Roger Simon: Obama vs. the frauds on the Hill
No nonsense is too great; no act too low.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor leaves the floor of the House in the wee hours of Sunday morning, having taken action that would shut down the government, and releases a statement saying, "It's time for President Obama to rise above stubborn partisanship."
Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., said Saturday, "Obamacare is based on limitless government, bureaucratic arrogance and a disregard for the will of the people."
Slyness and game playing rule the day. Having lost the vote on Obamacare, the extremists and those who fear them vote to cut off the funding of government unless Obamacare is suspended. And then they will try to force the United States to default on its loans.
And when, in those rare moments, they decide to earn their salaries of $174,000 per year (plus expenses, plus perks, plus pensions) and actually pass a bill, what do they do? Last month, the House voted to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years.
Is this the kind of government our Founding Fathers envisioned? "For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill," John Winthrop wrote as his boat sailed from England to the New World in 1630. "The eyes of all people are upon us."
In the past, I would complain that Congress was dysfunctional.
Today I would take dysfunctional. Because when the extreme right wing of Congress functions today, it functions with such malicious intent, with such perverse glee at frustrating the will of the people, that one does not know whether to laugh or cry.
We live in a time when a 21-hour non-filibuster filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leads not to general hilarity but to serious consideration of how it will help Cruz run for President in 2016.
Shutting down the government will not shut down Obamacare.
Shutting down government is just another gun held to the head of the President, another threat by people who hate the fact that he is President.
At 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Politico congressional reporter Ginger Gibson tweeted: "I'm not over exaggerating when I say I can smell the booze wafting from members as they walk off the floor."
Some of our lawmakers appear to be having both.
Roger Simon is Politico's chief political columnist.