What do you call it when an armed gunman puts a gun to the head of an airline pilot and says “take this plane where I want or everyone will die?” What do you call it when a foreign government stores its weapons arsenals next to schools and daycare centers so any effort to destroy them will also kill innocent children? What do you call it when a small group of radical politicians force the entire federal government to shut down unless everyone else agrees to sabotage a law they don’t like and cannot get rid through the regular legislative process?
In research for my book “Why Lawyers Suck and What You Can Do About It” many people complained that lawyers have no conscience and also don’t know when to stop fighting. Gee, sounds a little like what is going on in the Congressional halls of this country in the past few days (and months).
Who is Ted Cruz? The senator from Texas leading the charge for this government shutdown? The junior senator from Texas who thought he was serving the public interest by reading Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” from the Senate floor, is . . . you guessed it . . . a lawyer, a litigator who worked for one of the nation’s large law firms, Morgan Lewis and Bockius. Did he come to Congress out of a deep love of this country and an interest in being a public servant? Hardly. This year he embarked on a campaign funded, via The Heritage Foundation, by the Koch brothers and other ultra-wealthy persons with the explicit purpose of defunding the Affordable Care Act and explicitly argued that a shutdown of the government would not be a disaster for America or the Republican Party.
How is this different from the armed gunman or weapons caches in schools?
In the words of Ronald Reagan “There is no room worldwide for terrorists. There will be no negotiations of any kind with terrorists.” Actions speak louder than words, especially when lawyers are talking.
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