October 9, 2013

Letters to the editor: Giving in to blackmail a bad precedent

We must not reward House Republicans' extortion, readers say.

(Continued from page 1)

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House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media after a House Republican conference meeting Tuesday in Washington. As the stalemate continues, letter writers call for a resolution.

The Associated Press

News media, including the Press Herald, continue to falsely portray the budget battle in Washington as equally the fault of the Republicans and Democrats, with neither willing to negotiate.

Sadly, the Republicans refuse to accept that they lost on Obamacare. It’s a law of the land, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, reinforced by the president’s re-election. Yet the Republicans are willing to drive us over the twin cliffs of government shutdown and default in their attempt to get rid of Obamacare.

The Democrats are fortunately still at the wheel, but the Republicans are pointing a gun at their heads, saying, “Drive over the cliff or I will shoot you.”

How can any rational journalist report this as a rational conversation?

Chalmers “Chop” Hardenbergh


A recent letter (Shawn Moran, “Pride keeping Democrats on board with Obamacare,” Oct. 3) repeats the falsehood that “the federal government has proved repeatedly that it cannot run anything efficiently.”

This claim ignores Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, all government programs. It dismisses the wonderful national parks and monuments, which are now being degraded through absurd budget cuts by those intent on turning the lie into their own version of truth.

It also conveniently forgets that it was federal government controls that kept the banks from destroying our economy; that is, until the so-called “free marketers” eliminated the government regulations and our economy was nearly destroyed by the greed, corruption and inefficiency of the “private” sector.

No system is perfect, public or private, and there are certainly bugs to be worked out as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act goes forward. However, 30 self-appointed guardians of their own perverse view of the United States should not be allowed to hold up a duly passed law by shutting down the entire government.

We must not submit to extortion and bullying. And we should not believe the lies told about government just because they are oft repeated.

Donald J. Rudalevige

Cape Elizabeth

Letter writer Bob Tanner (Oct. 5), who believes the House is just carrying out the people’s will on Obamacare, really ought to get his majorities straight.

Unlike most recent presidents, President Obama received a majority of the people’s votes – in an election where Obamacare was a big issue.

Senators representing states with an overwhelming percentage of the national population voted for Obamacare and this year’s “clean” continuing-spending resolution. As for the House, Democratic candidates in 2012 received about 1.5 million more votes in total than the Republican ones.

Moreover, most observers believe that, absent the Republican speaker’s powers to set the agenda and punish discharge-petition signatories, a clean spending resolution would pass the House.

As for the people’s views, most polls show that a majority approves of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but that when it’s called by its nickname, people disapprove – and Jimmy Kimmel has had the last word on that.

Gary Caplan


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