Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stuart --
People ask me: What was the lowest point in the Republican Shutdown?
Was it Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham to his kids from the Senate floor so they could sleep soundly while he engineered a close of the federal government that left hundreds of thousands of families of federal employees worried about their futures?
Was it the woman who was desperately fighting cancer being turned away from medical treatment at the National Institutes of Health because of the shutdown?
Was it the family receiving veteran's benefits for their quadriplegic son sending an email to tell me about the hardship they would face because of delayed payments if the GOP forced a default on our nation's debt?
All of these were terrible, and so many more could be added when we reflect on the damage caused by this irresponsible strategy.
That's why I am more committed than ever to remaining in the Senate to fight against more Republican takeover attempts. But to do that, I need your support.
 There was one incident -- largely unreported -- that I cannot get out of my mind.
As Republicans went around the table telling the president their complaints and demands during a "negotiation" meeting, it came to a member of the GOP House Leadership who said these words to President Obama:
"I am so disgusted. I cannot even stand to look at you."
I share this story because many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will often say that the president just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans.
Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said "I cannot even stand to look at you"?
The Republicans in the House have dragged their party to the lowest approval rating in almost twenty years.
But many of the most extreme Republicans have more money than friends. They are raising and banking millions to "cleanse" their party and defeat Democrats like me in 2014.
We cannot take any comfort in our success in confronting and defeating Ted Cruz and John Boehner. They will be around again backed by the malefactors of wealth in this country who glory in the chaos they create.
And those of us who are on the ballot in 2014 need to be ready.
 One dollar for every day that our federal employees sat at home wondering when they could get back to work.
One dollar for every day the reputation of the United States as a world leader was weakened by the Republican threat to default on our debt for the first time in history.
We still have many battles to fight for the good people of this country. Help me to be ready for those battles.
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator

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