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There's a saying that a man CAN eat a bear, if they just take one bite at a time. Likewise the Tea Party can be depleted, one sip at a time. I took a sip at the gym today, & it tasted great (& I hate tea).

As stated in past diaries, the other "gym rats" that work out with me know I am a proud progressive. After the election, a detente of sorts was reached, & they pretty much just talk about sports with me. The shutdown today changed the landscape.

The shutdown was the topic de jour. I listened, as the conservatives ranted. Surprise! They were not pissed at Obama for this, but were ticked off at Boehner. I started talking to the woman next to me, who agreed that the Republicans should stop. She then moved onto how ObamaCare is awful. She said that welfare recipients should not get checks during the shutdown. I said, well I would rather they get SNAP & Welfare than Congress collect their pay. She did agree that they should not get paid, but said she sees people on welfare driving Lexus, having kids, & living high on the hog. (I guess that the Right has moved on from Cadillacs) She said they need to work to get benefits.

I told her that Clinton actually took care of that, since you have to work or train to continue to get benefits. I also told her that the McDonalds job she says they should get is at the most part time, & they are competing with college grads that cannot find a job. I said many places barely pay minimum wage & many recipients work more than one job to try & cover rent, food, transportation, & medical expenses. She then said that people "like that" go to emergency rooms & that costs a fortune. She then said name one thing that Obama has done for the country.

Ah Ha! I asked her if she has any pre-existing conditions. She said yes. I said you can't be denied insurance. I asked if she had kids. She said yes. I said they can stay on your insurance til 26. I asked if she wanted to start her own business? If so she could buy insurance on an exchange. I also said that she may want to check out the exchange to see if she could buy better coverage than she has now. I also told her that god forbid someone in her family gets seriously ill, there is no lifetime cap. I also asked if her parents were aware that the Medicare prescription donut was also eliminated. She said she remembered her mom saying something about that. She agreed that could make a difference in her parents life.

I then said that I could embrace rooting out fraud & abuse on both ends of the socio-economic scale, but the lack of empathy by many Representatives prevents any kind bipartisan agreement. I said that there are people on both ends of the economic scale that know how to manipulate the system. I said I don't like using broad brush strokes to paint people into a corner. Not all poor people are lazy & not all rich people are greedy & mean. She nodded her head.

Then I explained that my major issue revolved around social issues, especially abortion & birth control. When I explained about transvaginal ultrasounds & rape victims (with graphic description of the procedure) she was horrified. I explained about how more than one state has enacted this, & the Republican candidate for governor in Va. was a big proponent of this. She said that was terrible. I also told her don't even get me started about his views on gays. She seemed shocked.

As she walked away & she said "Thanks, you have given me a lot to think about".

I smiled & thought, "One sip at a time. One sip at a time."

Originally posted to mamaeps on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 09:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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