The current Washington shutdown standoff reveals an illuminating clash of worldviews.Risibly, the aha moment for me came Wednesday while dozing off to a Tonight Show conversation between Jay Leno and his “guest,” Newt Gingrich. Leno challenged the former Republican Speaker of the House with, “Here’s the part I don’t understand with the Affordable Care Act; Why should Obama negotiate? First it came out, it passed both houses.The Supreme Court said, ‘Yes, this is legitimate.’… It’s already a law.If you don’t like it, you wait four years, you vote the guy out.”
Jay Leno’s statement exhibits the statist worldview of defending a Democratic Party oligarchy.The facet ignored by Leno is that the Peoples’ House is also elected by the citizens as a conscience to the ambitions of the executive branch.
A quick review of recent history: On the same night when Barack Obama was first elected to the presidency, the 111th Congress was also elected with a strong majority of 255 Democrats in the House of Representatives over a minority of 179 Republicans.At the same time, 57 Democrats plus their 2 simpatico Independent members held control of the Senate over 41 Republicans.In March of 2010, that same 111th Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.Every Congressional Republican voted against the passage of Obamacare.
Just eight months later the people voiced their concordance with the Republican objection to Obamacare by electing the 112th Congress, giving the Republicans control of the House with 242 members versus 193 Democratic members.In the Senate, voters reduced the number of Democrats to 51 and increased the number of Republicans to 47.In the current 113th Congress, Republicans continue to hold a 232 to 200 majority in the House, while the Democrats hold a Senate majority of 51 (plus 2 simpatico Independents) to 46 Republicans. Projections show a possible Republican majority takeover of the Senate in 2014.