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Angry Phone Calls and Missed Opportunities
02 Oct 2013

Angry Phone Calls and Missed Opportunities

Erik Oksala


Thanks to Capstone’s Erik Oksala for a little perspective on the partial government shutdown. Follow him on LinkedIn.


As I was on the Hill yesterday for a meeting, it became clear to me the challenges facing the Republican party moving forward. I was sitting in the outer office of a Republican Senator, one that I would not identify with the Tea Party, but not much of a moderate either.

The two young staffers tasked with answering the phone were bombarded with calls from constituents demanding that the Senator support the House bill to defund Obamacare or shut down the government. On call after call, the staffers tried to patiently explain that there’s no way the President will go along with any plan that undoes his signature legislative achievement and that shutting down the government was a really bad idea. A few of the calls ended with a terse, “I’ll be sure to pass along your sentiments to the Senator,” as a result of what I can imagine were some less than pleasant words from the caller on the other end of the phone.

I don’t know how this shutdown will be resolved, but it’s clear that the vast majority of pundits have this right, the Republican party has had its hands tied by far-right conservatives and further to the right Tea Party members.

photoThe result of all of that is that today, as I walked by the Capitol Visitors Center, the US Capitol Police was turning away tourists who only wanted the opportunity to learn more about our democracy and maybe do some sightseeing on a vacation. It’s unfortunate that this direct experience of the divisive nature of American politics should color their impression of a trip to a world-class capital city.

The views in this blog post represent the viewpoints of individual team members, not Capstone National Partners as a whole.

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