The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Robin L. Quillon

October 20, 2013

Robin L. Quillon | Imperative to clean house in Washington

JOHNSTOWN — “A Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”

  – President Abraham Lincoln

One thing is for sure, after this fiasco in Washington, it didn’t take very long for the political spin-mail to start flowing.

I received 9th District Congressman Bill Shuster’s spin-mail faster than you can say dysfunctional.

After reading it, I am sure he sees himself as a bloodied, exhausted “fighting” warrior on the battlefield, hardly able to lift his hand to write this simple message to us common folk.

His spin-mail (with my thoughts in parentheses) read:

“Last night, I voted (Bill is slumped over, leaning on his sword, writhing in pain, clutching his bloodied shoulder, writing by faint candlelight.) for a temporary deal to end the dysfunction in Washington (Please stop laughing.) and prevent the US government from going into default.  This 113 day extension (Meaning we just kicked the can down the road.) of the debt ceiling averts a major economic crisis while providing a framework to continue the conversation of spending reform (Conversation? Framework? Does he really believe we are that stupid?)

“Defaulting on the government’s debt would be reckless and was simply not an option. The economic cost would have been astounding (Duh!). A default would cost one trillion dollars to the US economy, and the trickle-down impact on hardworking Americans, including my constituents, (Thanks, Bill, for telling us what we already know: That we are hardworking Americans.) would have been devastating. This vote was about doing the right thing for the people of the 9th District and the nation. (Right thing? That would be a first.) My constituents’ life savings, retirement accounts, and 401(k)s were all at risk if the government defaulted (Notice how he omitted his retirement, sweet pension, sweet guaranteed retirement benefits, etc., from being at risk. I have yet to hear him or any of our representatives in Washington declare they will forgo their sweetheart health care deals and join their constituents on the exchange.)

“I share many of my constituents’ frustration with government overspending, which is why I voted to keep the fight alive. (Keeping the fight alive? Bill, are you out of your mind? We don’t want to see any more fighting. Do your damn job – compromise is not a dirty word, pal.) This wasn’t a perfect bill, (We are not looking for perfection, we are looking for a grown-up to lead. Lord knows neither side, including President Obama, is capable of leading.) but we need to prevent default in order to continue the fight and make real reforms. We can’t do that under default. This fight has brought everyone to the table (Wrong. Everyone continues to sit at their own table. We are no better off now than when this all started.) and started a discussion. (My way or the highway is not a discussion, Bill.) Now we have 113 days to make real progress (To do nothing.) on spending and reforming entitlement (Hey, Bill, remember, Social Security is not an entitlement program.) programs.”

Folks, remember, your vote has the power to do something about these dysfunctional clowns.  I for one will not vote to re-elect a single one of those who currently represent us. All of them, regardless of party, deserve to be fired. For me it is not about party. It is about we the people taking back our government.

I believe we are inching closer to where states, fed up with government paralysis and intrusion, will begin vigorously exercising their constitutional states’ rights like never before – in effect, seceding from the union.

In truth, a foreign entity will never destroy our great nation. However, the polarization of its people can. When we allow our representatives to dig in, hell-bent and refuse to compromise, it is time to fire them all.

President Lincoln understood 150 years ago, with perfect clarity, how a polarized nation could tear itself apart and destroy our great republic when he said, “A Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”      

Heaven help us, and the world, if it does.


Robin L. Quillon is the publisher of The Tribune-Democrat, of CNHI News Service. He can be reached at

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