A couple of Saturday morning observations. Only about 30 big-rigs showed up to circle the Washington Beltway on Friday to protest the government shutdown and various other anti-government and anti-Obama issues, depending upon who you were listening to at any given time. They called it the “One Million Trucks to DC” protest. Did not happen. They couldn’t even get 50. I wonder how much money local governments were forced to waste beefing up law enforcement on and around the Beltway in preparation for this non-event?
At the same time, ranchers in South Dakota, the 5th largest beef-producing state in the nation, are reeling from a snowstorm that blew in, killing tens of thousands of cattle. The Los Angeles Times reports that ranchers have been left with no Federal Government safety net due to the shutdown. I used to live in South Dakota. Beautiful state and some great people, but it is also notoriously conservative. Many, according to the Times, supported the government shutdown, until now. One rancher told the newspaper, “We’re just a bunch of ranchers from South Dakota — it’s hard for our voices to be heard,” he said, sitting at the kitchen table at dawn Friday, drinking coffee, fielding calls from fellow cattlemen. “You see crises across the country, the hurricanes and tornadoes, and officials are right on top of it. But something of this magnitude, that has just about leveled this part of the country, and there’s nothing.”
Many residents in this conservative region had supported the government shutdown as a way to make Washington more fiscally responsible. “But one appropriate role for these guys is to lend a hand after disasters like this,” Christen said, “and they’re not here.” - John Glionna/LAT’s
So big government is bad, except when you personally need the help of big government? I will never understand this kind of thinking. I’m sorry about your cattle, but you can’t have it both ways. Please remember it was the Democrats who were complaining that the Republicans were blocking a new farm bill, which got through the Republican majority in the House, only after the food stamp program had been stripped out.
I hope the shutdown ends soon and the feds offer you some assistance so that you can keep going, but you need to remember these things when you go to the polls. George W. Bush, pulled this same routine on New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina blew in. Remember? Every man, woman and child for themselves?
The rancher the paper quoted is right. Sometimes we all need to “lend a hand,” whether with farm subsidies providing federal insurance to livestock growers, or food stamps for poor American families, or flood victims trapped by high water in New Orleans.