As a guest on Wednesday night’s Daily Show segment on voter suppression, Don Yelton, a North Carolina Republican Party precinct chair and member of his county’s Republican Party Executive Committee, made a number of racist and disturbing comments. Since this segment’s airing, his racist remarks and indefensible commentary on well intentioned voters throughout North Carolina have gone viral and a storm of negative press has risen over his role in the NC Republican Party. On Thursday afternoon, after pressure from both the state and county Republican Party, Yelton publicly resigned.
After 16 days of dysfunction, that cost the country more than $24 billion, cooler heads prevailed to bring the nation back from the brink of economic calamity. The U.S. government is open for business (for now) and the full faith and credit has been restored with an extension of the debt ceiling. However, while this crisis has been averted, the shutdown battles have exposed the ongoing GOP civil war. It’s a war that is sure to reach fevered pitch during the next budget and debt ceiling negotiations.
With the government shutdown in full effect, Americans, already estranged from Washington politics, are being further alienated by the mass confusion surrounding the government gridlock. Both parties, as well as the media, have only perpetuated a blame-game narrative that is hurtling the republic headlong towards a state of leadership paralysis.
It has become painfully obvious that extreme partisanship in Washington is harming our economy, national security, and the future of our country. The recent federal budget showdowns—and resulting risk to economic growth—are only the latest evidence. While there is no one silver bullet, election reforms at the state level—including in Ohio—can improve on our national political dysfunction and reassure Ohioans and all Americans that our government can be restored to functionality.
On Thursday, Oct. 10, at exactly 12 midnight, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission became the latest casualty in the government-shutdown malaise gripping Washington. The nuclear agency closed its doors for the first time in U.S. history. While a skeletal crew remains to monitor the nation’s 100 nuclear reactors, regulatory efforts to prevent a meltdown (like what happened in Japan at the Fukushima plant) in the United States have ceased. This marks the latest in what has become a series of crucial government agencies that no longer provide much-needed services to the American people.