Tyler Goodman: Partisan differences


Reading the headlines of the past few days, one can’t help but notice the immense amount of attention given to Republicans and their concern about the Affordable Care Act. It’s not hard to believe after Senator Ted Cruz’s 21-hour marathon floor speech that left conservative talk shows cheering and liberal pundits frothing. But is that really where we should be focusing our national conversation?

According to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted the weekend before last, a full 61 percent of respondents agree that it’s right to require spending cuts when the debt ceiling is raised because Congress generally lacks spending discipline. That’s pretty understandable. If most people agree that we need to restrain some spending, then why are we not finding some common ground to do so?

“I will not negotiate,” President Barack Obama reminded everyone last week in a speech that was stunningly partisan in nature. It is true that Republicans are as committed as ever to doing something about the Affordable Care Act. But is completely turning a cold shoulder to any conversation the right thing to do when your country is in, shall we say, a fragile state of affairs. No discussion, no give and take, no concessions. How exactly do you think business gets done, Mr. President?

The deadline to fund the government now is upon us and a deadline to raise the nation’s borrowing limit quickly is coming up in the next few weeks. With all of this going on, those on the left should take a second to think before hurling the “you’re being stubborn” retort.

In my lifetime, the partisan differences haven’t been wider. “I don’t know how I can be more clear about this: Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States,” President Obama reiterated Friday. Why is the full faith and credit of the United States even in the question? More specifically, what have we not fixed that is causing our government to spend more than it takes in?

Most agree that the process of putting a budget together and the exercise of raising the nation’s borrowing limit is an opportunity to evaluate the financial direction of the country. Maybe trimming down what our government spends in a year is a good idea considering it’s a lot more than what it takes in and by a large margin. We know the Republicans have something to say about it. But what does the president and his allies in the Senate have to say about it?

Nothing. They won’t give an inch. Is “my way or the highway” really how a democracy is run? Apparently, an agreement to the current Democratic leadership is when the other side gets nothing. Polls last week showed a majority of the American public does not view Obamacare favorably. And the president doesn’t want to negotiate. Maybe he should listen to his own words and not threaten the full faith and credit of the United States under his own prerogative. 

Several on the left now are pushing the premise that the Affordable Care Act passed both houses of Congress, was signed by the president and was upheld by the Supreme Court as sustenance for its validity as a law. You know what: The three-fifths compromise once was law, and prohibition was once a law. Just because something currently is on the books doesn’t mean it has some sort of moral supremacy. The great thing about our democracy is that it is dynamic and moldable in the face of current outcomes. The arrogance of this administration and Senate Democrats is ridiculous.

Tyler Goodman

Steamboat Springs 


Mark Rueff 3 years, 6 months ago

Finding common ground on spending cuts is one thing, defunding a program that is already law is another. Holding the country hostage because you don't like a law is childish and irresponsible behavior. Previous to the tea party, the debt ceiling and budget processes were bipartisan affairs. There is no precedent to this in modern American politics. The legislative process is in place for a reason. Laws are passed, or not, because we agree on them and move forward. I argue that the Affordable Care Act is incomplete because of negotiations and compromise that made it the way it is now. But that's the way it goes. Democrats were not happy with the Bush tax cuts, but they didn't shut the country down to get their way. And, Ted Cruz's grandstanding did nothing but give him prime spotlight that he's looking for in the next presidential election - then he actually voted for it! I say the republican actions are ridiculous and they are sore losers. If you really want to reduce spending, why is the focus only on this one issue? BTW, Republicans have successfully defunded many programs and recently cut food stamps, sending more people into poverty.


Scott Wedel 3 years, 6 months ago

The Senate Democrats have not attached some legislative goal to the continuing resolution. They did not attach a new immigration or such. This is not a dispute between Democrats and Republicans both attaching their legislative goals where the compromise is obviously to remove that junk from the continuing resolution. Nope, the Democrats passed a clean continuing resolution with no objectives of their Party attached.

It is only the House Republicans that insist upon passing some legislative goal along with the continuing resolution.

It is the Republicans that have decided it is better to close the federal government than to accept an existing law.

And the House Republicans have trapped themselves by starting off with a proposal so radical that enough Senate Republicans refused to go along and allowed the Senate to pass a clean continuing resolution. So now the Senate can reject every other attempt at attaching something by simply tabling it on a party line vote.

