THE BLOG
09/23/2013 05:18 pm ET Updated Nov 23, 2013

Where Is the Outrage Crossing These Red Lines?

Syria is not the only "Red Line in the sand" we are dealing with these days. Using chemical weapons is crossing a Red Line, but that Red Line belonged to the world. Our president was right to make it his and take the lead in providing leadership and diplomacy while looking for solutions. But Syria is not the only Red Line we face.

Voting to Repeal Obamacare for the 42nd time is a Red Line that was crossed around 41 votes ago. Obamacare is the law of the land, no matter how hard the Republicans work at sabotaging health care.

Voting to take away $40-plus billion in SNAP (food stamps) from the poor is a Red Line. Sixty percent of the people who receive SNAP are children or elderly. Many receiving SNAP work full-time minimum wage jobs, or more, and still live below the poverty line. Taking away these benefits is a cruel Red Line to cross.

Suppressing voting rights of minorities, the elderly, students, and vets is crossing a Red Line. Eliminating the right to vote by a minority crosses a Red Line. Making it harder to vote by eliminating locations to vote, early voting, and voting-by-mail, while making voting harder with ID laws, is definitely crossing a Red Line.

Taking away health care choices for women is a crossing a Red Line. Voting to eliminate choices of medical procedures for others, defunding choices and health care, making it impossible for health clinics to stay open and serve the public because of some people's need to control others crosses a Red Line.

Student loan debt exceeding credit card debt is crossing a dangerous Red Line. Students are already asked to volunteer and perform community service, work unpaid internships at profitable companies, and get the best grades and experience possible Then many of those students with a dream are saddled with debt that cannot be forgiven even upon their death -- that's crossing a Red Line.

Unequal education in our country is a Red Line. Every child deserves the right to the best education possible. Defunding schools, larger class sizes, school buildings crumbling, limited resources, and bad results crosses a Red Line.

We have approximately 12 million people in our country that deserve citizenship. These immigrants work hard, contribute to society, are being educated in our schools, and are paying taxes. We have crossed a moral, insensitive, and Red Line of ignorance if we think that they are only here for the pleasure to change our diapers, mow our lawns, and care for our old and sick and they should not have rights.

Our climate is changing. Our storms are bigger and stronger, our fires are larger, and our sea levels are rising. We have crossed a Red Line of stupidity if we do not act quickly, firmly, and provide leadership on the issue of global climate change.

Not passing reasonable and universal gun safety laws crosses a huge Red Line.

Not holding anyone accountable for the financial crisis five years later, while the rich get richer, crosses a Red Line.

Not going to war in Syria, negotiating in good faith, and using diplomacy shows leadership and strength, not weakness. The Republicans are too willing to obstruct progress and cross Red Lines, hurting our country to win points with a few. It used to be unthinkable, a universal rule that an American, especially an elected official would not bad-mouth the President of the United States. But the Republicans have crossed this Red Line, too.

Everything cannot be a crisis. But Congress has strategically created a crisis of the week. We are now moving into "debt ceiling and deficit" season. This is another man-made, Republican Red Line that we cannot afford, but they have crossed. The Tea Party reps, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and the rest, think holding the country hostage and shutting down the government would show strength on their part. They are crossing this Red Line to force defunding of Obamacare, double the sequester cuts and more. Too many Red Lines there to count.

We deal with Red Lines all the time. We are too complacent of Congress' Red Lines. We confuse them with "business as usual." We only hear outrage by the right when crossing a Red Line brings the president and our country success. We need more outrage about these other Red Lines, the ones hurting our country. Where are the American people? Where is the outrage? We can do better. We are the United States of America -- we must do better.

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