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OPINION VERN IS EMBLEMATIC OF ALL THAT IS WRONG WITH CONGRESS EDITORIAL Based on almost every public opinion poll, the overwhelming majority of Americans views Congress unfavorably. And earlier this week, they were given yet another reason for their loathing: Obstructionist Republicans, failing in their efforts to subvert the proper functioning of our constitutional government, refused to pass a budget resolution necessary to fund the nation's continued operations. As a result, the government began a shutdown of functions and services on Oct. 1, including the furloughing of almost a million federal workers. And, to the delight of some and the vexation of many, Congressman Vern Buchanan, who represents Sarasota County and part of Manatee County, cast his votes to support the Tea Party insurgents determined to stage a legislative coup d'état. Buchanan's backing of this reckless action is even less defensible because he does not fully agree with his Tea Party-affiliated colleagues. Instead, like House Speaker John Boehner, he "goes along to get along" — in other words, to quote Gov. William J. Lepetomane of Blazing Saddles fame, Buchanan and Boehner first and foremost seek "... to protect [their] phony baloney jobs." This crisis in our government, therefore, has been instigated by a radical minority in Congress and exacerbated by craven politicians less interested in their constituents than in the preservation of their middling power and sycophant-infused aerie in Washington.

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