A lot of House Republicans have safe districts and they can afford to continue on this path. But a few like our Rep Scott Tipton are not in such safe seats and being a "wacko bird" could cost him in 2014.


Robert Huron 3 years, 6 months ago

There are many items in the budget that I'd like to see defunded starting with Congress itself. They work 100 days a year if you can call it work when they accomplish nothing. The rest of the time they are on vacation or fund raising. They could have easily passed a clean CR yesterday with well over 300 votes but 80 Tea Party Republicans threatened the Speaker of the House with the loss of his job if he allowed the vote. He caved to the extremists and the House shut down the government. Compromise has not been in the vocabulary of the extreme right in over 4 years. Their definition of compromise has been you do what we want of else and in this case repeal the Affordable Care Act or we will shut it down and they did. Considering that it was their Party over 8 years that got us in this financial mess in the first place I find their antics laughable. The foreign born Rafael "Ted" Cruz is more interested in a 2016 Presidential run than anything else which is why he plays to the Tea Party Brotherhood. His former classmates at Princeton all had the same opinion of him and that he was a jerk. FOX, Limbaugh, Hannity etc. all want him to run and if he does you can count on Hillary as your next President.


Kirk Aigner 3 years, 6 months ago

I'll preface this by saying that I know Mr. Goodman personally and that I like Mr. Goodman, and consider him a friendly acquaintance.

However...I'm not sure what his point here is. I get the impression he is decrying partisanship in the federal government by...writing a fairly partisan opinion piece himself?

And Tyler, yes, an act passed by both legislative houses of Congress, signed by a president who was not only elected once but also subsequently re-elected after said law was signed and was ultimately upheld by the nation's highest court DOES in fact make it valid. Just because you don't like it does not make it invalid or illegitimate. To compare the Affordable Care Act to the three fifth's compromise from over one hundred years ago is a ridiculous analogy.


Tyler Goodman 3 years, 6 months ago

Kirk - My point is that we're never going to get anything done unless both sides come to the table. And yes, among other things, I am trying to point out the president's own partisanship.

Just because the ACA was passed by a supper-majority congress, signed by it's standard ring bearer, and up held by the supreme court as a tax doesn't make the whole thing a good idea.

Also, the election last fall was hardly a referendum on Obamacare. The American people reelected a strong opposition to the president as well.

Scott - If you think a clean continuing resolution of the current spending doesn't represent the legislative agenda of the Democrats then there's a lot more that we need to get straight.



Joe Meglen 3 years, 6 months ago

The “Affordable” Health Care Act may be the law but it is unlawful, in spite of what a corrupt Supreme Court may decide. The rule of law requires a moral informed electorate and representatives with fidelity to the Constitution. We have neither. We have systemic corruption in all three branches of government. It is obvious to those that retain the ability to think critically after being processed through our socialized school system that the federal government is completely illegitimate. The fact that a law like the ACA is supported by a substantial minority is a testimony to the sad state to which our country has degenerated.


Mike Isaac 3 years, 6 months ago

Why are none of the State run corporate media talking heads not asking why the Federal Government is spending about $1 Trillion more than they are taking in? If Obama Care is so important then let's get rid of the FBI, CIA, IRS, EPA, AFT, TSA, NPR, NEA, DHS, DEA, and the NSA and if the numbers add up and our Fascist President gets Obama Care like the rest of us, then open up the Government. If not then Cruz should just keep on talking:-) :-) :-)


Kirk Aigner 3 years, 5 months ago

The American people reelected a strong opposition to the president as well.

Not really Tyler. The Democrats actually gained a couple of seats in the Senate, defying all expectations, and also picked up 8 seats in the House, certainly not enough for a majority, but they actually got 1.4 more million votes in the House elections than the GOP, whom were greatly aided by gerrymandering and redistricting after the 2010 mid-terms.

By any objective measure the GOP took a shellacking last year, at least on a national level.



jerry carlton 3 years, 5 months ago

Democrats and Republicans and all career politicans-A POX on all their houses.

Mark How did the Republicans defund anything since the do hat have a majority in the House and the Senate?

Oz calling Tipton a "wacko bird". Now that is funny!

