The Herald's opinion writers certainly did not toil into the wee hours to write last Wednesday’s lead editorial (“Vote on ending shutdown”) because it merely regurgitates Democratic party talking points. Both sides deserve some level of blame for our current impasse, but I would remind your readers that it is the president, and not the speaker, who refuses to negotiate. I am actually quite proud of the Republican leadership for taking a stand and using all means available to achieve those goals. It is indeed ironic that your editorial appeared next to Thomas Sowell’s column, which very articulately explains the Republicans’ inability to communicate and defend those same positions to the electorate.
I am particularly offended by your statement (and reiteration of Democratic talking point) that, “a few extremists shouldn’t be permitted to bring the system to a grinding, potentially catastrophic halt.” First, the current administration would rather demonize its opponents as “extremists” than engage in honest debate within the arena of ideas. Second, our Constitution specifically provides that the House of Representatives shall originate all legislation related to taxes and spending. Thus, the speaker and those “extremists” to whom you refer are absolutely within their rights to force the president to the bargaining table. The president, and not the Congress, therefore, holds the keys to unlock the country from these financial shackles.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” That a minority in the House “shouldn't be permitted” to exercise its constitutional rights is an example of just such oppression.
Sam P. Greer