The minesweepers at Normandy Beach knew that they were all going to die. As they approached the shore, tearful and terrified, they knew that they would likely never see the men in those boats again, much less their families and friends back home. They didn't even have the luxury of sending a message home through a buddy that lived, because every last one of them expected to die on that beach. And what's more, they didn't have any guarantee that their deaths wouldn't be in vain and that Hitler wouldn't win despite their efforts.
So why did they do it? What inspired men to walk, even run into certain death? They did it because the mission mattered. They did it because country mattered. And they did it because they believed that the message they were sending was more important than their lives.
What message was that, you ask? That message was simple: the world will not sit idly by while a tyrant lives.
I thought about this notion quite a bit during the recent government shutdown. Why? Well, most of us who align with the Right agree that government is too big, too bloated, and needs to be drastically reduced. We agree that further extensions of the debt ceiling, if they are to be allowed at all, should be tempered with reductions in spending and reform of entitlement programs. We agree that the ACA is anything but affordable and should be repealed, dismantled, defunded, or taken out back and shot.
You would think, then, when people within the party stood up against these things they would have been cheered, yes? You would think that men of principle would be lauded for their backbone and courage, right?
No. People ON THEIR OWN SIDE lined up to throw them under the bus. Members of the GOP basically pulled up to Normandy in the rafts and either refused to get out or got halfway up the beach and turned back because "well, we knew it wasn't going to work anyway."
Well, guess what, guys? We'll never know if it would have worked. We'll never know because of you. And there's a pretty good chance that it could have worked, if you had had the stones to put country first. There's a pretty good chance that the President would have made himself look like more of an ass with each day the shutdown dragged on, because that's what narcissists do under pressure. The narrative got better for the proponents of small government every day the shutdown continued, and you guys sold it out for a $2 billion Kentucky kickback and the right to be called "cooperative" by the most dishonest and divisive President in American history.
And you know what's *awesome*? Some of you are the same ones who argued that the President should have sent help to Benghazi even if he didn't know for sure that it would arrive in time to make a difference.
Well, congratulations, guys. You made a difference. You sat down on your butts halfway up Normandy Beach and surrendered when the going got tough. I hope you give up as easily in the coming primaries. Pansies.