by Dean Baker
Much of the media, and certainly the Democrats, have been unfair to congressional Republicans in characterizing their decision to shut down the government as “outrageous,” “crazy” or even “terrorism.” It is undoubtedly an extraordinary measure, but sometimes extraordinary measures are warranted.
Suppose it were 1968, when the United States had more than 500,000 soldiers in Vietnam and was bombing the country on a daily basis, killing thousands of people every week. How many people would view it as outrageous if Congress had voted to shut down the government until President Lyndon B. Johnson agreed to end the war? In fact, most people might view the inconveniences associated with a shutdown — and the real pain endured by government workers — as justified if it could bring an end to the killings in Vietnam.
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