23 Post-Shutdown Silver Linings to Brighten Your Mood
Posted on October 17, 2013
I want to focus on the good news.
1. The good news is that Barry Black, the Senate Chaplain, has come out of this entire mess as the only clear winner. His sermons have been on point, passionate, realistic and deeply spiritual. And he is now a rock star (as much as a Senate Chaplain can become a rock star).
2. The good news is that the government is finally opened again.
4. The good news is that the stock market largely ignored what was happening in Washington, figuring that we would figure it out. They were right.
5. The good news is that the rank and file members in the House and the Senate will spend more time listening to their leaders and less time listening to Ted Cruz. Kind of reminds me of a kid who starts listening to his parents and starts ignoring the troublemaker down the block after he breaks his arm jumping of a bridge at the troublemaker’s insistence.
6. The good news is that Republicans have pretty much learned that when Harry Reid says something, he will pretty much stick to his script.
8. The good news is that we finally have a budget conference committee. Hopefully now, we can hash out a deal that will help to promote economic growth, tame entitlement spending and ease the sequester (which was supposed to only be a temporary thing).
9. The good news is that our system of government actually works, no matter how imperfectly. We have a Constitution and in the first part of that Constitution it lays out what the Congress is supposed to do, and the Congress pretty much did that, albeit slowly.
11.The good news is that House and Senate employees got to keep their health care benefits. Members ought to think long and hard about screwing their staffs. It might make for good politics, but it makes for bad Karma.
12.The good news is that President Obama looks a bit stronger internationally. I am not one of those Republicans who so hates Obama that I want him fail everywhere. I don’t hate Obama at all, and I actually want what is best for the country. And having the President look a big stronger to the rest of the world can’t really be that bad of a thing.
13. The good news is that Mitch McConnell put a provision in the final deal that makes it awfully hard for Republicans to try to use the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip for the rest of the Congress. Every time the GOP bets big on this debt-limit as leverage strategy it loses, and God knows, we don’t need another big loss sometime in February.
14. The good news is that the time clocks that have been on every television cable news network (countdown to shutdown, countdown to debt limit, how many days the government has been shut down, etc), are now taken down. Those clocks were very annoying.
16. The good news is that it is going to be a lot harder for Allison Grimes to beat Mitch McConnell. He has proven himself to be the one indispensable man in the Congress.
17. The good news is that Republican Senators who happened to be female really showed their leadership capabilities. Kelly Ayotte (she would make a fine Vice President, FYI) and Susan Collins basically told the boys in the caucus to knock it off and they forged ahead to get a deal. These women are going to be key in making the Republican Party relevant to female voters again.
18. The good news is that Steve Lonegan, who is a real right-winger (make no mistake), almost beat Cory Booker, despite the fact that there was a government shut-down, despite the fact that Ted Cruz campaigned for him, despite the fact that Sarah Palin campaigned for him, and despite the fact that the Senate Conservatives Fund gave him not a dime. That tells me that Cory Booker is very, very vulnerable to a better candidate, when there isn’t a government shutdown, and with Chris Christie campaigning for him.
19. The good news is that most Republican governors had nothing to do with the government shut-down, and in fact, dramatically distanced themselves from the Washington non-sense. Ultimately, those governors will be the group to rebrand the party.
20. The good news is that should Congressional Republicans want to rebrand themselves, there is plenty of things to do that will help them accomplish that goal. Immigration reform tops that agenda (although it would have been very helpful if the President had kept his mouth shut on the topic).
21. The good news is that the only press conferences we will have at the World War II memorial for at least the rest of the year will be directly tied to World War II and the folks who fought in that terrible war.
22. The good news is that Turtle Park, which is a little playground in my neighborhood, where all the little kids play, is opened again. For some reason, the Park Service locked it up during the government shutdown.
23. And the best news is that the Panda Cam is back up and operating. Who says that the government doesn’t do anything for you?