UPDATE: On Friday, after intense media pressure, Representative Ellmers agreed to suspend her Congressional pay for the duration of the government shut down.
Renee Ellmers is the poster child for what’s wrong with the GOP shutdown of the federal government. When WTVD asked whether she was willing to give up her paycheck during the shutdown, she replied, “I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line.” Like the 800,000 federal employees she helped furlough don’t.
The statement is so tone deaf that it borders on sociopathic. She obviously can’t see beyond her own circumstances and doesn’t recognize how her actions affect others. Not a good trait for an elected official but it seems the norm for the current brand of GOPers.
Then yesterday, Ellmers “held back tears” as she described children being denied cancer treatment due the the shutdown. This is the same Ellmers who voted to cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps, that makes sure children have enough to eat. Republicans care about children before they are born or after they are sick, but provide little or no support when they and their families are just struggling to get by. So cry me a river.
But I digress. Ellmers tears were a feeble attempt to pass blame to Democrats for the shutdown. In fact, Republicans warned that either they get serious cuts to Obamacare or they were going to shutter the federal government. They didn’t and they did. Now they want to blame other people. That’s absurd.
The Affordable Care Act is not a bill to be debated. It’s the law of the land. Ironically, the people who are holding Congress and the country hostage are the same ones who like to wrap themselves in the Constitution and refer to themselves as patriots. Well, the Founding Fathers are rolling over in the their graves. These actions violate the very principles Jefferson, Madison and company had in mind when they set up our fractured system of government.
Ellmers and her colleagues adopted a strategy that was doomed to fail. They are hurting American families while insulating themselves from the pain. They are so busy listening to their wing-nut flank, talk radio and Fox News, that they’re losing touch reality and believe they are winning.
And that’s what’s wrong with the Ellmers and the GOP. They’ve made this episode about themselves and political points, not the people they are supposed to serve.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >