This is not just some academic exercise for me. I am trying to actually shrink scope and size of government. If Harry Reid comes back and says no spending cuts, no nothing, at that point I feel I have no choice given what I ran on, given what I got 70 percent of the vote on, I have to shut down the government.
Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)I? I?! I have to shut down the government?! Who died and made Todd Rokita king?
Rokita, all of 40 years old, has apparently crowned himself King of the United States of America. During the day, he's the freshman representative from Indiana's 4th district, a gerrymandered sprawl wrapped around the spine of western Indiana. Rokita, who claims to oppose gerrymandering, represents -- according to the Cook Report -- one of the most Republican districts in the country.
Moreover, while no doubt opposing every piece of legislation important to African-Americans, Mr Rokita has urged Republicans to reach out to that constituency. Pointing out that 90% of African-Americans vote Democratic, he once wondered aloud, "How can that be? Ninety to 10. Who's the master and who's the slave in that relationship? How can that be healthy?" (He later apologized for the remark.) However, as a stalwart opponent of nonexistent voter fraud: As Indiana's Secretary of State, Rokita instituted a requirement that voter's produce a photo I.D., which has the effect of suppressing African-American turnout. How can that be healthy?
The boy king has apparently decided that getting the vote of 139, 788 Hoosiers in one most Republican districts (94.8% white) in the country entitles him to personal free rein to shut down the government. This is not only a signature of teabagger provincialism and self-importance, it shows how disconnected from reality these people are. More than 75,000 of Rokita's constituents receive Social Security; his casual threat to personally shut down the government threatens each and every one of them with not receiving their monthly deposit. But, I suppose you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and King Todd does have an imagined potential personal affront from Harry Reid to stew about.
The rest of us, though, have to worry about the man who would be king.