Tea party Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, has now earned the dubious distinction of being a member of the Suicide Caucus in Congress. He and 79 other members signed a letter to the Speaker pressuring him to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund Obamacare. A position supported by only 22 percent of Americans according to a recent poll.
The results of this failed political stunt has cost the economy $25 billion. Our country's travel and hospitality industries, which impacts jobs and the economy right here in Chattanooga, took a $152 million per day hit, while Fleischmann and his fellow circus clowns in Washington smiled and congratulated each other on the "success" of their plan.
So the question we should now ask ourselves is should we continue to let this 22 percent on the extreme margin lead the broader majority of us around by the nose and select our congressional representative for us? Isn't it time that Mr. Fleischmann is challenged by a mainstream fiscally responsible Republican in the primary and perhaps even a more mainstream moderate Democrat in November? Thomas Jefferson said: "The government you elect is the government you deserve." I think we all deserve better.
MARC KENYON, Soddy-Daisy
If you are a VW worker, you may get to vote on whether or not to unionize. Before you vote, consider the following:
Do you enjoy your job? You've had extensive training, and are truly a skilled worker. There is no comparison between your job and the assembly line jobs of the 1940s and 1950s. Union work rules back then were so restrictive that if you installed driver-side rear view mirrors, you were forbidden to install passenger side mirrors. The backbone of union job creation and protection is work rules that restrict what you can or cannot do in the workplace, under the guise of protecting your job. If unionization prevails, trust me, restrictive work rules will follow. Your job will suddenly become far less exciting. How do you feel about that?
Should you vote? You might rationalize that because Tennessee is a right-to-work state, unionization won't make any difference because you can't be required to pay dues if you are not a union member. If unionization prevails and you choose not to be a union member or pay dues, imagine how your union member colleagues will view you. I don't think you'll be too popular.
STEVE BERNTHAL, Blairsville, Ga
To the Madisonville, Tenn., Vietnam veteran who wrote a letter on Oct. 22: As an American and a U. S. Navy veteran, I honor your service. I believe all Americans do. However, please do not suggest that it was anyone other than the extremists calling themselves "tea party patriots" who caused the shuttering of our national monuments and the loss of work for almost a million American citizens, many of them war veterans. What a cruel and thoughtless act for "patriots," who have yet to understand the disastrous consequences of their actions on individual American citizens.
Recently I have read profuse negative press in the TFP related to the tea party. My question is which of the following 10 core beliefs of the modern-day tea party movement are repulsive to those denigrating the tea party?
1. Eliminate excessive taxes
2. Eliminate the national debt
3. Eliminate deficit spending
4. Protect free markets
5. Abide by the constitution of the United States
6. Promote civic
7. Reduce the overall size of government
8. Believe in the people
9. Avoid the pitfalls of politics
10. Maintain local independence
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." -Abraham Lincoln
I believe we are not getting the truth from this administration.
DONALD STEWART, Signal Mountain
A small pocket of strident members of Congress disagree with a federal statute. There are three proper ways to attack a federal statute.
1. If there are constitutional infirmities, inherent or in application, the statute is challenged in the federal court system.
2. If the statute is totally without merit, the remedy is repeal.
3. If parts of the statute are without merit, the remedy is amendment.
Unable to invalidate, repeal or amend, that pocket of congressional dissidents have tried to blackmail the nation to bend to their will. Lacking success at that, some assert they will continue that ignoble effort.
This nation does not capitulate to blackmailers. Never has. Never will.
It appears that some vocal dissidents may cause the Republican Party to splinter or implode. That would be a tragedy. The party of statesmen like Eisenhower, Dirksen, Reagan and, now, Bob Corker has served this nation well in the past.
Democrats should take no joy or pleasure in considering such a breakup or implosion of the Republican Party. We should recognize that there is strength and balance in the two-party system. The two-party system has contributed mightily to the greatness of this nation - when each behaves with propriety.