By Matt Jackson
Victory, by definition, is the act of defeating an opponent in battle. House Democrats and Republicans reached a compromise to reopen the federal government on Oct. 17, with Republicans agreeing to raise the debt ceiling and continue with the president’s healthcare plan. This day may appear to have been a small victory for President Obama and House Democrats, but the battle has really yet to come.
On the morning of Oct. 17, President Obama stood before the anxious press appearing defeated. The president, subdued in mood and appearing drained, said, “Those of us who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation do our job as best we can.” He continued with, “We come from different parties, but we are Americans first.”
While the president at first seemed to be at peace with the compromise that had been reached, he then reminded the American public of how unnecessary the government shutdown was in the first place. With a bitter tone, he condemned the dramatic actions of House Republicans and admonished them for the damage he believes their holdout has caused the economy.
The message the president was putting forth with his tone was a simple one: enough is enough. While it is unarguable that both parties played a large part in the government shutdown, the fact that it occurred in the first place was pointless. Other than damaging the economy and causing further tension between Democrats and Republicans, the government shutdown did not accomplish what some House Republicans thought it might.
Since its passage, President Obama’s plan for healthcare reform has been the focus of House Republicans. The Republican Congress has fought for four years to overturn the healthcare plan that many members of their party reluctantly helped to pass. The federal government’s focus on battling the passage of one bill has divided the country and caused unreparable damage to the United States economy. The agreement that was reached to end the government shutdown has only furthered the partisan divide, and overcoming this extreme divide is the battle our government currently faces.
The point is for the country to either unite or accept an uncertain future. The United States currently faces tension nationally and internationally. With a struggling economy and tension in the Middle East, the United States would be best served if its government would work together to overcome the struggles it currently faces.
Obama continued with a statement of disappointment saying, “There are no winners in this.”
The president pointed out the 24 billion dollar cost of the shutdown, and ended by saying, “I think we might have reached the bottom of the barrel, [and] there is no lower point than this.” Mr. President, in this incident, I must I say, I agree.