws of this land without regard to who controls the Executive or Legislative branches when legislation is passed or who controls them now.
Yet over 800,000 of us who uphold our public service responsibilities every day are now facing serious financial hardships and an uncertain future because Congress has chosen to play politics with our lives. Instead of being ashamed of sacrificing the livelihoods of the people who actually help you serve your constituents, you and your colleagues are continuing to play games and reap rewards from our situation. Not only are you jeopardizing the life savings, mortgages, and college tuitions of your own hard working, tax paying constituents, but within a matter of a few days, your actions will force most of us to rely on unemployment payments and other social service provisions that are some of Congress's biggest targets for elimination - putting us squarely in your path for additional hardship and humiliation. Your hubris and recklessness with our lives is sickening and it's time to call you on it.
Congress needs to immediately pass a continuing resolution without stipulations to fund the full operations of government at sequestration levels. Pretending that there needs to be "negotiations" and political concessions to pass this continuing resolution is bullshit and we all know it. It is partisan politics and by playing it you are screwing with the lives and livelihoods of your own constituents. The opportunity and time for the political "negotiations" ended when the government shut down so get over it and do your job. Now is the time for you to step up and fix what we hold you responsible for breaking. To those of us you have put out of work, every hour that goes by without you working your ass off on an honest non-partisan effort to reopen the government is exactly the same thing as you celebrating over derailing the government and ruining the lives of your hard working constituents.
If the damages to us become irreparable (which is just around the corner for most of us), you will no longer even be relevant. No action you take after that point will adequately fix what you have done to us but you will forever be deemed responsible. Not only are we voters but we promise to be a formidable force in determining who will actually represent our interests in Congress after the next election for your seat.
Have a nice day.