Do not feel sorry for Speaker of the House John Boehner.
After years of stoking the fires of this faux populist movement, the Tea Party, he has essentially handed the gavel to Ted Cruz and his band of loyal, misguided followers. And we will all pay the price for it with this ridiculous shutdown.
More on what brought us to this point in tomorrow’s post. For now, let’s focus on this week’s shining star, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee). Blackburn is usually trotted out by the GOP leadership anytime they need a woman to talk about birth control and those complicated “lady parts”, but yesterday she really outdid even herself.
Appearing on CNN with fellow Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-California), host Ashleigh Banfield pointed out that as a member of Congress Blackburn takes home a salary of roughly $175,000. With a countdown to shutdown clock ticking away at the bottom of the screen, Banfield asked if either Blackburn or Rohrabacher would be prepared to give up their salaries, going on to say that a shutdown of the federal government would force thousands of federal workers to go without pay, while Congress, deemed “essential”, is exempt from this.
In response to Banfield’s question, Blackburn responded by stating that “we are waiting to see what they send back, and I hope that as you were running the countdown clock you are running the debt clock. I have two grandsons, and their share of the national debt is now over $53,000.”
Watch the whole laughable exchange here:
Let’s be frank, Blackburn has this perpetual look on her face, like if you asked her to go out to eat, she would suggest the Olive Garden. But not the one by the interstate, because it’s not as good as the one by the airport. The awkward dance she did in response to Banfield’s simple yes or no question is both bizarre and indicative of GOP efforts to reshape the debate. Instead of talking about congressional salaries and the effects of a shutdown on the nation, Blackburn chose to talk about something else. We can’t talk about the shutdown because apparently Blackburn’s grandsons are about to get a bill for their share of the national debt.
But the point remains that last night at midnight thousands of hardworking federal employees, people that have chosen to devote their lives to public service, were told to go home, unsure when they might be able to return. Roughly 800,000 employees of the government, ranging from librarians to zookeepers, cafeteria workers to senior staff, were told they would no longer get paid. The senior staff I’m not too concerned about. But the short-order cooks in the employee cafeteria — what will they do? In a shutdown expected now to last some time, how will they get by and how long will it take to recover from the damage a shutdown will cause them?
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn will still continue to get her paycheck. Inexplicably.
note on the picture: We’re tired of seeing the same cloudy sky behind the capitol building in every single government shutdown post. So here’s to something different.