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Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation, in case you have not yet had the pleasure, is not only a hilarious comedy, but also incredibly insightful when it comes to American government and politics.

Watching the episode "The Debate" on Netflix, (Season 4, Episode 20, 2012), it struck me how highly relevant this episode is to our current situation, i.e. the Republican-led government shutdown and the refusal to raise the debt limit ceiling and pass a clean CR.

During the debate for city council, Bobby Newport, heir to the Sweetums Factory, announces that if Leslie Knope is elected, his father will move the factory to Mexico. Being the town's largest employer, this would cost many people their jobs, and so this announcement could potentially destroy Leslie's chances.

This is Leslie's closing statement.

I'm very angry. I'm angry that Bobby Newport would hold this town hostage and threaten to leave if you don't give him what he wants. It's despicable. Corporations are not allowed to dictate what a city needs. That power belongs to the people. Bobby Newport and his daddy would like you to think it belongs to them. I love this town. And when you love something, you don't threaten it. You don't punish it. You fight for it. You take care of it. You put it first.

As your city councilor, I will make sure that no one takes advantage of Pawnee. If I seem too passionate, it's because I care. If I come on strong, it's because I feel strongly. And if I push too hard, it's because things aren't moving fast enough. This is my home. You are my family. And I promise you...

I'm not going anywhere.

Guess who ends up winning the election?
As a country, we have to do what the city of Pawnee, fictional though it may be, did to show what happens when they are held hostage by their political leaders.
Show up to the polls so they don't get their way.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But if someone said this, would it be reported? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, theKgirls

    "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams.

    by glendaw271 on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 02:24:16 PM PDT

  •  There is a disconnect.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oortdust, nosleep4u

    On the one hand you have Ted 'God is speaking to me' Cruz who wants to take credit for the shut down. And on the other hand, you have all these other R'pugs saying the shut down is Obama's fault. Lamenting, oh, if only Obama would just talk to us.

    You read any of the RWNJ's sites and you have the same disconnect. Yeah the government's (sort of) closed and damn that Muslim, Kenyan, Socialist imposter for keeping the Federal Memorial sites 'barrycaded'. (So clever w/ the barrycade). FFS

    So no, I don't see these guys putting their nation first. They can't even decide if they want to stay a nation. They think there is nothing wrong w/ the confederate flag...it was just a symbol of state's rights...dontcha know?

    The confederate flag has absolutely nothing to do with today's world and the issues being discussed.
    States rights is very relevant unless you are a historical idiot. The Confederate flag is a reminder that the right of secession is inherit and always a valid choice.

    "I'd like to find your inner child and kick it's little ass." -Don Henley.

    by Olkate on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 02:32:12 PM PDT

    •  Minor correction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empower Ink

      I believe it is Cruz's position that Obama caused the shutdown.  Of course, it has no bearing to reality but I think that is his stance.

      At least Erick son of Erick at Redstate, supports the notion of Republicans causing the shutdown.  But Cruz is a hypocritical asshole.

      Here's the basic situation.  The Tea Partiers really hate Obamacare.  They think it will cause the ruin of America, therefore they want a repeal of the legislation.  But they don't control either the Senate or the WH.   And so they aren't in a position to repeal the ACA unless they can generate significant "leverage".  Leverage can come in two forms in the current situation.  One is to force a government shutdown and to count on the fact the "most" people disagree with Obamacare.  In that situation Obama will be forced to acquiesce since the polls are against him on Obamacare and the shutdown is painful.  The other is to threaten not to raise the debt limit which will inflict wide spread damage across the economy and hope that Obama will be blamed.

      The reality is that most people have seen through these scenarios.   They view the shutdown as the result of the shenanigans of the House GOP and the debt limit fight will likely be viewed no differently.   The "sad" part of the situation is that not everybody can see the reality of the situation and Cruz is contributing to that situation.  At least Erickson cheers on the shutdown and says it is their only weapon in this fight.  Cruz plays politics and says that Obama is to blame for something that he initiated.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 03:06:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You give Tea Partiers too much credit... (0+ / 0-)

        They believe whatever they're told to believe.  They protested against Obama raising taxes at the same time their taxes were going down.  They blame Obama for increasing the national debt when the debut was largely incurred under the previous Republican administration.  They're suddenly worried about the deficit, while Obama's administration has finally been able to reduce it.

        They're Fox/Rush zombies.  In my opinion, their masters are terrified of Obamacare's inevitable success.  That's why they're fighting so hard, and willing to shut down the government to defund it.

        People will very quickly start to love Obamacare and after a year or so, will never allow  the government to take it away.

  •  Governing by hostages is for election day score (0+ / 0-)

    settling.  

  •  We'd all be better off (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empower Ink

    if Leslie Knope were real! Yes, Parks and Rec is so spot-on so often. Also, totally unrelated, we were babysitting my 5-month-old niece a couple of weeks ago and watching reruns from the Bobby Newport season, and during the "attack ad" episode, she kept cracking up whenever the attack ad voice would say "Bobby Newport" all doom and gloomy.

    The braying sheep on my TV screen make this boy shout -- make this boy scream -- I'm going underground...

    by jamfan on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 02:41:38 PM PDT

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