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David Gaul
Shelby County Democratic Party Co-Chair

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David Gaul
Donna Clothier
Kathleen Cue


History repeats itself...

In 1814 the British entered the city of Washington DC and sacked our young nation's capital.  As part of the ongoing War of 1812, a relatively small group of British forces were able to overcome token resistance within the city.  On Capitol Hill, they burned the buildings were the U.S. House and Senate met.  They burned the White House.  They burned the Treasury.  The only government building that survived the sacking was the Patent Office. 

And now, nearly two hundred years later, it has happened again.  Our government has been sacked, only this time it's not a foreign power.  It's not a group of terrorists bent on jihad.  This time it's members of our own government--the tea party--who have deliberately inflicted great harm on the country, who actually seem to relish the ruination of people and country. 

And for it?  A perverted ideology that wants to keep people from being able to gain health insurance for themselves and their families?  A perverted ideology that just can't stand having an African American in the White House?   A perverted ideology that thinks there's nothing wrong with denying nutrition assistance to children, seniors and the disabled?  A perverted ideology that thinks it's perfectly reasonable to make it harder for citizens to vote?  A perverted ideology that thinks there's nothing wrong with probing women vaginally against their will?  A perverted ideology that thinks everyone should be able to arm oneself with high-powered weapondry and unlimited supplies of ammunition?  A perverted ideology that thinks science is a liberal plot and that climate change is a PR campaign to sell wind turbines?  A perverted ideology that sees absolutely nothing wrong with driving the nation's economy and the world's economy into the abyss if somehow that action can help a little congressman from a reliably red district keep his tiny, dingy, stale office that sits next to the steam pipes in some remote corner of the Capitol?  Who are these truly strange people?  What bizarre mutation in the DNA sequence has fabricated their being?

Congressman Steve King, my congressman, stands at the forefront of those radical tea partiers that are holding the country hostage.  The New York Times has a story detailing his role in this mess.  Wherever there's a microphone or camera, King will be there, popping up like a right-wing Forest Gump.  Yesterday, he shamelessly was at the World War II memorial, pretending to be a champion of the veterans there.  The memorial was closed off as part of the Republican shutdown.  King, of course, never served in the military.  In fact, he did everything he could to avoid military service back in the late 1960s when there was a draft.  Readers of my blogs know the story.  If not, you can read it here.  The details of that story make his appearance at the WWII memorial particularly galling.

Meanwhile, back here in Iowa's 4th District, there are 1275 federal governement employees working for the Department of Agriculture.  They're out of work as of now.  They may well not be compensated for lost days even when the shutdown is resolved.  The Department of Agriculture has been heavily hit by the Republican shutdown.  Farm Service Agencies throughout the state will be shuttered at harvest time, an extremely busy time of the year for these offices.  They serve as a farmer's primary link with all the programs offered by the Department of Agriculture.  Will King be standing outside any of these offices ready to lend a farmer a helping hand?

We're in the grip of irrational people who have no respect for the federal government or the people who work for it.  They believe this game will actually pay them some sort of dividend.  This is a dangerous delusion.  World markets are starting to pay attention.  They're getting nervous.  Paul Ryan, failed vice-presidential candidate, is threatening to carry the shutdown into the debt ceiling negotiations.  Implicit in such an action is the prospect of a government default.  Implicit in such an action is the prospect of world-wide chaos on a scale that dwarfs what happened in 2008.

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