Rabbi Sol Solomon’s Rabbinical Reflection #78 (10/6/13) – SHUTDOWN

aired Oct. 6, 2013 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube clip:

Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of October 6th, 2013.

Idiocy and nonsense! Selfishness and stupidity! Pride and prejudice! Welcome to the United States Federal government, Fall 2013. As I write this, the Fed is in its fourth day of shutdown. Why? Because Republicans won’t approve a budget unless the President kills his healthcare plan. And Obama won’t even talk to the G.O.P. unless they kiss his boots and keep his baby. It’s an impasse created by two sides of impass-holes.

Now, I’m not saying both sides are equally at fault. That’s an easy trap and one that the media loves to fall into – especially when they’re discussing, say, the Palestinians. Arabs bomb and kill and bargain in bad faith; Israel protects land she rightfully won in the war. And yet, because the strife is ongoing and expensive, the world says, “ehhh, a plague on both their houses” and “Oh, the Jews are the oppressors.” That is reductive and retarded. And while there’s reason to blame everybody for our current federal fakaktehness, the Republicans and their tea-party poopers are absolutely the instigators of this fiasco.

I don’t care what you think of Obamacare. I mean, me? I’m running to the doctor every two weeks for a high colonic, so I need affordable health coverage or else my prostate is gonna start looking like one of those frosting bags on “Cake Boss.” But even if I wasn’t crazy about the Affordable Care Act, it’s the law, it passed, Obama beat Romney with the plan already on his platform – deal with it. If it’s not going perfectly, make small adjustments while it’s already in progress, as we do with voting, or cunnilingus.

I have never seen such sore losers as Republicans. They lose the election in 2008; they all vow to spend the next four years making sure nothing the Democrats put forward gets passed. And if something should somehow, by accident, get through, they’ll just repeal it when their guy wins in 2012. Except he didn’t. America looked at Mitt Romney like a used-Rolls Royce salesman – and said, “No thank you. We’ll stick with the guy who’s done next to nothing, but the country’s turning around anyway. We’ll stay the course.”

This left the G.O.P. in shellshock. After four years of mocking and blocking, retching and kvetching, moaning the blues all night on Fox News – where did they wind up? Hemorrhaging on election night. But, of course, there’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. Well, apart from George Zimmerman with a gun permit. The Republicans are lashing back, hurting the Democrats any way they can, even if it means bringing the government to a virtual halt and jeopardizing the recovery that their last president made necessary in the first place.

The G.O.P.’s idea of a compromise is saying, “Look, we’ll pass your budget; just delay Obamacare for a year.” Sounds reasonable – even though we know that would be a year of legal wrangling, political blackmail and further ways to dismantle the program. What we must not forget is that a “one year” delay is a smokescreen. Republicans have been delaying healthcare reform for two goddamn decades. Back when Bill Clinton was in the White House, his darling and incredibly tolerant wife, Hilary, made it her number-one priority to reform the out-of-control insurance business. She could’ve done it, too, had the Republicans not despised her and Bill so much, they brought his presidency to a standstill. Then George W. Bush was in the White House for eight years. Eight long, long, long, long years. In that time, Republicans had every opportunity to make their own health plan, to devise their own strategy to help a system in crisis. What did they do? If I had a sound effect of crickets chirping, you’d be hearing it right now.

Since then, Barack Obama has been in office for five years, which is more than a thousand days for Republicans and Democrats to have worked in tandem to create, maybe not Obamacare, but OBoehner-Care, or Clintingrich-Care. But no, all the G.O.P. did was plot and scheme. And now, when they don’t get their way, they sit in a corner, they pout, and they hide daddy’s wallet in revenge.

It’s happening elsewhere, too. In beautiful Colorado, where the G.O.P. hates gun laws, legalized pot and renewable energy, right-wingers want to secede and make their own state. I think they’re gonna call it “Spoiled Bratville,” or something. Funny, I didn’t hear them squeal about socialism when the rains came, and they had to go hat-in-hand to Joe Biden for flood relief.

Republicans whine that Obamacare means lack of choice; a curtailment of freedom by making everyone get insurance whether they want it or not. But folks, if you have a car, you gotta get car insurance and wear a seatbelt. If you have a baby, you gotta give her shots. If you kiss Miley Cyrus, you gotta buy Abreva. Obligating people to do something does not automatically cause the collapse of capitalism. I mean, we’ve all gotta eat, unless you wanna starve to death. Eating is not a choice, it’s a mandate, but there’s still room for choice. I might have roast chicken, you could have salmon, or pay extra for prime rib. Okay, now I’m hungry. But still angry.

Republicans say that most people hate Obamacare and don’t want it to go forward. That is not true. Most people are scared of Obamacare and don’t know what the hell to expect. But we also know that insurance is insanely expensive, and that millions of people without it are playing Russian roulette by not going to the doctor, or draining our taxes if they’re at a free clinic with the sniffles every week. Or, if they’re Republicans, with accidental bullet wounds.

But enough elephant bashing. After all, they embarrass themselves more than I ever could. Let us also not ignore the arrogance of Barack Obama and the donkeys. For weeks, the sequester is building to chaos, yet he can’t pick up a phone? He can’t get in a room with Boehner, et. al., and say, “okay, we’ll take out the medical-device thing, but you’ve gotta leave in abortions.” He can’t even say, “You know what? We will not delay Obamacare for a year, but three months? To work the kinks out? Sure, It’s not gonna kill anyone. Well, maybe some fourth-stage cancer patients, but other than that…” For a community organizer, Obama couldn’t organize paint cans in a Home Depot. And the Democrats are so cocky about winning the last election and so sure they have the Republicans cornered, they’re not even faking being interested in compromise.

These aren’t difficult times for America; these are ridiculous times for America. Maybe we need a third party again, only this time without Ralph Nader, or Ross Perot, or Roseanne Arnold, or Lyndon Larouche, or – you know what? Two’s more than enough.

This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches in Great Neck, New York.

(c) 2013 TotalTheater. All rights reserved.



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