Robert I am no fan of Cruz or any other career politician, but foreign born? I thought you had to be born in the U.S, to be president? Oh, thats right. Obama rewrote the rules on that one and I voted for Obama the first term. Not the second term though. Hillary is already your next president no matter who runs against her. This country has moved so far left Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reed or worst of all Joe Biden could be elected


dave mcirvin 3 years, 5 months ago

I just scanned the available plans last evening and will sign up with Anthem-BC/BS via the Colorado Exchange-PPACA (patient protection-affordable care act).

The savings, easily pays for both of our season's ski passes and amounts to, before tax deduction, of $300/month (compared to, pre-onset of the PPACA 80/20 provision) while maintaining my local primary care doc here in town and reduces my yearly deductible by half (2.5K vs. 5K) compared to what I've been receiving with the high deductible plan with Golden Rule. Nearly as sweet as Medicare.

As a retired physician, the only thing better than saving some serious dough is that it helps folks (like so many individuals, families and folks like the amiable, 23 yo waitress at Mambo recently with a devastating condition) with limited ability to obtain expensive health ins by making it more affordable (yes it is still spendy for most though the cost trajectory has been tempered) and provides preventive care.

BTW-Contact the great folks @ Mambo, with regard to the upcoming fundraisers for her.


Robert Huron 3 years, 5 months ago

Jerry Cruz was born in Canada, his Father was a Cuban National at the time of his birth and his Mother was born and raised in Wilmington, DE. Obama was born in Hawaii, a US State, his Father was a Kenyan at the time of his birth and his Mother was born and raised in Kansas. For 5 years all I have heard is Obama is not a real American according to the Birthers yet Cruz who actually was born in a foreign country is. Please explain the difference.


Melanie Turek 3 years, 5 months ago

The Dems passed the ACA -- a messy, flawed bill, but it went through the usual process of committees, debate and votes, and it was passed by both houses of Congress, POTUS signed it, it's law. The Republicans said it was unconstitutional, so it went to the Supreme Court. Okay, that's how the system works. SCOTUS reviewed the law, said it was, in the main, constitutional. The Republicans still don't like it. Okay, that's in the system too -- what you do then is convince a majority of the voting population in the next elections to give you majorities in Congress and the presidency, or veto-proof majorities but not the presidency, or you don't get majorities, but convince some of the Democrats to go along, then you vote the law out, change it, whatever. That's how our system works.

What you don't do is shut down the national government or hold the US financial standing hostage until the other side agrees to change a law you don't like. That is a failure to follow the due process laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution -- documents and processes that the Republicans say they hold dear, but do not seem at present to support in actual fact and actions, because a vocal minority has convinced the majority of the party that it's better to shut down government and wreck the nation's credit rating rather than accept this one law. Lunacy! The point of a free, democratic system is that everyone gets their say, and then the decision is made, and you move on, win or lose. You do not break the system because you lost a vote.

Why in the world should the Democrats "negotiate" away anything under these circumstances? Whether one likes the specifics of the ACA or not, it is currently the law of the land, passed through proper legal process and declared constitutional. That is the fact. The Republican actions are trying to rewrite the law through threats and force, outside the constitutional process.


jerry carlton 3 years, 5 months ago

Robert So how can Cruz be a presidential candidate if he was born in Canada?


Robert Huron 3 years, 5 months ago


You'll have to ask him but that is what he says. He must come under special rules.


Melanie Turek 3 years, 5 months ago

A natural-born citizen is generally defined as someone who was granted US citizenship at birth--either by being born in the US, or by being born outside the US to citizen parents. However, there appears to be a wrinkle here: a special section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies to “Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent.” Under that provision, Cruz only qualifies for American citizenship if his mother was “physically present” in the United States for 10 years prior to his birth, five of which had to be after she reached the age of 14. The only definitive way to prove Eleanor Cruz’s 10 years of physical presence would be with documents such as leases, school registration, utility bills or tax records. So far, Cruz has not released such evidence--or renounced his Canadian citizenship.


mark hartless 3 years, 5 months ago

He's smart to hang on to the Canadian citizenship as that might come in handy.

As for what it takes to be a US citizen we are all gonna see prettyb soon that all it takes is a desire to pick strawberries.


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