Thursday, October 03, 2013

Rep. Randy Neugebauer - Fool or Fraud

Via TPM,
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) got into a heated exchange with a National Parks Service Ranger at the World War II Memorial over the closure of the park because of the government shutdown.

Neugebauer, one of a number of Republicans who have tried to use the closed memorial to bash the Obama administration and Democrats on the shutdown, confronted the ranger while surrounded by a crowd of onlookers.

Neugebauer asked the Ranger how she could turn World War II veterans away.

"How do you look at them and…deny them access?" the congressman asked.

"It's difficult," she responded.

"Well, it should be difficult," Neugebauer snapped.

"It is difficult," the Ranger said. "I'm sorry sir."

"The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves," Neugebauer said.
Yeah... the Park Service should be ashamed that Rep. Neugebauer and his Republican peers are throwing a childish tantrum instead of doing their job.


  1. randy neugebauer needs to be put out of office. what an idiot. to confront a park ranger and blame her for his mess is ridiculous. ALL congress and representatives should not be paid while other government workers are furloughed and not paid.

  2. If the crux of the matter was a dispute over the budget, I still wouldn't be happy (and would wonder why this couldn't have been resolved six months ago) but I could understand the situation. It would be less than ideal, but it would be part of the process. Past Government shut-downs have fallen into this category. This is clearly not about the budget. The Senate bill adopted the House’s budget figure. There is no dispute about the budget, both Houses of Congress/political parties have agreed on what the budget figure should be going forward.

    My problem with the situation is that it appears to me that we have one half of one branch of the government threatening to do permanent harm to the country (the debt ceiling is the real issue, all the rest is just foreshadowing) if they don't get their way regarding a specific statute which is already the law of the land (passed by both Houses of Congress, signed by the President, reviewed by the Supreme Court).

    I understand (and empathize with) the concerns regarding the Affordable Care Act. I do not understand and cannot condone hijacking the Constitutional process. I find it even more distressing that not only do the hijackers appear to be relying on the willingness of the other party to submit, but they appear to be, correctly, relying on the voters in their home districts not seeing that there is a problem with the approach they are taking. (Gerrymandering is a topic for a different rant, but clearly plays a role here.)

    We have had "divided" governments in the past. Either they found a way to compromise or the electorate "helped" by giving one party or the other a clean win in a future election. To the best of my knowledge, we have "never" in the history of our democracy had a situation like this where one party threatened to deliberately and maliciously harm the country if they were not given what they want.

    There have been deep divides in this country before. Whether we are talking about going to war or FDRs "New Deal" we have had divisive issues in the past, but always before the process played out in the courts or through the legitimate political process. Losing a legal/political/philosophical battle may be painful, but in the past in this country we have accepted the outcomes and moved forward; always putting the good of the country first. The Republicans did not threaten to deliberately destabilize the economy/country if FDR went forward with the New Deal. The Democrats did not use the debt ceiling as a way to force the Republicans to accept “Hillary Care”.

    Whether you agree with the political sentiment behind their moves or not (and I suspect I do more than most who read this blog) the actions of the House Republican leadership and Senator Cruz are objectively and, I would argue, morally different that anything we have seen in the past. More so than most times, I fear for my country.

    1. One big difference between divided governments of the past, at least in recent memory, and that of the present is that in the past the parties were not as polarized. We had, for example, Southern Democrats and Rockefeller Republicans. The Republican Party successfully took over the south, and squeezed the left wing of the party out in the north. The Blue Dog Democrats of a few years back were mostly replaced by Republicans when the Dems lost their majority. Also, the Republicans seem to have lost their sense of connection with the institution of government, and their responsibility to the nation (although most politicians often seemto prioritize getting reelected over the welfare of the nation). As you can see from the statements of Reagan-era Republicans, even those who should be taking responsibility for their role in engineering this shift, man traditional conservatives find the Republican Party's conduct to be appalling, and many are now questioning whether the party can reasonably be deemed conservative. (It cannot, and had they been paying attention they would have noted that the Republicans lost any right to claim to be a "conservative" party quite a few years ago.)


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