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David Gaul
Shelby County Democratic Party Co-Chair

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David Gaul
Donna Clothier
Kathleen Cue


In recent days, Rachel Maddow on her nightly MSNBC show has been focusing from time to time on a letter written by Congressman Mark Meadows, representative from North Carolina's 11th district.  The letter, dated August 21, 2013, is addressed to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  The letter calls for the complete defunding of the Affordable Care Act, referring to it as Obamacare:

Since much of the implementation of Obamacare is a function of the    discretionary appropriations process, including the operation of the "mandatory spending" portions of the law, and since most of the citizens we represent believe that Obamacare should never go into effect, we urge you to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of 
Obamacare in any appropriations brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill.

The last clause, "including any continuing appropriations bill," is the key statement.  That's the government shutdown that we're currently in.  A "continuing appropriations bill" has not been passed.  This was the strategy being pushed on House leadership already in August.  The letter is signed by 46 Republican congressmen...

One of those 46 Republican congressmen is our very own Steve King.  Yes, our congressman here in Iowa's 4th District signed this letter.  Steve King wanted this government shutdown.  He was on board with the strategy already in August.  He fully supported the laying off of 800,000 government workers.  He was on board with closing the national parks.  He was on board with closing the Washington DC monuments.

What makes this so damn shameful is that our little congressman then had the nerve to go prancing out in front of the TV cameras so that he could glad-hand with World War II veterans and pretend to be a defender of their interests even though he himself is a confirmed draft evader.  The man positively snivels.

Furthermore, his signature on this letter also proves that  he was on board with the closing of all the Farm Service Agency offices throughout the country, including the one here in Shelby County.  With the harvest in full swing, this is a decidedly bad time for those offices to be closed.  Many farmers use the commodity loan program as a marketing tool to better manage their cash flows.  This is also the season for terrace and waterway construction--important conservation work--but with the FSA offices closed, cost-sharing programs that promote these efforts are suspended, and dozer operators sit idle.  (Ironic, given that King used to be a dozer operator.)  You can view the letter and Steve King's signature here

To make matters worse, Steve King also thinks that a government default is no big thing.  On October 3rd he gave an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo in which he likened a government default with a "bump in the economic road."  He views the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as a greater threat to the nation.  

The depths of the this man's ignorance are almost unfathomable.   The guy who hangs out with Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert cannot be taken seriously by anyone with at least a modicum of intelligence. 

At least King had sense to avoid Sunday's tea party protest at the World War II Memorial.  The maiden-of-shrill herself, Sarah Palin, addressed the crowd.  Standing behind her were Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and his sidekick, Senator Mike Lee of Utah. (Batman and Robin they are not.)  Palin did her usual half-brain impersonation of a human being as she offered her usual brave-noise comments about freedom.  She trumpeted the attributes of veterans, even though as the book Game Change established, she herself had no idea what World War II was all about during the 2008 campaign.

Cruz and Lee also addressed the tea party crowd, a crowd that featured a lot of posters calling for the impeachment of President Obama and at least one guy bearing a Confederate flag.  Both freshman senators decried the closing of the memorials, conveiniently leaving out the fact that their own actions precipitated the closings.  Another speaker joined the fray in the figure of Larry Klayman, a birther and tea party activist.  He called for the resignation of the President and said the President should "come out of the White House with his hands up." 

It was a festival of nuts, loons and cretins.  It was a hideous embarrassment for our country.  Furthermore, the rampant racism represented by the actions of this crowd reflects shamefully on all decent Americans.  When will these people simply go away and return to the crevices from which they emerged?  When will a responsible Republican step forward and very publicly denounce these people?  Does such a Republican even exist anymore?  Since the town hall protests of 2009, the inmates of the tea party asylum have been dining at the buffet of Republican politics.  It's been all-you-can-eat, and now four years later we have seen the bloated result.  The economy of the United States and the world stand threatened, and the party of Lincoln faces becoming a sad punchline to a very bad joke.

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