It's been quite a while since I've posted a diary here. Quite simply, I've been working hard on my website which consists of over 16,000 pages. I am converting it one page at a time from the old dinosaur Frontpage to a more modern software program. It's been grueling, extremely time-consuming work, and so I haven't had the time to write diaries here. I have tried to keep up with what is going on in the country.
Tonight Rachel Maddow opened her show with a segment that gets right to the heart of the matter as to why our government shut down tonight. Rachel played an audio recording of Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland from Georgia, speaking in September ahead of the 2010 elections. He quite bluntly tells his Republican audience that if the Republicans won control of the House, they would shut down the government. It was a promise to be fulfilled.
She prefaced the audio recording by enumerating all of the accomplishments after the 2008 election when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Then she pointed out that there had been Zero legislative accomplishments from Congress since the Republicans took control in 2010. Republicans campaign constantly on a platform that government is bad. The only reason they seek office is to destroy government from within.
Listen to the audio of Congressman Lynn Westmoreland warning his constituents that they were going to have to be strong anticipating that he would receive calls from them after the Republicans succeeded in shutting down the government: I didn't get my check. Daddy can't go to the VA. You know, the National Parks are closed. Well, at least he warned them about what was going to happen.
Anyway, I thought it was important to share this segment so I've taken a brief respite from work to transcribe a section of the segment which you'll find below the orange squiggly. You can watch the: ENTIRE SEGMENT HERE. If you have time, be sure to watch the entire segment including the gleeful Republicans coming out of a meeting where they decided to shut down the government.
UPDATE: I meant to mention that on the second edition of Chris Hayes' show after Maddow they went live to the Senate floor where Chuck Schumer mentioned the content of this Maddow segment. H/T to NedSparks for mentioning this:
Interesting thing about that amazing Maddow report. Charles Schumer, who had been waiting to be interviewed by Rachel Maddow, saw the report she aired while waiting, then, after his interview, went on the Senate floor to say in effect, I'm paraphrasing, "There is a clip which shows Republicans vowing to shut down the government." It was pretty interesting to watch him relate what he had seen on the Maddow show.
Which really illustrates how important the media is in getting a story out even to a US Senator. Unfortunately, by in large, the media refuse to report the facts on Republicans and their destructive policies.
Wonderful of her to be able to document the intentions of these sabotaging individuals.
by NedSparks on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 02:23:51 AM EDT
When President Obama was first elected in 2008, he, of course, came to Washington with something every president wants, a House and a Senate controlled by his own party. And in the two years where the Democrats had the White House, the House and the Senate, we got Wall Street reform, student loan reform, credit card reform, health care reform, obviously, the Fair Pay Act, expanding of the GI Bill, they reauthorized the Children's Health Insurance Program, expanded national service programs, they fixed the sentencing disparity between crack versus powdered cocaine, we got the 911 First Responders bill, we got the Hate Crimes Act, they ratified the S.T.A.R.T. Treaty between us and Russia on nuclear weapons. They repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell, they did the Cash for Clunkers, they did the Stimulus, which included the largest middle class tax cuts ever. That was all done by the Congress that was elected at the same time as President Obama in 2008. They were elected in November of 2008. They were sworn in in January 2009, and over the next two years, they got all of those things done.
Then the Republicans did really well in the midterms, and the Republicans took control of the House for the first time in years, and John Boehner became speaker. And since then, there has not been a single significant piece of legislation enacted into law. There have been a couple of trade bills. There was a bill that seemed to be inspired by a 60 Minutes segment about whether or not members of Congress get insider trading tips in the course of their doing business in Congress. But yeah, nothing. Nothing. No significant legislation since John Boehner got the Speakership. The Republicans won the elections in November 2010. They were sworn in in January 2011. Since then, zero, zip, nothing in terms of legislative accomplishment. And that, of course, is because they have been otherwise occupied.
After getting sworn in in January, by April they threatened to shut down the government. That was April. By July, Republicans had forced the first ever debt ceiling crisis in American history. We got our national credit rating downgraded for that one before they eventually blinked and decided they didn’t want to keep going. By September of that same year, Republicans were again threatening another government shutdown. By April of the following year, more threats from Republicans of another government shutdown. By December, by this past December, Happy New Year! Republicans were pushing us over the fiscal cliff! By January, this past January, Congressional Republicans were talking about forcing another debt ceiling crisis before again backing down. And now, Happy September 30th. We are due for that often threatened Republican shutdown before tonight is through.
This is not an accident that just keeps happening over and over again. Republicans control one half of one branch of government, and they have never had any plan to use that control to pass anything into law. If they had had that kind of plan, they might have passed something into law, but they haven't even seriously tried. We are deep into year three of them running the House now, and we've got zip from them in terms of law or policy. And we're at seven and counting when it comes to can't keep the lights on failures of basic governance, and that is just as they planned it.
In September 2010, just a few weeks before the midterm elections, where the House Republicans won their majority and won back control of the House, a Republican Congressman from Georgia, Lynn Westmoreland, he spoke to a conservative audience at the Christian coalition event, The Faith and Freedom Conference, and he exhorted that conservative crowd that the Republicans were going to need their support when they move to shut down the government. Again, this is ahead of the election. They were already planning on shutting down the government even before they got elected that November. Congressman Westmoreland said Republicans were going to do it again this time, just like the last time they took power in the House after the 1994 elections. Now the audio here is a little sketchy, but lucky we had a transcript. So, check this out.He can tell you what happened. The government shut down [audience: clapping]. The American people -- that's what I wanted to hear! I wanted to hear a good clap for that. Because here's what's going to happen. If we hold the line, if we get those courageous men and women to be part of our majority. If we say, look, we're in partnership with the American people, we're listening to the American people, this is what we're going to do. If the government shuts down, we want you with us. We want you with us. We've got to have you. We've got to have you there because later on, you all will call us and say, look, I didn't get my check. Daddy can't go to the VA. You know, the National Parks are closed. We need to make sure that you're going to be with us.We need to make sure that you are going to be with us when we shut down the government, which we will do if we win the majority this year. That was before the 2010 election. When we get the majority, we're going to shut down the government. That was the plan from the beginning. That was what they were promising to their own base and getting cheers for from their own base if they got the majority. That's what they’d do. And then they got the majority and then they followed through.
Here is the direct link to the entire video at MSNBC for those who can not view embedded video on the iPad or other device.