by Ian Reifowitz for Daily Kos
Barack Obama took to the podium a few hours after his unyielding stance had forced Republicans to cry uncle, raising the debt ceiling and allowing the government to reopen in return for a sandwich full of sawdust. The president spoke about the real pain that the Republican shutdown of government inflicted on the American people. He then used that pain to strike at the very heart of modern Republicanism, the myth put forth by Ronald Reagan that “government is the problem.” With one deft stroke, Barack Obama made clear that the shutdown and the threat of a national default flowed directly from Reaganism, that the tea party Republicans are no fringe element, but rather represent the core values of today’s Republican Party:
In fact, one of the things that I hope all of us have learned these past few weeks is that it turns out smart, effective government is important. It matters. I think the American people during this shutdown had a chance to get some idea of all the things, large and small, that government does that make a difference in people’s lives.We hear all the time about how government is the problem. Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways. Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created, arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies from other countries. It plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe. It helps folks rebuild after a storm. It conserves our natural resources. It finances startups. It helps to sell our products overseas. It provides security to our diplomats abroad.
So let’s work together to make government work better, instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it work worse.
The shutdown showed us all the ways that government, rather than being the problem, actually solves problems and does things that matter in all of our lives. Continue…