The real dangers of this government shutdown are becoming clear, but Republicans just want to keep up their political game. On Thursday, we found out that the Capital Police, who stopped a potentially-dangerous situation at the White House, will soon see their pay disappear. In Gulf Coast states, thousands of FEMA workers are furloughed, even as Tropical Storm Karen is expected to become a hurricane. And, domestic violence programs all around our nation say they will have to close their doors today if the government shutdown continues.
Yet, House Republicans think this is just a game, and it's all about winning or losing the media narrative. After recent television appearances, Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul were caught with open mics. They were overheard discussing the GOP talking points about the government shutdown, and which phrases were “poll tested” for the media. Senator Paul told McConnell, “we're gonna win this, I think.”
However, police officers losing their pay, and being unable to protect our president, is not winning. FEMA being unprepared for a possible deadly storm is not success. And, domestic violence victims having no place to turn certainly doesn't sound like victory. The only ones winning in this situation are the billionaires behind the Tea Party, who are getting a huge return on their political investments. Tea Party Senators like Rand Paul seem to think winning means refusing to back down from their long list of billionaire demands.
Deregulation doesn't pay cops for their work. Building Keystone XL won't help FEMA workers prepare for the next hurricane. And, repealing Obamacare won't help domestic violence victims find a safe shelter. These are real people, facing real pain, so that the House Republicans can feel like they win with the media, and Americans are angry that this Tea Party game isn't over.