A letter writer opined that the primary cause of the government shutdown was the failure of the president to negotiate and offered a rule that the president has an obligation to negotiate in good faith with Congress ("To Stop Shudowns," Oct. 23). Really?
The only cause of the shutdown was the conviction of the radical Republicans, the "Tea Party," to sabotage the American economy and the president's accomplishments. Polls show the majority of Americans understand that, blame the extreme righties and disapprove of the Tea Party.
It is well known that Republicans vowed to oppose and destroy all of the president's initiatives on the night of his first inauguration and pledged to destroy the Affordable Care Act on the president's second inauguration, and the extreme right-wing zealots demanded to the speaker of the House that there be a government shutdown.
Republicans in the House promoted several monkey votes to fund the government except for the ACA, which was already funded and would not be affected by a shutdown, knowing that these votes had no chance of passing the Senate or being signed by the president.
After refusing to negotiate over the budget for six months, they accuse the president of refusing to negotiate. It takes two sides to negotiate and Republicans have demonstrated over the past five years that they have no intention to negotiate with the president.
I support letter writer L. Thomas Lighthall's recommendation for a rule to require negotiation, as long as it equally applies to the extreme right-wing "representatives" in Congress. Good luck with that.
DAVID L. PATERLINE