The negotiation that took place earlier this week, which President Obama attended in good faith, and agreed to in principle, a sign of the possible rebirth of bipartisanship, has turned out to be ruse, a ploy designed to force the issue of reinstating the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Good as their word, despite the President's assurances, with sand running through the hourglass, the Republicans will not relent, stifling and snuffing out any bill that is not the tax cut provision.
The Republicans have collected their 30 pieces of silver. The high priests command that none shall have their bread until the priests have collected their due, and have sent their faithful servants out to ensure it.
Today, the Senate voted 57-42 to end debate on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a bill that would have provided over seven billion dollars over the next eight years to monitor the health of those first responders who were at Ground Zero on 9/11 and afterward, as well as filling the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, to provide for those who suffered losses associated with their health issues generated by their work there. Needing 60 votes to send the bill to the floor for a vote, a mainly party-line vote left the bill floundering, like so many other pieces of legislation. The main complaint? Republicans were not sure how they were going to pay for it!!!
An odd reaction to a bill requiring less than a billion dollars a year be taken from Federal coffers for the next eight years to provide for some of the heroes of 9/11, a date which the Republicans have no problem using to excoriate others for their "lack of patriotism." So now, almost ten years after the fact, the bloom is off the rose, and the heroes are left to wither and die.
Odder still, for their stubborn refusal to allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, given that those cuts, in total, would cost 70 billion dollars a year for the next ten years.
The party that has crusaded on the platform of deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility has been speaking out of both sides of its mouth. They are all for them -- as long as they do not affect their rich masters. The one percent of the American population that holds most of the nation's wealth, has jerked the leashes of its attack dogs in Congress, whipping them into a ravening frenzy, setting upon any of the unwary ninety-nine percent who happen to tread on their lawn. The wealth must stay with them; no one else shall touch it.
I understood the people's anger at the President, for trying to deal with the Republican Party, and I have defended him, and still do, for he assumed, perhaps as many of us did, that at some point, now that they had partially regained power, the Republicans would appreciate getting back into the business of governing. It was not to be so. Instead, their hearts became more hardened, if that is even possible, and their single-minded determination to do no well for the President -- and by extension, the American citizenry -- led them to stonewall all legislation, even with an agreement between themselves and the Oval Office.
So, legislation is left sitting upon the Capitol steps, disregarded, whipped by bitter winds, as the Republicans howl with fiendish laughter at the President and people who trusted them. Having done so much to pull the wool over the eyes of their rabid constituents with promises of fiscal restraint, they now chortle as they hand bags of cash to those who need it least.
Far be it from me, but I must conclude that the Republicans are traitors. Somehow, before our eyes and under our noses, America has been bought and sold, and they were the auctioneers. This is a disgrace, to our nation, and to those who were DIRECTLY affected by the tragic events of September 11th, which did not end with the collapse of two buildings. No, the tragedy goes on, for today's vote was a slap in the face to those brave souls, who could not know what lay in store for them as the dug through the rubble. I say to anyone who voted for them in the last elections, that you should hang your heads in shame, for you have taken the birthright of a nation, and allowed it to be trampled by wealthy and corporate interests. This disgusts me. It should disgust every decent American.
I call now on the American people to rise up and make their voices heard. Call, write, telegram, email, Twitter -- whatever and however you can, speak now, and tell these mountebanks that their ilk is no longer welcome in our nation's capitol. We no longer wish to be lied to. We no longer wish to be marginalized. We no longer wish to take a back seat to those who ride in luxury. Let us not wait for the next Presidential election to make our ire felt; now is the time for moral outrage to boil over into action. If we do not make the attempt, then the Republicans win.