Thursday, October 10, 2013

Families of dead soldiers are casualties of Republicans unmoved by logic

WASHINGTON — The reality is now stranger than fiction.
President Obama on Tuesday gave us an Economics 101 primer by dumbing down the consequences of America not paying its bills. He did it because he must.

“Imagine in your private life, if you decided that I’m not going to pay my mortgage for a month or two,” he said. “You’re not saving money by not paying your mortgage. You’re a deadbeat.”
But Obama faces Republicans who think he, Wall Street, most economists and even China are crying wolf about not jacking up the nation’s borrowing limit by the Oct. 17 deadline.
It comes as 800,000 fuming federal workers are furloughed. Families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan are denied death benefits. World War II vets can’t get to the World War II Memorial. Little kids with cancer are denied treatment.
And you wonder why voter turnout keeps heading south? Or why approval ratings of Congress are worse than those of HMOs?

But at least we get some paltry benefit from HMOs. Imagine you’re the family of a fallen soldier just told you’re denied death benefits while the legislative circus plays out.
Nothing so simply crystallizes the complex absurdity than this atrocity: Families of five dead soldiers screwed out of what’s owed them.

While Congress fiddles, and each party plots its next photo op, the families burn with frustration, and the nation grows more disgusted.
As I sat 20 feet away from Obama in the White House briefing room, I saw a man straining to communicate the obvious over and over — and frustrated that he was so far falling short.

He can’t be surprised. An aggressively rational Harvard Law graduate confronts an enemy that dismisses compromise and is often not moved by facts, science and logic.
Hold on tight for the rest of this bumpy ride.

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